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Take a look at your Facebook timeline right now. What do you see?
If it's anything like mine, you'll see a host of adverts claiming they have the next miracle supplement for six pack abs, or a revolutionary training programme that builds muscle in days, or maybe they have the inside secret you need to know right now.
What's your first thought when you see these adverts? Skeptical? Good. You should be.
The lure of these adverts is strong. Playing on your desire to achieve your dream body transformation as quickly as possible and without all that hard work and graft. I get it and I've even been there myself. In the past I've been guilty of buying the latest fat burner supplement in the hope I can short-cut the process and see those results that bit quicker, without facing the reality that maybe I just need to stop eating a box of Krispy Cremes every Friday.
But there is a 'secret' to achieving your goals in the shortest possible timeframe. It's not 'sexy' enough to make it into mainstream magazines and it's probably not considered 'manly' enough to be talked about in between sets of 200kg squats. But it could be the deal breaker for you.
If you're finding it a struggle to stick to your training and nutrition plan, or you're feeling like every day is a HUGE challenge and uphill battle, then this article is for you.
This article is going to uncover the unspoken secret of ACCOUNTABILITY and show you how you can use it to guarantee results.
It's time to load the gun with your silver bullet...
The reason why I love what I do is the fact that I get to help people break-through their challenges and obstacles and really make a difference in their lives. Having a great looking body is not just about aesthetics, it transcends into all aspects of your life. You feel more confident, your happiness and well-being is lifted, you have more energy and love life in general. It can even make you more motivated and positively impact your work life.
Don't we all want that?
To get to that point is a challenge. There's no two ways about it. There are no short cuts, there are no magic potions, there are no miracle exercises. It comes down to doing the right things consistently. And this is where most people fall down.
You might have the best training and nutrition plan in the world, but if you are struggling to stick to it, then you won't achieve the results you are capable of.
In the past couple of years I've spoken to dozens of clients that have repeatedly hit a brick wall with their progress before coming to me. Do these sound familiar to you? [I've paraphrased general comments from multiple people].
- "I'm great for the first couple of weeks, but after that I struggle to keep my motivation up and then everything just tails off."
- "I feel overwhelmed at the start. It's seems like so much to change overnight. It feels like a massive uphill challenge."
- "I picked up a plan from a magazine, but as it was all new to me, I didn't have anyone to ask questions to. I didn't know if I was doing the right thing or just making lots of mistakes."
If one (or more) of those statements struck a chord with you, you're not alone. It's such a common theme I see with clients. It's important to recognise that you won't get over these obstacles with a new training and nutrition plan alone. You need something more.
Avoiding this fact is only going to lead to more wasted time and money and your goals not being achieved.
IT'S TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!
Let me start off by telling you how I discovered the power of accountability and why it has become an integral part of what I do.
Casting my mind back 5 or 6 years when I first starting competitive cycling, I would train hard (or so I thought) getting out on my bike come rain or shine and spinning those pedals for hours on end. But if the weather looked particularly unappealing or I just didn't feel like training hard, or maybe the call of a pint in the local pub was too strong, I'd ditch the training session and do something else. Consequently, my progress suffered and so did my results. I lacked structure, but most of all I lacked the ability to hold myself accountable.
That all changed when I got a coach. Now I had someone that was taking an active interest in what I was doing on a weekly basis. I had a weekly check-in call to review the previous week's training, giving me motivation and a good kick up the ass in equal measures. I took to this process like a duck to water and my cycling was transformed. I went from languishing in mid-table mediocrity to actually winning and breaking all my PBs in the process.
Accountability was the game changer.
When I started back in the gym, I carried over the same methods into my training. Whilst I didn't have a coach to report into. I developed a system of self-accountability that had the same effect.
Here are the 6 steps of my self-accountability system:
- Make your goal known. Define where you want to get to and by when. Once you've done that, make your goal known. Tell friends, family, and work colleagues. Post it on social media. Putting it out there in the public domain will increase your likelihood of following through with it.
- Get your family to support you. Particularly important when it comes to nutrition. The support of your family is a great benefit. They'll be sensitive to the fact that you can't have a tub of ice cream every night, so will reduce waving those temptations under your nose.
- Write Your Plan Down and Make it Visible . Get your plan down on paper. Stick it on the fridge or plan it on the wall calendar in your kitchen. If you walk by it multiple times during the day it will serve as a consistent reminder. You won't be able to just put it to the back of your mind and ignore it.
- Track your progress. It doesn't really matter how but make sure you log your progress. Did you do all the things you should've done in the week? Did you go to the gym 4 times? Did you follow your diet? You can use apps, your calendar, or good ol' fashioned pen and paper.
- Give yourself a score. How do you know who's winning in a football, rugby, or tennis match? That's right, the score. It's clear. It quickly tells you what the state of the game is in. It's no different for your fitness goals. Give yourself a score for sticking to your weekly objectives. You'll quickly see where you need to improve and where you're smashing it and need to maintain consistency.
- Review and improve. All of this is a continuously evolving process. It's not just a tick box exercise. You need to review your successes and improvement opportunities on a weekly basis and focus on ways to improve for the upcoming weeks.
If you want to take this accountability process even further (and I would highly recommend you do) then grab a copy of these two books. 'The 12 Week Year' by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington and 'The ONE Thing' by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan are awesome books that will not only help you plan your goals, but will also give you skills in accountability that you need to achieve results.
The ONE Thing: The book teaches you to focus on the one thing that is truly most important to you. If that relates to fitness, you need to ask yourself, "what's the one thing I can do, such that by doing it everything would be easier or unnecessary?"
Once you've defined that, you ask the same framing question so that you define what's the one thing you need to focus on this year, month, week, day, and right now. And, as the book says, if your one thing for right now is not reading this, then go do what you SHOULD be doing!
I found the book to be quite refreshing and a different spin on how to be successful. The popular mis-conception is that doing more equals productivity. What The ONE Thing explains is that do less and focusing your efforts in the end leads to better and faster results. And this really does apply to your fitness goals.
The 12 Week Year: I'm actually in the process of reading this book for the second time. There's so much great stuff in there that I want to keep refreshing my mind and make sure that I've not missed or forgotten a key element of the process.
I've found the principles of the book blend wonderfully well with The ONE Thing. The ONE Thing helps to figure out where you want to get to and the 12 Week Year gives you the plan and process to follow in order to get there.
After reading the book you'll be setting your Most Important Tasks (or MITs) and zeroing in on what you need to do to move yourself that bit closer to where you want to get to.
I've used the techniques in the 12 week year to great effect in my own training and it forms the basis of an element of my approach to coaching.
What results are possible with a focus on accountability?
A great question. I'm all about results. My whole ethos is about getting the best possible results in the shortest possible timeframe. If you want to see an example of what I mean, you just have to look at the transformation I made in the first 9 months of heavy weight training, calculated nutrition, and a high level of consistency, driven by these accountability techniques.
This is how I started...
And this is me after 9 months...
And this is me now!...
How you can make the silver bullet hit the target!
Self-accountability is a great way to keep yourself on track and motivated to achieve your goals. But it's not for everyone.
If you're unsure that you have the mindset and discipline to hold yourself accountable, then coaching is something you should really consider. Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned fitness pro, you can benefit from coaching in a variety of ways.
If you're a beginner or perhaps someone that has been training hard but not yet achieved great results, then a good coach can help shape and plan your goals before you get started. After that, the focus is on results because let's face it, that's what matters at the end of the day. A good coach will be regularly checking in with you and their experience will be invaluable in spotting trends in behaviour that could potentially cause a lack of progress if not addressed in the future. They can also provide you with motivation and encouragement along the way.
And if you're the well-trained advanced lifter, a great coach and squeeze every last drop of performance out of you. Maximising that effort in the gym and fine-tuning your physique into the awesome machine it is capable of being. Think about professional athletes. Usain Bolt and Andy Murray are both athletes at the top of their game. You would think that by now they would be so experienced that they wouldn't need a coach to show them what to do. But it's all about accountability. The coach's role is to focus the mind, provide the voice of reason and remove the doubt. It's about clearing a path for you to perform at your best.
Accountability isn't something that you'll find as a featured article on the cover of next month's fitness magazines (the regurgitated '8 week ab ripper programme' sells better). But at Iron Paradise Fitness it's the third element of all my client coaching programmes. Personalised training and nutrition programmes are supported by the help, support, and accountability you need to succeed.
Take a look at the list of things I offer through 121 coaching and you'll see how high I prioritise accountability:
- Goal setting & planning: Using the principles behind the ONE Thing and your Client Questionnaire we work together to narrow the focus down to what you really want to achieve. We'll set a realistic and achievable time-frame and I'll put the plan together that will make sure you succeed.
- Online progress tracking: We're in the digital age, so let's take advantage of it. I want you to feel that two-way communication is easy. You can update you training programme and daily / weekly goals via a shared Google Drive, keeping us in contact at all times.
- Daily accountability review: There'll be a daily check-in by me on your progress. I'll be looking for patterns and trends in your habits, training, and diet that might need my input. I can spot where something is not quite working properly and suggest some changes to your programme. Unlike some coaches, it won't be a month until you hear from me, by which time your progress and motivation has already taken a significant setback. We'll keep that motivation high and maintained from day 1.
- Weekly progress review & written report: The daily accountability review is taken to the next level on a weekly basis with a full and comprehensive review of the previous week. A written report helps you to digest all my feedback. This is about recognising the great things you've achieved and making improvements wherever needed.
- Bi-weekly Skype call: It's important to keep the personal touch and talk to someone about your training. Sometimes it's easier to converse about particular questions and challenges, so these calls are a great way to resolve concerns, get things off your chest, or ask some more detailed questions.
- Direct text / video contact via Whatsapp & Snapchat: Got a quick question, no problem, fire me a text on Whatsapp. If video is your thing and maybe you want me to check your deadlift form, then a direct message via Snapchat is a great way to communicate. These methods of contact are all designed to keep you connected with me and feel like you have the support and motivation you really need.
- Unlimited email contact: In a sea of technology and social media, email is still a great way to communicate and is always a good outlet for communication. So if something's bugging you, never hesitate to send that email.
My 121 coaching service is highly personalised and focused on accountability and motivation. Accountability should never be seen as something negative. It's a positive thing that actually is proven to breed more motivation and success. It might take a little adjusting to in the first instance, but I guarantee that you'll reap the benefits.
So, if you're tired of feeling like your training and fitness goals are like pushing water uphill then click here to learn more about my 121 coaching and the other coaching services I offer through my AESTHETICS THROUGH STRENGTH programme.
Bespoke training and nutrition plans are just the start. The unrivalled level of service offered thereafter is guaranteed to get you BIG results.
I want you to succeed.
I want you to achieve results.
I want you to get the ultimate body transformation. Let's load up the gun and fire that silver bullet right in the centre of the target.I want to start my transformation