I trudged up the porch steps and into the house, dripping with sweat. I plopped on the couch, and grabbed whatever discarded piece of laundry was in reach to wipe the sweat dripping down my temples.
Why am I doing this to myself?
Because when I complete my work out, I can text my friend—“Done! How was your run?”
And she’ll reply—“You rock! Mine was great—did 2 miles today!”
Together we are encouraging and holding each other accountable to train for a 5K we’ll run together next month.
How I’ve embraced the power of accountability…
In that last year I have experienced growth and joy in some of key areas because I finally figured out we’re not supposed to go it alone. Accountability works for:
- Blogging — A year ago now I formed a small, private fb group with some of my closest bloggy friends. We support and encourage each other in our shared passion and now a friend who understands this side of me is just a phone call away. In fact, I called one of the Ladder Bloggers just yesterday and asked, “how do you find time to write when real life seems to take over?” She share with me something she’s observed lately—that serious writers rise early, work out, have time with the Lord, and write before their kids get up. It was a good reminder, and what do you know? That’s what I did this morning, and why I finally got a post up on the blog this week!
- Motherhood — This spring a mom I highly respect started a mom’s get together once a month, reading through Sally Clarkson’s “Mission of Motherhood”. It has been such an encouragement to be real together and pray for each other. I honestly don’t know how I got along without this regular nourishing of my mother’s heart and the support of another mom just a phone call away.
- Walking with my Father — Last September a dear friend offered me the opportunity to study the Bible together via skype once a week. I was desperate for accountability to be in the Word, but had no idea the impact our faithful gathering of two would have on my relationship with God. I know Him and love Him and trust Him more than I ever have before, due in a large part to these weekly dates with my sister in the Lord.
How I’m applying accountability to my hips…
When I realized that our summer of traveling had caused me to gain weight and this mommy was jiggling in way too many places, I knew I needed to seek accountability in the area of getting fit. Now, I believe that you…
…so I know the weight would drop off as soon as I got back on a more nourishing diet, but I was struggling with the jiggling that was going on, and my apparent inability to maintain a consistent work out.
That’s when a friend mentioned the 5K race for our local Christian radio station’s Fall Sharathon. I had never desired to run a race, but I suddenly realized what a great way it was to get in shape: I’d be working toward a tangible goal and a set deadline (the race was 7 weeks away), and I’d be doing it with friends. Perfect.
Are you ready to change?
Do you have a goal that’s forever staying out of reach? Are your New Year’s Resolutions a smoldering pile of shame about now? We were never supposed to do life–whether it’s parenting, eating right, or walking with God–alone. You need to surround yourself with people who are striving for the same goals you are. Did you notice how many times I mentioned the word ‘friend’ in this post, and what an impact my friends have had on me in the last year?
It’s time to asses—do the people you spend the most time with (friends, family, co-workers) discourage and drag you down, or do they inspire you? Do you feel alone, or do you feel like you’re part of a team? Have you ever experienced the encouragement and power of accountability? Growth happens when we intentionally choose to spend time with people who inspire us. (<–Tweet this!)
Please—don’t give up! Try again with a different tactic: do it with friends!
A few opportunities for you to embrace accountability–with me!
- I’m doing the Milk Cure again this fall—for two weeks this time! (I really feel the need of a cleanse after too much road food, and I also know it will help me lose that extra 15 Lbs. I picked up somewhere…) I’ll be starting Sunday and going till Saturday, the 22nd—I would love for you to join me for any or all of it! I created a Facebook Event so we can cheer each other on and share our experiences—there are 5 of us already!!! (feel free to join even if you’re not ready to do the cure–you’re welcome to just observe!)
- The 5K I’m running is in Bath, NY, and it’s for a great cause! (God-glorifying, family-oriented programing and ministry throughout NY and PA) I’ll be running it with several of my friends, and would love to see you there! Visit the fln.org/5k or the facebook page for the event for more information. (BTW—I downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my husband’s smart phone to help me train and I love it!)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” –Hebrews 12:1a
Where’s your cloud of witnesses?
Found your site from 100 days of real food!
1. I immediately went out for a run after reading this. I was already in my running clothes, but it was starting to get dark. Thanks for the inspiration to just do it!
2. I read about the milk cure and now all I can think about is milk. That sounds like heaven…the first time I had “real” milk it was such a life-changing moment – no exaggeration.
3. You say you’re in the Fingerlakes area, I’m in Syracuse. About how far are you?
Ok, that is all for now…off to buy your book…
Emily, love your list! (I’m a list person, too :))
We’re just over an hour from most points in Syracuse. I’d love to meet you sometime!
Speaking of milk, it’s time for my bedtime pint… 😉
Accountability is the key for me too. Esp. when I want to procrastinate… 😉 I have a couple of friends who have helped me along with memorizing Scripture, reading the Bible, little projects, photography challenges, etc…
And all my friends motivate me in one way or another 🙂
Accountability is so important! I have needed it so often. And it is so helpful with fitness too! I started the C25K program on my own a few years back. It was good, but no one was keeping me accountable. Last year I joined a 5K (and then 10k) training program, and the accountability built into that group was AMAZING. Now, I’m looking at my first Half Marathon in two weeks!!! I could never have done this without God and other people helping me on the way. What a powerful reminder!
And good luck running the 5k for FLN!
Trina Holden says
Jolene, wow! It does sound like you’ve benefited from accountability! A half marathon…wow. I’m cheering you on!
Have fun! I admire all the runners out there, but I’ll stick to my recumbent bike!
Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm says
Trina, thank you. Because of something you wrote on your blog, I formed an accountability group of artistic women. There are, currently, six of us, all over the world and a seventh has been invited. We’re less than a week old and all of us have already been encouraged and encouraged; received support and supported, been tucked into prayer and prayed for not only the women in the group but others…family, friends, etc.
We announce goals on Monday, do an update on Friday and, throughout the week, chime in to say how we’re doing.
I’m going to ask my neighbor up the valley if his cow is fresh; if so, I’ll join in a week’s milk cure.
But now, think I’ll go to my Six Muses group and ask if anyone would like to join me in exercising three or four times a week.
God bless you, Trina and thanks, once again.
Trina Holden says
Sandra, I LOVED this story! I’m so glad you were inspired to start this group–I can promise you, it’s going to be wonderful!
Ah – thank you for reminding me about how important accountability is! I have always done so much alone. But there’s some things in my life right now that I just know would really make a positive difference if I had someone to be accountable to! God bless you Trina! 🙂
This is so good. I am constantly amazed at how much more I can do with a little accountability than without. Being pregnant right now, I’ll have to skip the milk cure and the 5K (although I’m still jogging a little, even now!), but maybe you’ll do it again next year and I can join in to help lose this baby weight!
Elizabeth–you go! jogging while preggo! You inspire me!
I loved the milk cure so much, I plan to make it a regular part of each year–spring and fall. I look forward to doing it together someday!
Trina when I click the link for the face book group, I get an error message…
Katharine–thanks for the heads-up! I think I fixed it, but if it still doesn’t work for you, I am going to try creating a different type of page for the group. Let me know!
Yes- accountability is key! Good luck with your 5k- you are a braver woman than I! 😉