If you’ve been reading the blog for a long time, this word is not new to you. But if you’re new to the blog, new(er) to NP, or just need a reminder, this blog is dedicated to you–because accountability is one of the reasons that November Project started in the first place.
Which is a good plug to read the November Project book to learn more about how it all got started–but the simple idea was that when two friends started to really look at all the reasons (and excuses) they had for not staying fit and keeping their bodies active with movement they enjoyed, they realized one thing they were missing, and that would be critical for their success, is accountability. They needed each other to commit to showing up. So that when each of their alarms went off early in the dark mornings of Boston winter, and when they were tempted to roll over into the warmth of their covers and turn off the alarm…instead they would remember their accountabilibuddy to whom they had promised to just show up. Even if the other friend was feeling the same cozy way about their bed, if each valued their friendship and their commitment to not leave that friend out in the literal cold–alone–they would overcome the voices in their heads calling them to stay–and they would indeed get up, get dressed, and show up to run, climb stairs, train on hills, in parks, and everywhere around the city they could find to get some free, fun, fitness.
They were way too cool way back then to call each other accountabilibuddies. And they had no idea they were starting a movement of fitness and community building. But this concept is at the core of what makes the movement work. We often don’t want to do the hard things in life (fitness or otherwise) when we’re alone and on our own. BUT when we are not alone, when we have at least one other person who will stand by our side, to take on whatever is in front of us, and give us some perspective that “they’re doing it, I probably can to” –which goes back and forth between the two from moment-to-moment–then we can do just about anything. There are sooooo many times that I can’t believe I got through some workout or up some damn hill and I say to the person I was chasing or running next to, “I wanted to stop so badly and saw you keep going, so I just did too.” And then they say, “NO I was thinking the exact same thing about YOU!”
Accountability is a way of helping us to do the things we want to do even when it’s hard to motivate ourselves to start, or it’s hard to convince ourselves we’re confident enough to do them/finish them/be any good at them, or it’s hard to simply keep at them when it really gets hard. And having a friend who will help to hold us accountable in the way that is right for us–that’s an accountabilibuddy. BEcause not everyone loves having a “we missed you” blog post written about them–but some people love that style of friendly jesting that keeps us laughing and reminds us we truly were missed so we want to show up. Not everyone loves a hard-line, “real talk” conversation from a dear friend to call us on our shit when we really are making excuses and not fully taking care of ourselves–but some of us need that dose of reality from a trusted friend. Not everyone loves a kind and understanding, supportive and problem-solving helper–but some of us need that because we’re already so damn hard on ourselves that person is the only one being nice to us!
So pick your accountabilibuddy carefully–but pick one. And talk to someone who’s found theirs and the results are amazing to hear about. They’re not there to police you or to placate you. They are there to help you be who you want to be for yourself…and as a result you can be amazing back for them and for others in the community.
Find your person. Make sure you talk about how you want and need to be supported and held accountable. Be sure to have each other’s phone numbers and emails. And make plans the day/night before workouts for where you’ll meet up, when you’ll send the “I’m awake” texts, and how you’ll respond for each other when someone starts to waver…starts to back out…or doesn’t fulfill the agreement between you. Do it today. You’ll only be better for it.
Accountability is worth it–you only have good stuff to gain from having it. #accountabilibuddies
Workout Friday 3/22: 6:29am at the top of Summit ave (Corey Hill Outlook Park)
Workout Monday 3/25: 6:29am behind the Federal Courthouse in the Seaport. RIGHT HERE on the map.