Like many people, I don't look forward to working out. It's hard to find the motivation, especially at home. If given the choice between sweating through a long, grueling workout and sitting in a warm, cozy bed, I'll always choose the latter. But when I put off exercising for too long, I start to dread getting back into shape and regret not holding myself accountable. Recently, I realized why it's so easy to fall off the bandwagon. So many motivational techniques rely on things outside of ourselves, but personal accountability is just that: personal.
A quick Google search of how to hold yourself accountable for working out will yield two main results: 1) sign up for scheduled classes, and 2) enlist someone to work out with or keep you in check. While these are good options, they don't really solve the problem of feeling unable to motivate yourself. What happens when the gym is closed, your friend is busy, or your mom grows tired of sending that "Don't forget to workout!" text every day? When you take everything else away, all you're left with is your own ability to answer to yourself.
If you want to establish habits that stick, you have to change your mindset, listen to yourself, and practice personal accountability. Luckily, it's a lot easier than you might think. With these five steps, you'll be able to hold yourself accountable no matter what your workout routine looks like.