Motivation Articles

Write Your Own Contract for Success

A Simple Way to Make Yourself More Accountable

You know that keeping yourself accountable is a key to weight loss success. Even with all the information in the world and all the right intentions, you won’t get very far if you let yourself off the hook when it’s time to actually do what you should.

There are two very effective ways to increase your accountability. The first is to get other people involved. You can “go public” with your goals and plans, letting friends and family know what you’re trying to do and how you're planning to do it. This method allows you to ask for support or the occasional friendly push if they see you backsliding. Better yet, you can join group or Team challenges with other people who are trying to accomplish the same things you are. It’s a lot harder to let your team down than it is to slack off when you’re the only one who will know (or care) about it. You’ll find lots of great challenges, supportive groups, and Teams here on SparkPeople.

The second approach involves directly challenging the excuses you choose not to stick to your plan. We all have our favorite excuses: I'm too busy. I can’t find time for myself. I'm just not motivated. I'm too stressed out right now. I'll do it later. I can’t control myself. You may even view these as legitimate reasons instead of the excuses that they really are, and have probably persuaded yourself that this is the way things are, and that you can’t do much about it.

But no matter how difficult your circumstances may be, this is the hard truth: The only way to succeed is to take personal responsibility for making things work out the way you want them to. And that starts with owning your own decisions and not using excuses to let yourself off the hook.

One good way to avoid rationalizing and increase your accountability to boot is to make a contract with yourself that identifies the excuses you use most often, and specifies what you will do instead of giving in to them. When you put this on paper, in the form of a written contract, you create an effective tool that you can use whenever you catch yourself making excuses. Here's how to start.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

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