In the last topic, you saw how to adopt new habits with the calendar technique.
You went from step 1, acquiring the right information (this program!) to step 2, which is taking action (by learning how to form habits)….
… and now in this topic, you will learn the final step, and the most important one, unique techniques to stay accountable.
Weight loss cannot work for anyone who doesn’t stay accountable, who isn’t responsible for his/her choices.
But at the same time, it also does not have to be too difficult.
With that said, let’s see build your own accountability “trigger”, a personal reminder made by you, for you, to remember what you set out to do…
Now, to make this easy to understand, we are going to give you 10 different examples of a daily accountability practice you can take up in your own life…
So basically what you need to do is create a powerful, emotional, daily reminder that will keep you on the path, and help you stick with your new habits.
And nothing can be better than…
1 ‘Hiring’ a Friend
The first accountability method, and one of the most successful, is to have a friend go through the same thing as you because you can ask each other about your progress.
You can take this journey together and you can hold each other accountable… so you can share your stumbling points, you can share your common frustrations.
For example, when we guys workout with our friends, and let’s say that a friend doesn’t show up at the gym, it’s almost customary to ask them, “kya be, kal gym ko kyu nahi aaya? Chal abhi….”
(Hey man, why didn’t you show up at the gym yesterday? You better get your a$$ down there today!)
Ok, that was little too much, but get the gist, basically you have a friend who shares this journey with you and you help each other stay on the path…
Remember that study we referred to earlier which showed that accountability nudges, friends, real people are often the most effective at holding each other accountable.
It’s often the most effective form of accountability.
So here’s what you do with a friend.
Setup a regular check-in day and time, so for example, the first Monday of every month and the third Monday of every month…
… so every two weeks, a quick check-in, just get on the phone for five minutes, that’s it, five minutes, or go out for a meal, if you know the person well and just talk about it.
Just this simple thing can help you tremendously stick with your plan.
2 Public Accountability
The second way you can do this is by sharing your goal and journey with the world!
So for e.g. you can start an online blog where you write about your weight loss journey for everyone to see, and it has to be public, because it has to be uncomfortable!
When your mind is aware that your blog readers are following your journey, and as a result of the feeling of “being watched”, it will keep you accountable…
So what we recommend is, just try to write a small entry on your blog, just one every day; so you are going to have about 365 at the end of the year…
… and all it takes is just 3-5 minutes, either at the beginning of the day or the end of the day and all you do is just write your ups and downs, write your progress, write your failures, write everything.
The reason for this: the power lies not in what you’re writing but the fact that you are writing every day!
Meaning, the point is that because you have to write something, you have to do something first…
…so because you NEED to write something, you have to do something the day before that.
This simple ‘condition’ forces you to stay focused on the action.
And there are so many weight loss blogs out there for you to take inspiration from… here are a few links to some amazing blogs out there…
And of course, if you need help starting your own personal blog in your own name (for e.g. nehasblog.com), get in touch with us, we would to help you get started!
3 Blast From The Past
The third accountability trigger is to keep an object around you that reminds you of a place/state you never want to be at again.
For example, let’s assume someone has had surgery due to their weight problem, then maybe they can keep an object that reminds them of the hospital, just to remind them what happened and why they don’t ever want to go there again.
Yes, a negative trigger.
So here’s an example for a negative trigger – you can maybe use one of your old clothing item, like your jeans or something… when you were your heaviest.
Use something that sort of scares you or makes you sad, something that you want to push away from you…
Or going extreme, use something that reminds you of being sick, for example a blood pressure medicine box that makes you think – ‘I don’t want to be using those ever’, or use a picture that reminds you of how your health held you back…
For example, a picture that showed how you couldn’t run anymore, or how you couldn’t play with your dog or you couldn’t play with your children…
In short, a negative reminder is something that you do not want to see happen again.
And yes, it DOES work very well.
4 Future Pacing
The fourth is a method called ‘future pacing’, where you remind yourself of where you want yourself to be, how you want to be in the near future.
So this could even be a picture of someone you idolize, someone who has that perfect body you would like to have.
Though, remember one thing, if you use this method, be realistic.
We’ll be blunt – for most of the people, dreaming of attaining a supermodel like body is next to impossible, not because we lack in efforts or commitment, but because these women are also blessed with awesome genetics…
So be practical, it’s much better to idolize someone, or someone’s physique that is actually attainable by you…
No, it’s not that we don’t believe in hard work or that efforts don’t actually pay off, they do, but we know from our experience working with 100’s of clients that people usually have totally unrealistic and downright crazy expectations, and that’s something we don’t want you to do.
Meaning, keep your future “ideal body” within real-world practical limits, and not only you will attain it, but more importantly, you won’t leave half-way!
5 The Classic Weighing Scale
Now, to be quite honest we usually do not recommend using the weighing scale as an accountability trigger because people tend to get obsessed about the number, something that is more damaging than useful…
… but yes… if you don’t have any other ideas, a scale can work effectively.
So if you do use the scale, here’s what we want you to do.
Every morning and every evening, all you do is step on the scale, you just look at the number…
… that’s it!
You walk away, you don’t think about, you don’t write it down anywhere, you don’t obsess about it, you don’t try to decrease the number, nothing, all you do is just get on the scale, every morning and night….
The reason why this works is…
A popular research study proved that just getting on the scale keeps people accountable!
When you get on the scale every day, sub-consciously you begin acting differently throughout the day.
You make better food choices, you take some time out for yourself, you try to stay active… you start doing small things unconsciously, which help in improving your health.
And it’s true, these little actions ‘happen by themselves’, because at the back of your mind, even though you’re not thinking about, your sub-conscious is!
And that’s why research has shown the same thing… that just by stepping on the scale, without even trying to beat the number, you will naturally lose weight because it re-programes you, sub-consciously, to make healthier choices.
6 Positive Past
The sixth method is using an old photo that brings out positive emotions.
This is a very effective trigger.
Choose an old photo that uplifts you and inspires you, so for e.g. you have photo from your college days when you were in a much better shape…
… and using it as a trigger, you can say to yourself, ‘yeah, I’m going to get that body back and I AM going to fit into those jeans again’ (or those clothes or that dress or whatever …)
And here’s another tip: stick that photo where you can see it every day, like on your dressing table mirror, or your refrigerator.
Remember, the point is, you are training your sub-conscious brain, so other than just keeping this ‘reminder’ in front of you, you do nothing consciously.
7 A Vision Board
A vision board is more of a “new age” approach to goal setting, popularised by people like Jack Kenfield, (from the Chicken Soup Series) and also many other health people.
In a Vision Board, all you do is, collect some magazines and cut out pictures of things, people, places that inspire you.
So in short: pictures of the life you want to be living.
The power of the Vision Board is that, again, it will sub-consciously re-program your mind.
Even though you’re not going to be thinking about it a 100 times a day, just by looking at it 2 or 3 times a day, you subtly influence your behavior, your decisions and almost everything you do throughout the day.
Plus, if you want to put up your whole life on the board, by all means, go for it.
So if you want to improve your relationship, put something up there that reflects that, if you want to take a vacation this year, put that up there, if you want to be able to save more money for that vacation, put that up there, and then put up the things that are health related for you.
Also, the pictures don’t have to be about you, you can also put up pictures of someone who inspires you, someone, something that makes sense to you and inspires specifically YOU.
8 The Calendar Technique
And finally, the last thing you can do is, yes, we saw this earlier, the calendar technique.
As you saw before, this is a simple, very easy technique.
All you do is you hang a small calendar in your bedroom and you check in with the calendar at the end of the night… and all you do is…
… let’s say its Monday, you either put a check or nothing, a blank.
If you put a check mark, what it means is you have successfully completed whatever habit you’re trying to develop or adopt… whatever new habit you’re trying to ‘program’ into your life.
So for e.g. if you decided to go for a quick 10 minute jog every day in the morning, you simply put a check mark on the calendar on the days you did it, and leave a blank space on the ones you didn’t…
What happens is over a period of days and weeks, you’ll get a series of checks or blanks, and it’s in our human nature that you’re going to want to see more checks, more points, more ‘victories’.
So when you see the blank spots before going to sleep, and when you wake up the next morning, you are automatically going to make better decisions, because you want to see more of those check marks.
It’s a small victory, but we all love to win!
And as you saw in the earlier two topics, those small daily wins will pave the way for the bigger win – which is better health, better weight and much more energy!
THE KEY THING TO REMEMBER:
Simplicity rules when you want to lose weight.
Even your daily accountability practice – how you stay on the path, has to be simple.
With the examples given above, all you do is:
1 You go through the process in your head when you first wake up.
2 You then remind yourself why you’re doing this, why it’s so meaningful, what it means for you.
3 And then you to do it one more time, right before you go to bed, the same thing, taking your accountability step and/or reminding yourself WHY you are doing this.
So first thing in your mind and last thing in your mind, every day, just check your progress, that’s it.
And how much time does this take, like a few minutes?
No way are you telling us you don’t have few minutes for yourself!
And that’s it for the daily accountability practice!
Simple, but effective. Very effective.
Remember, the world’s most successful people do this, that’s what makes them successful and that’s what’s going to make you successful in this weight loss journey.
We will see you in the next lesson…