Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Why accountability is important for your health goals…and how a Health Coach can provide that accountability.

Bethany Wood
Jul 6 · 5 min read

Accountability is the condition of having to answer, explain, or justify one’s actions or beliefs to another. Accountability is a composite of numerous factors: being held responsible for one’s actions, presence of another, evaluation by an audience, and providing validation for one’s behavior.” — psychology.iresearchnet.com

Accountability is something that everyone benefits from. As human beings, we have a strong need and desire to be evaluated positively by those in our surrounding social groups. Sometimes this can become a detriment when we constantly feel the need to perform or hide the true version of ourselves in order to conform to social ideals. However, in many ways, we can use this natural human desire to be positively evaluated as a way to hold ourselves to our health goals.

When we know that a particular audience or person is going to be evaluating our performance or progress in any area of our life, we are more likely to take greater care in our research, think more carefully about our decisions, and put more effort into reaching our performance goals.

When an idea comes to us for a health goal that we would like to achieve for ourselves, there are different commitment & accountability levels where we can take that goal:

  1. Set a specific intention to do or achieve that goal
  2. Come up with specific action steps to achieve that goal
  3. Decide when and how you will do those action steps
  4. Tell those in your life that you will be starting this new goal
  5. Take action towards this new goal on your own
  6. Commit to a specific person that you will follow through on this goal
  7. Take the next step of not only committing to a specific accountability partner/group or coach, but investing time, energy, & money into having specific accountability appointments with that partner or coach.

With each step up this commitment & accountability ladder that you take, you increase your chances of accomplishing your health goals.

Why is it important to have a small accountability group or a one-on-one accountability partner or coach? People usually feel a greater sense of personal responsibility in a smaller group setting or one-on-one coaching. An article from psychology.iresearchnet.com states,

“The presence of others does not always increase accountability. As group size increases, accountability can decrease. Through a process called de-individuation, people lose their sense of self and become an inseparable part of a collective group. As group size increases, each individual member becomes less identifiable and consequently perceives him- or herself as less accountable for the actions of the group.”


So what is a Health Coach and how does having the accountability of one help you reach your health goals?

A health coach is someone who sees your hidden potential, is invested in your growth, believes in you, and maximizes your performance by encouraging you in your health goals. Health coaching is a holistic approach to wellness, looking at all aspects of a person’s life that impact their health, not just the food that they eat or their physical health. You can think of them as a combination of a life coach + health educator & mentor + accountability partner.

Most people already know actions that they could take to improve their health. We know our bodies better than anyone and we intuitively know the areas of our life that aren’t serving us. Accountability and resources are usually the areas in which we are lacking when it comes to our health goals.

When you sign a contract with a fitness coach, a life coach, a health coach, or any other sort of wellness educator & mentor, you are immediately much more invested in accomplishing your goal. You are not only making a monetary investment, but you are also signing up for structured guidance, loads of resources, and schedule accountability appointments.

How do I personally use accountability in my health coaching? I’m committed to my clients and invested in their personal health success.

I’m sure all of us have had experience with asking a friend or family member to be an accountability partner in some area of our life. Even though this can sometimes work out well, oftentimes, life gets busy for both of you and the level of commitment that they have to hold you accountable can waver. This isn’t because they don’t want to support you or see you do well, but it’s not their job or direct responsibility to hold you accountable. As your health coach, it is my job and responsibility to hold you accountable. I’m personally invested in helping you reach your goals and creating space in your life for greater joy and wellness. When you sign a contract to be one of my clients, you are also committing to a more serious monetary and time investment in reaching your personal health goals. That alone is a huge motivator for most people.

I get to know you and personalize my support to you.

Through one-on-one individualized coaching, I put a lot of emphasis on getting to know you as a person and understanding what motivates you best. I will cheer you on and celebrate all of your wins, big and small. I will also push you past your comfort zone when needed and be honest with you.

I’m on the health journey too.

Once you start on the journey to better health and holistic wellness, it’s an ongoing lifelong commitment to yourself. I’ve been through my own health struggles and I know how hard it can be sometimes to choose to love and support yourself through those moments. Because of my commitment to my own health, I’m constantly researching new health-related topics, learning new approaches to healthy lifestyle changes and sharing these discoveries with my clients. I struggle to meet my own goals too, everyone does. That’s just life and human nature. I’m invested in you because I’m invested in myself as well.

I coach you from a goal-focused place.

At the beginning of our coaching, I have all my clients create clear goals. We use these goals to create action steps that guide the program. I help to keep you focused on your goals, to know when to break your goals into bite-sized chunks, and how to get re-inspired when the motivation comes and goes.

I coach with an emphasis on vulnerability and self-love.

I believe shame is an extremely damaging thing, so I will never coach from a place of shaming my clients. I’m a huge fan of author Brene Brown, Ph.D, LMSW. She specializes in shame and vulnerability research. I love this quote from her.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” — Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

If you would like to find out more about health coaching, you can visit my website: bethanywoodhealthcoach.com

Bethany Wood

Written by

Helping people transform their relationship with food & their bodies. www.bethanywoodhealthcoach.com ,IG & Twitter: bethanywood.healthcoach & @BHealthcoach

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