To Create a Wholesome Behavior, Discover an Accountability Buddy

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To Create a Healthy Habit, Find an Accountability Buddy

Find someone in charge. Pick a friend who has a similar goal in mind and make a plan. Accountability can mean meeting for a hiking date once or twice a week. Or it could be a daily text check-in to see how you're doing on a diet, or a Zoom call to work together on a debugging project.

"Some people are very accountable to themselves, but not most," said Dr. Tim Church, a noted expert on exercise and obesity and the chief medical officer of Naturally Slim, an app-based behavioral health program in Dallas. "In my years of working with thousands of people, there's one thing that encourages accountability more than anything: if you want to get people to act, get a buddy."

While the presence of someone in charge creates slight peer pressure, the key is to focus on the behavior, not on success or failure. For example, when a person is trying to lose weight, don't focus on the scales. Instead, check in and remind them to keep a record of what they ate, encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables, and remind them of the benefits of weighing regularly (but no need to ask them about the result) . If they beat up for eating two desserts, talk about what may have caused an emotional binge eating.

"A responsibility partner is there to support you, solve problems and even celebrate the small wins," said Dr. Church. “Judgment is the quickest way to destroy all of this. People are so tough on themselves. You don't have to be tough on them. "

Use an app. An app is a great way to add accountability to your day. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm send reminders daily and track your progress. Noom weight loss app asks you to check in a few minutes each day, take mini health classes, and keep track of what you've eaten. The Fitbit app counts your steps, syncs with your smart scale, and vibrates to remind you to get up and move.

Set reminders. Once you've set a health goal, blame yourself for creating calendar reminders to help you meet it. Plan walking breaks or daily or weekly check-ins with your responsible person.

Declare it on social media. When you tell your friends on social media that you are using less packaged food, or when you tweet every time you finish a class on your exercise bike, it creates a virtual accountability. Make a commitment to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform every time you accomplish a goal, or to share your feelings on days when you have trouble. By explaining your goals on social media, you will likely find a like-minded friend willing to join your journey and say supportive words.

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