“I walked all but one day last week!” Those were the words of a coaching client who had identified the need for better self-care, but who had been unsuccessful at motivating herself to get off the sofa to walk. At first we discussed the possibility of her finding a walking buddy who would help motivate her to walk on a consistent basis. As we talked she decided that she could take care of both her dogs and herself by walking her dogs at least once per day. When we finished our call she had made a commitment to walk her dogs every day until our next session.
“What made it possible for you to honor your commitment to walk?” I asked. “Accountability!” she replied. “Just knowing I would be reporting back to you what I’d done helped me make myself walk.” Because she was not alone in process of changing her behavior, because there was someone in the wings supporting her efforts, she pushed through the resistance that would normally derail her efforts at getting exercise.
Coaching is a learning/action process. During coaching conversations clients have the opportunity to learn more about themselves. At the end of sessions they have the opportunity to commit to taking an action before the next session that will move them in the direction they want to go.
My client wanted to feel better. Cognitively she knew that exercise would help her feel better. But, knowing it would help and actually engaging in a new behavior are two very different things. Adding the support and partnership of a coach and the opportunity of accountability that coaching affords made it possible for her to go from couch potato to daily walker.
Would accountability help you take steps forward to achieve your goals?