Partnering up with someone is one strategy you can use to increase your success with regular exercise. Perhaps you want a buddy to serve as a social outlet, someone to commiserate with over the shared disdain for physical activity, or as an accountability check. However, finding a fitness friend who can help you be consistent with your goals may prove difficult.
The good news is there are ways you can create your own dependability, regardless of your workout partner status. By deliberately cultivating accountability, you can continue to gather confidence to maintain a solid fitness routine and reach your health goals for good!
1. Cultivate relationships centered around your activities
If you go to a gym, create relationships there. Speak to the front desk associates. Find out their names, and tell them yours. Make eye contact, smile, and say hello when you come in. Thank them when you leave. Seems like common courtesy right? Sure, but you can also use it to your advantage. If the staff know who you are, they’re more likely to notice if you have gone M.I.A. for awhile.
If you take group exercise classes, introduce yourself to the instructor and thank he or she after class. These are ways to create connections, which increases the odds that people will notice if you’re away, and may encourage you to come back. Additionally, you will most likely enjoy going to the gym or class more if you actually know someone. If the people around you become actual people, not just blobs that go to the same gym you do, it can make the whole experience happier.
2. Be the partner you want to have
The great thing about this suggestion is that you don’t actually need a partner, which takes care of some of the issues with trying to find the right one (i.e., someone who will show up, shares your interests, and has a similar schedule). This also works well if you do have a partner. So basically, there are no excuses to start being the partner you want to have right now.
First, ask yourself what you most want in a workout partner? Maybe it is kindness, humor, reliability, motivation, or someone who calls you out on your excuses. Then, rather than searching for a person who has these characteristics, be them yourself! You can provide these things for yourself, independent of a workout partner. And bonus - you will up the odds that you will have a lasting exercise buddy relationship with an actual other person if you can provide them with the same quality support that you give yourself.
3. Make your workout your partner
The key to this is to find activities you enjoy, find activities you enjoy, find activities you enjoy. Then, visualize exercise as your “workout partner.” Chances are, you probably like people you spend time with, which is one reason why you continue to spend time with them. A workout can be the same way if you re-frame it. Instead of viewing it as one more thing to do [insert eye-rolling and ugh-ing], begin to see it as a way of spending time doing something you actually like. The enjoyment of certain activities will help propel you on days when you don’t feel like working out or when you’re really busy.
I hope these ideas help you on your journey to becoming the healthiest version of yourself. Please leave comments here or on social media with how you help create your own accountability.
Much love y'all,