At Boobs on the Run we believe staying accountable to your program is the best way to make running a habit and a part of your weekly routine. Unfortunately, keeping accountable when we lead demanding lives can be really hard.
We spoke to running coach Mel Warman about the obstacles people experience with accountability and how to overcome them.
What’s holding you back?
Talking yourself out of a run is easy, especially with struggles such as work deadlines, feeling tired, sick kids, husband coming home late, the silly season and bad weather.
“The first thing someone does when they see rain is start a negative voice in their head,” says Mel. “Life can get in the way of running and we understand that, but when it comes to obstacles such as tiredness people don’t realise that exercise is going to help them sleep better, eat better and increase their energy levels. So it’s about getting into that mindset that you are going to feel better after a run.”
Seven tips and tricks to staying accountable
Share your commitments with other people. For example, tell your family or post your commitment on Facebook
Track your progress
Set a goal
Plan to meet someone
Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
List all of the excuses you’re likely to come up with
Accept you will have negative thoughts that will try to undermine you, but know you can still make a choice to behave in a way that’s consistent with what you value
“At Boobs on the Run we give a good framework and structure. But you need to do things to make it happen and that’s what accountability is – making things happen,” “Planning is really important. Look at your calendar, schedule in runs and ensure the people around you know about it. Their support is really valuable.”
“For me, telling my partner I've made a plan to run and setting a goal makes me more committed,” “It takes a while to get into a routine but when you do it feels awesome. I also find that laying out my clothes the night before helps me feel organised and works as a trigger too.”
Another tool is logging your runs with phone apps such as Map My Run and Run Keeper. “When our runners look back and see the improvement, it spurs them on. A term is nine weeks so after that they think, ‘Well, I’ve started a good habit, let’s keep going and see how much more I improve.’”
Stay Running member Adi Firth discovered prioritising her health and fitness keeps her accountable. “I can't run when I am sick or injured, so I make sure my immune system is fighting fit by getting enough sleep, having a good diet, limiting alcohol and doing lots of stretching.”
But one of the most enjoyable ways to stay accountable to your personal goals is actually by being in a group dynamic. At Boobs on the Run lots of the members meet for their homework runs outside the scheduled Wednesday night group runs.
“Running with others makes a massive difference for me. I am much less likely to pike out,” continues Adi.
Mel agrees, “There are friendships growing out of the group runs and so people are turning up because they want to see Heather or Justine or whoever they enjoy running with. People become accountable to that friendship group which is really lovely.”
Interesting video by Leadership Professor Fred Kopfam: Be a Player, Not a Victim
What struggles do you encounter with accountability? Share any tips in the comments below.