The Power of a Fitness Accountability Partner (+ BBG Post Baby)

fitness accountability partner

Did you know that accountability partners greatly improve your chances of sticking to something?

It’s true. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%!

Hot. Damn. Those are big percentages.

This has always proven true for me personally.

I’ve been on a sugar cleanse for the past 20 days or so. And whenever I try to do one of my weird experiments, I always tell Joel about it. That way he keeps me honest. Like when he infuriatingly reminded me that I’m off sugar when I was rationalizing that one piece of cheesecake on Easter.

I also used accountability partners to quit smoking a decade ago: my friends from high school. They were instrumental to my success. Even going so far as to physically blocking me from leaving an apartment when I was straight tweaking for a cigarette one night. Haven’t had a puff since.

This whole accountability partner thing really works.

Since recovering from giving birth last fall I’d been trying to get back into BBG. I mean, I was way overzealous to think I’d be doing burpees at 8 weeks postpartum, and I did throw out my back which took some time to heal. But then I started to realize that every week I had a new excuse not to start, or a perfectly rational argument for why next week would actually be better.

And that’s when I realized I was full of it.

If I was being totally honest, I didn’t want to start. No. I wanted to keep my ass on the couch with peanut butter pretzel nubs and Michael Scott on Netflix while pretending that my body just wasn’t ready yet. (You know, blame it on the baby. It works for getting out of a lot of stuff you don’t want to do.)  

That’s the true challenge with starting any healthy habit though: fighting the inertia of having sat on your rear for an extended period of time.

We think we should wait until we feel like it. But the truth is, we’re never going to feel like it. Motivation comes from doing, not the other way around.

So I needed to get my ass in gear. Enter: my fitness accountability partner.

My college roommate also gave birth last year and we’d been chatting about getting back into shape (amongst all things baby) in our never ending text convo. Her challenge wasn’t really getting started, it was that as she was back to work full-time, she simply didn’t have time to go to spin class or for a jog or to do any of the fitness stuff she’d been into pre-baby.

So I asked her, “Do you have 30 minutes, 3 times a week that you could workout at home?” She said she did. And that’s when I suggested we both start BBG and be each other’s accountability partners. She accepted.

So then I made a tracking spreadsheet because I’m cool like that.

My hope is that having her, and our little spreadsheet to keep me honest, I will finally break through the inertia of not wanting to work out and actually get back in a groove.

I guess now that I’ve written about it, I have you to keep me honest too. Heyo!

I’ll keep you posted as we x out each of those little boxes. Perhaps I’ll even share an underpants picture or two. Ya never know. Jk. Probs not.

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Author Dana

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