accountability

Over the course of the summer Mr. Lively and I have started to run together and recently trained for and completed a 15k (9.3 miles) Hot Chocolate race here in Chicago last Saturday.

It was Mr. Lively’s first official race, and we had a great time training during the week and on weekends. Because of the shared training, we did most of our workouts for the last few months together.

Now that the race is over and winter is hitting Chicago quickly, I am focused on not losing the momentum and drive to workout that I have gained during training. I don’t want to coast into a lazy winter.

On Tuesday we had planned to workout, but at the last minute we decided to skip the workout. Instead we drank wine, ate a cookie dessert for dinner, and played Connect Four all night. It was delightful.

But as you can imagine, I was also eager for the Wednesday night workout.

However, when Mr. Lively came to my apartment after work on Wednesday, he didn’t feel like working out. So I grumbled, and headed out the door to workout on my own.

For a while, I was actually a bit upset that he didn’t want to do the workout. After all, I didn’t really “want” to workout that night either; I would have rather cooked and watched tv. But instead, I got myself to the gym to do what I know was best for myself and my intention to stay on track with winter workouts.

Yet I have to admit, after the run I really did feel better physically and mentally. I was glad that I went on my own and completed my intention.

While in the shower, I had a breakthrough;

Having an Accountability Partner is not the same as holding your partner accountable.

My initial frustration over the fact that Mr. Lively didn’t work out was because I was holding him accountable for my own intention to work out that evening.

We had never shared an official plan or intention to help each other workout after the race, but I had been used to the previous routine and assumed that he would share my unsaid intentions. And therefore, I was leaning on him to help me get my butt out the door and workout, despite the fact that we had never discussed it.

I held him accountable for my intention.

Not cool. Not even fair.

The only person I am accountable to with my intentions in any area of my life is myself. I can seek help and support in what I do, but I cannot expect others to fulfill my intentions, without properly dicussing it beforehand. Furthermore, I should be able to craft a vision for my intentions and follow through on my own, regardless of other people. I can lean on myself for the internal motivation and discipline, rather than blame others on my lack of follow through or desire.

Ultimately, my accountability is to myself.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Anni

    So important to remember… I often forget this with cleaning and organizing goals, or my own clean-eating goals.

    Love that you did the Hot Chocolate 15K! It’s my goal to actually (really, truly) take up running this year. I am the worst runner ever, and I always get motivated around this time of year, until I step outside. Any tips for starting/braving that Chicago weather?

  2. Anni

    So important to remember… I often forget this with cleaning and organizing goals, or my own clean-eating goals.

    Love that you did the Hot Chocolate 15K! It’s my goal to actually (really, truly) take up running this year. I am the worst runner ever, and I always get motivated around this time of year, until I step outside. Any tips for starting/braving that Chicago weather?

  3. Jess

    Anni, winter running in Chicago is a challenge, but I recommend getting good, warm gear from Fleet Feet or similar running store (can get expensive, so perhaps find out what you should get from the store and then look online for alternatives?), and sign up for a race (find them via google), or join a running group like Team In Training or Chicago Endurance Sports.

  4. Jess

    Anni, winter running in Chicago is a challenge, but I recommend getting good, warm gear from Fleet Feet or similar running store (can get expensive, so perhaps find out what you should get from the store and then look online for alternatives?), and sign up for a race (find them via google), or join a running group like Team In Training or Chicago Endurance Sports.

  5. Aileen

    I am a runner and I run all year round…outside, because running inside does not feed my passion for running and is boring to me. I used to fall out of my running routine in the winter – I live in Minnesota, and I hate the cold. There, I said it.

    There are two keys for me, the first of which is the right gear/clothes. Layering is key, as well as not wearing cotton (it needs to be wicking or you will get cold when the fabric gets wet – not a fun experience). Runners’s World .com has a really good “What Should I Wear” tool that tells you what to wear based on the weather. I use it all the time. In my experience, the gear is expensive, but it lasts a long time (just don’t put it through the dryer).

    The other key is running in the morning. I am probably a morning person, but, putting that aside, the morning is the only time nothing else will interfere with running. I run at 5 am because I know I will do it and not have any other conflicts (except sleep…). Also, no one says you have to run every day. I run three to four days per week and have trained for every distance up to and including marathons. Good luck!!

  6. Aileen

    I am a runner and I run all year round…outside, because running inside does not feed my passion for running and is boring to me. I used to fall out of my running routine in the winter – I live in Minnesota, and I hate the cold. There, I said it.

    There are two keys for me, the first of which is the right gear/clothes. Layering is key, as well as not wearing cotton (it needs to be wicking or you will get cold when the fabric gets wet – not a fun experience). Runners’s World .com has a really good “What Should I Wear” tool that tells you what to wear based on the weather. I use it all the time. In my experience, the gear is expensive, but it lasts a long time (just don’t put it through the dryer).

    The other key is running in the morning. I am probably a morning person, but, putting that aside, the morning is the only time nothing else will interfere with running. I run at 5 am because I know I will do it and not have any other conflicts (except sleep…). Also, no one says you have to run every day. I run three to four days per week and have trained for every distance up to and including marathons. Good luck!!

  7. Eva

    Hi Jess! I just discovered this myself! My boyfriend loves staying up late… as do I… but I absolutely hate myself in the A.M. and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with getting up. I use to get so upset because I would blame him… but I realized it was my decision to stay up so this week I simply got up from the couch, said good night and went to bed! So simply I just don’t know why it took me so long to figure out!

  8. Eva

    Hi Jess! I just discovered this myself! My boyfriend loves staying up late… as do I… but I absolutely hate myself in the A.M. and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with getting up. I use to get so upset because I would blame him… but I realized it was my decision to stay up so this week I simply got up from the couch, said good night and went to bed! So simply I just don’t know why it took me so long to figure out!

  9. Cara

    This is such a helpful reminder and very well put! I had the same problem with my husband–wanting and needing some support and accountability and finally realizing that I could be that for myself since it was my goal. However, I will say it does help if you have someone to help once you have a kiddo, since there were several months in the summer after my daughter was first born that it was physically unsafe for her to be out in the heat and so I needed someone who could commit to helping watch her so I could go on my run. But that was brief!

  10. Cara

    This is such a helpful reminder and very well put! I had the same problem with my husband–wanting and needing some support and accountability and finally realizing that I could be that for myself since it was my goal. However, I will say it does help if you have someone to help once you have a kiddo, since there were several months in the summer after my daughter was first born that it was physically unsafe for her to be out in the heat and so I needed someone who could commit to helping watch her so I could go on my run. But that was brief!

  11. Rebekah

    I struggle with this as well. Thankfully, we are both fully committed to working out right now. I struggle with keeping myself accountable as well. My advice for running? Sign up or mentally commit to another race. It will keep you on track. It’s what we did after running a 10K in September, and are now training for a Half Marathon in February.

  12. Rebekah

    I struggle with this as well. Thankfully, we are both fully committed to working out right now. I struggle with keeping myself accountable as well. My advice for running? Sign up or mentally commit to another race. It will keep you on track. It’s what we did after running a 10K in September, and are now training for a Half Marathon in February.

  13. Cate

    This is unrelated to accountability (well maybe not) but I just so your note cards on A Cup of Jo! They look wonderful and what a fantastic blog to feature your products!

  14. Anni

    Thanks so much for the advice, Jess and Aileen! Aileen, I can totally relate. I can’t run on treadmills, they drive me crazy.

  15. Anni

    Thanks so much for the advice, Jess and Aileen! Aileen, I can totally relate. I can’t run on treadmills, they drive me crazy.

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