penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

5 Tips for Keeping Yourself Accountable


It’s easy enough to have a plan for achieving your fitness goals. Staying accountable, on the other hand, is another matter completely!

Success comes from consistency, and consistency is so much easier with a little accountability. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve tried to adhere to a workout or eating plan but you’ve been unable to maintain it.

Instead, forgive yourself and begin again with these accountability tips at hand!

#1 Write your goals down and make them SMART

SMART is an acronym that is used widely and explains that in order to be achievable, your goals should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time-sensitive).

Why does the SMART acronym help with accountability? Because it’s very difficult to hold yourself accountable to goals that you haven’t clearly defined for yourself. I highly encourage you to set out what you’re wanting to achieve in writing, right from the start, and make sure it hits all the SMART points.

#2 Track your workouts

It can be highly motivating to see all the effort you’re putting in, and how far you’ve come, once you start tracking your workouts. Not only that, but if you’re tracking your workouts you can record any strength or fitness gains, such as when you’ve shifted up to a heavier set of dumbbells. Honour your progress by writing down the details of your workout such as the workout type, the workout length, the weights used, sets and reps achieved, and how you felt after the workout.

#3 Keep a food diary 

Keeping a food diary is the ultimate accountability tool! The trick is to remember that your food diary is totally pointless if you’re not honest with yourself. You do need to include all your snacks (even a bite here and there), as well as any drinks. It all goes into the diary! The benefit of the food diary is that you’re more likely to maintain good eating habits when you have to record what you’re eating. And on the off-chance that your eating plan isn’t working, you can always look back to your food diary to work out how your calories were actually tracking. You can keep a food diary by hand in a notebook, or using an app like MyFitness Pal.

#4 Track your fitness feats

I’ve written about this before, but it’s so important! Tracking your fitness feats (in other words, any small wins or progressions), might be as simple as marking the days you exercise on a calendar, or recording your latest back squat or deadlift Personal Best. It’s all about what makes you feel good, and helping you realise that you are making progress. It’s not only motivating to see your progress but it also helps you maintain momentum.

#5 Get an accountability buddy or trainer

Some people find it good to work with a trainer, at least in the beginning to get them started. Other people find it easier to have an accountability buddy; someone they exercise with or report back to on workouts. Of course, if you can’t afford a personal trainer or don’t have an accountability buddy, it can help to have someone workout with you, which is why follow-along online workouts are particularly good. You can join me online to do a variety of HIIT, Strength, Tabata and Cardio workouts any time you choose over on YouTube.

I hope those 5 tips help with accountability on your fitness journey, please do let me know how you go!

If you’d like to do some follow-along workouts with me, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and tick the notification bell, so you never miss a new workout. You can also sign up for workout calendars that I send out for free every month, and feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I share loads of new workouts and ideas.

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