Navigating any new path can be a daunting task to take on alone.  When the focus of your change is health and fitness, it can be even more overwhelming as the information is available everywhere.  I believe that having a support system is integral to long-term success.

The Next Step

It is time for you to take the next step, finding an accountability partner.  As tempting as it may be for you to use your spouse for this, that is not always the best option.   Your spouse can be a great support system, but it can be complicated to mix weight loss accountability into a marriage.  I recommend that you enlist the support of a friend or sibling that lives nearby that you can see or at least talk to on a regular basis.
Use your “Life Map” to help you create your goals.   Having your specific behaviors written down will help you to set goals to help extinguish them.

Guidelines to make the accountability principle work for you.

  1. Start by sitting down with your accountability partner to write out short-term measurable, achievable goals.  Download and print this template.  These goals should not be weight based as individual results may vary.  The goals should be life-change strategies that will ultimately achieve your desired outcome of weight loss, maintenance, better cardio endurance, more muscle tone, etc.  Some examples of goals may include
  • Get to the gym at least (___) times per week
  • Strength train at least (___) times per week
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Eat only at scheduled meal and snack times
  • Always eat sitting down

By making your goals in this manner, you set yourself up for success instead of setting yourself up for potential discouragement when the scale isn’t exactly as you planned.  That feeling of success can give you the fuel to move forward.

  1. Set aside time each week for a quick “check in” with your partner to troubleshoot any issues with your new lifestyle change.  This is not really a confession session, just a chance to strategize what is or is not working.
  2. Set an end goal date and meeting for the short-term goal setting.  I suggest that this be done on a monthly basis.  For instance, when you start the program, you start out with three specific goals that you want to work on that month.  During your initial meeting, schedule the follow up session to assess how you did with those goals and to set new goals for the following month.

Here’s an example. The “end” date in the table below does not mean the end of the behavior. It simply means the date of the first assessment by which time you expect that behavior will have become a new pattern for you.

New Behavior

  • Eat 5 fruits/vegetables daily
  • Start Date – 1/2/12
  • End Date – 2/2/12
  • Accomplished – Yes
  • Comments – Batch cooking on the weekends is crucial. Keep apples in the house!

New Behavior

  • Get to the gym 3 times a week
  • Start Date – 1/2/12
  • End Date – 2/2/12
  • Accomplished – No
  • Comments – Mostly yes, but sick kids got in the way. Look for videos to do at home to make next month better.

New Behavior

  • Learn to eat appropriate portions without losing control
  • Start Date – 1/2/12
  • End Date – 2/2/12
  • Accomplished – Almost
  • Comments – Had three days when I lost control. Ran out of Greek yogurt and dove into Cheetos! Make sure to keep supplies in the house.

Download your blank copy

Heart with Leaf


  • Find an accountability partner
  • Set up a meeting