You’ll often hear me talking about living intuitively. The art of working in unison with your changeable moods and needs each day. But how does that work when holding ourselves accountable? Are they totally separate? Can they live together in harmony?
Intuitive living has become a bit of a buzz word, I am a firm believer in it – and it looks so different for everyone. But a question I am often asked by my clients, is how they can hold themselves accountable at the same time? Admitting some days it is really bloody difficult to motivate ourselves, but ultimately – we know we will feel fabulous during and after…?
Why do we need it?
For as long as I can remember, I lived within the toxic diet / fitness culture. Month after month of frustration, nursed by fad diets and sporadic gym memberships that lasted anywhere from six days to six months, until eventually, my results, or lack there of, lead to more frustration and self hate. A quicker fix needed every time.
It is a far cry from where I am now. What changed? Accountability. I started to put in some real work. Not in the gym, but in my mind – with an honest look the way my actions shaped my internal and external perceptions. What did I genuinely enjoy? What did I need to work on unlearning? How could I sustain a lifestyle that felt good, really FELT good?
I AM WORTH FEELING GOOD.
For me it was clear – I had to give myself some gentle accountability, and some root goals. I started to discourage my internal narrative into saying I should be doing more, what I looked like aesthetically, and instead focussing on what I was doing. Every week, I started to jot down some mini goals. I am talking: try a new class, move with intention, put 10 minutes on the clock, and move in a way that brings joy, continue with things I enjoy. There would be clear goals too, and I started to celebrate the workout, the walk, the dance – not obsessing over calories burnt, but instead on how I felt. Writing little post-it notes after everything I did, with some key words: powerful, strong, at ease, stretched, nourished… These became the things I craved! This is how it became a non negotiable part of my day, and eventually, my business passion.
Pulling away from the toxic ego that this industry had burnt into me from being 10 years old. Who was I trying to prove all of this to? Who was I trying to ‘beat’? It only ever boiled down to damaging myself.
Taking back the power
There is a real power in gentle accountability. Where instead of pushing, striving, and efforting our way into disciplined practice around things we know are good for us (but still don’t end up doing), we let go of the striving and keep the root goal, but approach it in a much kinder way – life is really too short to keep being mean to ourselves, right? With gentle accountability, you are both taking ownership over your daily outcomes, and being compassionate toward yourself about what those outcomes look like.
I am a trainer, as you can well imagine, I hear plenty of excuses, and as a good trainer, my judgement is left elsewhere. But I do notice patterns in behaviours – we are all really similar – and over time and with some gentle accountability, encouragement and ultimately taking complete ownership and responsibility for our own sustainable growth, we become so much more in tune, and at ease with our individual journeys. When we honestly start to show up, see ourselves and our truths, even the excuses, without judgement, and acknowledge our self worth, it is a power like no other.
- Write down your root goals, and try to steer away from them being about the way you look, or numbers. Eg: stronger, healthier heart, feeling mentally healthier.
- Acknowledge the difference between an excuse, and intuition. Eg: I will not train today because it is cold outside > I won’t workout outside today, but I think I will feel better moving, so I will do a gentle indoor stretch or workout instead, because of my root goal XYZ.
- Share & talk. I am not talking before and afters, or scale numbers lowering, but sharing your ongoing journey is proven to increase likelihood of sustainability, AND it can be really fun and useful! Even the struggles. You’d be surprised how many people feel the same as you do now.
- Shadow work. Be honest with yourself, and try to acknowledge when you’re feeling a certain way, why, and what they may mean for you, without judging yourself.
I’d love to know if this blog was helpful, and if you incorporate intuitive living / gentle accountability in your life?