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HarryB

creating accountability

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What resources and/or techniques do you people use to create accountability and stay on track? 

 

I often get asked this by people and I was just wondering what different ways others might create that accountability. 

 

For my clients I do it by setting general weekly goals in terms of how many times they'll train in a week, what their diet will be like,  how much weight they are aiming to drop. Then I set specific meal plans or macros and get them to record and report what they do. Same with training and cardio. OK not so much specific workouts but the number of sessions and the total amount of cardio they did in that week. 

 

This becomes part of the larger goal they will have initially set which might be losing 10k or getting in shape for a competition or a match or whatever they're doing. For me it's primarily for bodybuilding competition but it could be for anything. 

 

Any thoughts or processes I could hear about would be awesome. 

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In terms of the gyms, I find if I've got a set routine (either on paper or an app) that tells me what I need to get done, then I do it. Without that, my workouts tend to get shorter and shorter as I think "Oh, yeah, that weight feels quite hard. That'll do..."

 

In terms of other life, it's To-do Lists all the way. I make list after list of things that need to be done, cross off a few of them, then start making another list (which may or may not include the same points from the first list...) In fact, looking at my desk now, without rearranging anything, I count 7 bits of paper with different to-do lists for Gymnation. :-p

 

SMART goals (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria) are good. In fact I should probably use them more often.

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10 minutes ago, Pseudonym said:

In terms of the gyms, I find if I've got a set routine (either on paper or an app) that tells me what I need to get done, then I do it. Without that, my workouts tend to get shorter and shorter as I think "Oh, yeah, that weight feels quite hard. That'll do..."

 

In terms of other life, it's To-do Lists all the way. I make list after list of things that need to be done, cross off a few of them, then start making another list (which may or may not include the same points from the first list...) In fact, looking at my desk now, without rearranging anything, I count 7 bits of paper with different to-do lists for Gymnation. :-p

 

SMART goals (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria) are good. In fact I should probably use them more often.

I'm so bad at lists etc and the nature of my job I should really be good at it (project management/scheduling) and I'm ok at managing other day people's to do lists but when it comes to myself I've got a memory like a sieve. This thread prompting me to actually think about this lol. 

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I had 5 things to do yesterday which all would take half hour or less. Had 8 hours (trading/business hours) to do them. Made a list so I didn't forget and got 4 of them done. Failed to complete the 5th due to poor time management, inappropriate resource allocation and in general cbfing it.

 

I think if you don't have the right mindset you won't do the shit anyway irrespective of tools used.

 

My list almost blew out window of car too which would have really fucked me. 

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19 minutes ago, PETN said:

I had 5 things to do yesterday which all would take half hour or less. Had 8 hours (trading/business hours) to do them. Made a list so I didn't forget and got 4 of them done. Failed to complete the 5th due to poor time management, inappropriate resource allocation and in general cbfing it.

 

I think if you don't have the right mindset you won't do the shit anyway irrespective of tools used.

 

My list almost blew out window of car too which would have really fucked me. 

Hahaha

item one on lift is develop safe system to transport list 

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As far as I am aware Pseudonym is a very experienced personal trainer so would probably go with him on this one, however that being said I would suggest making it financially beneficial for them to do so. It is a well know fact that those with more of a financial incentive work harder, longer hours, and are a hell of a lot more driven in their pursuit of goals (For more information refer to either the research done on franchises, CEO's or Thomas Sowell's book called "basic economics"). 

 

By the above I don't mean that you charge any less over all as the amount you get paid should reflect the value of your services, simply that you make it seem as if they are getting a discount by increasing your prices or structuring them in a way for people to see the benefit of keeping to goals/targets set. Make it clear to them that this is in their best interests and encourage them to leave the emotional issues at home as ultimately you can't really fix these things for them (I hear feedback from many of the PT's I know or have used over the years that they almost feel like therapists most of the time). 

 

I am not a PT nor am I a behavioural psychologist so take my suggestion with a pinch of salt.  

 

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4 hours ago, HarryB said:

That's exactly what I did :)

 

Well then I have been useless :(  

 

I would imagine an important thing to teach your clients is the concept of delayed gratification as the most important things in life, the things people pay 1,000,000's to achieve, all require the ability to delay the instantly gratifying behaviours which are always available to you as an alternative to the hard work and dedication required to achieve your goal. For example to people wanting to lose weight you are constantly presented with opportunities to over eat or skip training to sleep or socialize. The individual who is married and is having issues can instantly avoid confronting/solving those issues by walking out the door down to the pub. The individual in school, university or simply in the process of educating themselves can put it all aside to go drinking. The young individual wanting to progress his career can put aside his ambitions by taking a day off to go to a concert. 

 

That being said the ability to rationalize delaying gratification does seem to be much more common in the more intelligent, however even Charles Murray wouldn't argue that someone less intelligent can't achieve amazing things by delaying gratification as Mohammed Ali had an IQ of 78. 

 

 

 

 

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Delayed gratification... do you mean sacrifice to achieve goals? Yes you're right it's important to explain to a client that they need to amend aspects of their diets and training in order to achieve a specific goal. It's the means by which they measure their achievement that allow them to stay on track that I'm most interested in. I'd say it has little to do with their IQ and more to do with commitment to their goal. 

 

Where did you get the stat on Muhammed Ali's IQ by the way? Was it written on the side of a milo jar?

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On 6/6/2016 at 1:57 PM, HarryB said:

Delayed gratification... do you mean sacrifice to achieve goals? Yes you're right it's important to explain to a client that they need to amend aspects of their diets and training in order to achieve a specific goal. It's the means by which they measure their achievement that allow them to stay on track that I'm most interested in. I'd say it has little to do with their IQ and more to do with commitment to their goal. 

 

Where did you get the stat on Muhammed Ali's IQ by the way? Was it written on the side of a milo jar?

 

No, that was the result of his psychometric examination when he took the military tests required of him, before he was allowed to skip military draft (one of which is an IQ test). You are correct IQ is not hugely important in regards to actually being about to achieve goals, however there does seem to be a link between the ability to assess the benefits vs costs of a variety of ways to spend your time and IQ. I think the best thing about Mohammad Ali was his faith to his on culture against HUGE pressure from society to support the idea of "multiculturalism".  

 

To quote Mohammad Ali "It ain't sad that I want my child to look like me, every intelligent person wants their child to look like them""Pigeons want to be with pigeons, we are told they don't have intelligence, yet they stay together, we should have more intelligence then them". "Who wants to destroy their own race?"

 

Obviously he was not a philosopher, however he makes an incredibly important point that many intellectuals and academics at the time and even today don't seem to understand. I have a lot of respect for what he achieved in the boxing ring, but I more respect for his ability to ignore the screams of "racist" and stand by his statement regardless of how much hate he got (mainly from the left). 

 

By "delay gratification" I mean being able to  look at a goal in full context of its likely outcomes, possible alternatives, probably distractions, and likely negatives for which one must plan. So it is related to making sacrifices. 

 

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I keep a closed group on facebook bro - all of my clients and their partners are in it.  They post up their before photos and have to check in every week.  I find it way easier to have them all together in a controlled environment.  It also gives them a team like atmosphere.  It not a competitive feel at all - it's all about encouragement and support.   Social media has made it so easy now to keep people connected.  

 

I drop in my own training log there too - it's show them everything I do - i.e I don't post it up on my main page now - that way they are getting something no one else gets.  They also feel like they are supporting me too which makes me fel good at the same time.  

 

Agree with @MiltonFriedman01 regarding the need to get them to be stoic in their approach to reward.  Because I am like this they see it in my own journal and so they no reward meals etc are for only when you are ahead of your planned milestones. 

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1 hour ago, Optimass said:

I keep a closed group on facebook bro - all of my clients and their partners are in it.  They post up their before photos and have to check in every week.  I find it way easier to have them all together in a controlled environment.  It also gives them a team like atmosphere.  It not a competitive feel at all - it's all about encouragement and support.   Social media has made it so easy now to keep people connected.  

 

 

 

Wow that is a really good idea, it amazing how much social media is used for now. I assume it would also help them to hold themselves to account if they don't keep on track and guilt is a STRONG motivator to say the least. Humans are naturally loss adverse :)

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Yeah I guess I'd have to redo Facebook, not a fan but yeah its definitely a great tool to create a team feeling and give them access to people with the same or similar goals. 

 

I have to add that whilst I was asking the question it wasn't specific to my clients or even to a client trainer relationship. More in relation to an individual creating their own accountability. When they're using a trainer or mentor that in itself is a great way of making themselves accountable. 

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Time management and routine is a huge cornerstone of success - consistency pays at the end of the day

 

However I also learnt along time ago that people need to REALLY want to implement long term change and as such have  true internal motivation to do so vs anything you might try to impart on them

 

"You can lead a horse to water...." and all of that old cliche'

 

As a trainer after a bit (a few successes over the years and treating everyone the same ie fairly and consistently) you can tell when people are not playing ball or at least hopefully you can make the call ahead of that point (whom likely wont / you want to work with for these reasons at least).

 

Time is precious and for every person out there slacking around or 'un-motivated' I can bet you'd find 2-3 others more appreciative, genuine and deserving of your help...

 

Help those that help themselves, just my view.

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