Before founding ReadtheLabl, I was a coach to professional tennis players and also coached some junior players. I had one young student whose father, John, would show up to his son’s training periodically. John, obviously inspired by watching the tennis workout, frequently announced to me that he was going to get into shape.
After hearing his proclamation numerous times I finally said, “John, stop telling me you are going to do something about your fitness and just do it.” Knowing I needed to create a way for him to accomplish what he continually failed to commit to, I gave him this plan.
“John, when you get home tonight, I want you to do one push-up and then text me that you did it.” He responded, “...just one, are you serious? How is that going to work?” I encouraged him to trust me.
Sure enough, that evening I received a text from him, stating that he did one push-up. “Great,” I responded, “I look forward to your text tomorrow evening as well.”
Kent's accountability buddy helping him be healthier, circa 2011
The next evening, I received a text from John. As I had anticipated, there was determination in his tone, “Forget the one push-up thing, I did 10 tonight!”
Ha ha, success! To be honest, I felt pretty good about myself for tricking him into raising his own bar by simply giving him a simple goal with a way to be accountable to someone.
ONE STEP TO BE HEALTHIER
Often we think that a first step to be healthier, be more fit, eat better, or create any new habit and/or stop an old one is a huge life-changing decision. Really, it isn’t!
It’s as simple as taking one step at a time that you personally believe you can repeat over and over AND making sure that you are accountable to yourself, or even better, to someone else. If you can do that, the next step, and each thereafter, will become more possible.
NOW, TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Find someone whose opinion you care about and tell them, “I am going to...:
- Make sure I make one nutritious meal for my kids each day (see recipe ideas here: Recipes/Uses)
- Walk around the block once a day
- Eat one serving of vegetables each day
- Take a deep breath and be thankful each day
- <fill in your blank> each day
...and I want you to hold me accountable.” Better yet, both of you hold each other accountable for one simple step to be healthier.
Let’s be healthier together!
Kent Wood, Founder, ReadtheLabl