It is a well-known fact that many people who begin a weight loss or fitness program will drop out within a few weeks.  How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m on a diet again”?  Sticking to a diet and exercise plan is one of the hardest things for most people to do.  And let’s be honest:  losing weight and getting fit is hard.  If it were easy, more people would be succeeding at it.

However, one of the biggest determiners of whether you will succeed at your weight loss and fitness attempts is accountability.  If you are accountable to someone, you are more likely to reach your goals!  

An accountability partner can be as simple as a close friend or as sophisticated as a hired personal trainer.  You may even find someone online who is interested in being your accountability partner.  Spend some time considering your options as you choose your partner.  The key is making sure they are as motivated as you are to get serious about losing weight.

Once you have chosen your partner, you can begin exploring ways to motivate and check up on each other.  Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

1.  Choose your method of communication.  In order to keep each other accountable, you will need to decide which method of communication works best.  You can meet face to face, exchange emails, connect on Facebook, text each other, talk on the phone or even Skype.  You may use two or three of these methods, depending on the situation.

2.  Share food and exercise journals.  Few things are as motivating as knowing you have to answer to someone else for every bite of food you put into your mouth and every bit of exercise you did (or did not do)!  Begin writing down everything you eat and all your exercise into a journal.  Each week, trade journals with your accountability partner.  

3.  Workout together.  If your partner lives nearby, meet once each week to work out together.  Making a commitment to meet someone else for exercise is a great way to get your workout in.  Consider inviting others along with you; the bigger the group, the more fun it is!

4.  Utilize S.O.S. messages!  Texting is a great way to have up to the minute support from your accountability partner.  If you find yourself at a party staring down a plate of brownies, you can text your partner for quick help:  “Help!  Brownies!”  She might respond back, “Walk away.  Don’t touch them!  I’m cheering for you!”  Sometimes, that is all it takes to give you the encouragement and motivation you need to make the right choice!

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