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Want to lose weight and get healthy?

Make your goals a reality this year!

It’s a new day! EwellAfrica wants to encourage you to transform your life and make your dreams a reality this year.
We all have things we want to do this year, ideas we want to explore, to do lists we want to work through; we start out the year making great resolutions about how we are going to lose weight, rearrange our priorities, maximize our talents and more. However what often happens is that we start out strong but lose steam somewhere along the way. Here at EwellAfrica, we have discovered some tips to help you accomplish your goals and we plan to share them with you as the year progresses.

The first tip is: Get an accountability partner.

What is an accountability partner? An accountability partner is someone who helps you stay on track with the goals that you have set for yourself. The relationship can be two way, where you both check each other or one way where they only check you.
The idea is not a new one; it is one that has been utilized in various industries and organizations. Many religious leaders use this model to help them stay focused on their beliefs and not stray into temptation, business people use this so they don’t get off track or lose momentum as they deal with day to day issues. It is also an effective tool in managing one’s health.

Many Africans, like ourselves tend to act as if life is something that happens to us, as if we have no say in the matter whatsoever. Now this is true in cases of car accidents or cancer or other tragedies that have robbed many of long life, but we do have a responsibility to do all we can do for ourselves. When we ride in a car, we may not be able to control the other drivers but we can drive safely within the speed limit and put on our seat belts. Likewise, we may not be able to prevent cancer in its entirety but we can be empowered with information about carcinogens and be mindful about what we put in and on our bodies. We may not even be able to stave off diabetes or high blood pressure but we can reduce our risk factors for the disease. An accountability partner helps us keep focused on our responsibilities and our goals.

How does it work?
1. Schedule a regular meeting time with your partner or partners, you can have more than one, in fact some people do it as a group and encourage one another, almost like a support group. When you meet the first time, discuss your goals and create an action plan to make it happen.
2. Discuss the way that you would like him or her to be your coach. Are you a tough love kind of person? Does someone being harsh with you get you going or shut you down? Are you someone who needs gentle encouragement with lots of positive reinforcement? What is your partner’s style of communication?
3. Commit to meeting at a certain frequency and commit to allowing yourself to submit to their authority over a certain period.

How does one choose an accountability partner?
You really can’t just pick anyone to be your accountability partner, for the process to work, the person has to be someone who can help keep you on track and so that person has to have a combination of a number of factors.

1. Influence: You need to choose someone who has some influence over your behavior. Someone whose opinion matters to you. If you choose someone who is too afraid to tell you the truth, clearly it will be a waste of time and if you choose someone who when they tell you the truth, you will ignore their pleas then it is also a useless exercise. Find someone who when they talk, you actually listen and whose opinion you truly value.
2. Ability: Choose someone who has an understanding of the goals that you are trying to achieve. Telling someone who has no concept of healthy eating that your goal is to eat healthier this year and that you want them to hold you accountable won’t really hold water, because when you tell them that you over indulged in ice cream and have fallen off the wagon, they will say “no problem, next time call me when you are headed to Ice cream factory”. Choose someone who knows where you are trying to go and understands how to get there.
3. Ready: Choose someone who is ready to be your partner. Someone who has the time to devote to you and the energy that it will require. You may have a friend who has influence over you and knowledge about your situation but she is in the middle of starting a new business. While she has the above two factors, she simply doesn’t have your time at this point in her life. Just as someone who just had a life changing event, like a new baby or change in marital status is not ready either.

Utilize these three factors as a guide to choosing your accountability partner and work with them in the appropriate manner and you will find that you are well on your way to achieving your goals! Bon Voyage!

About Ekene Onu

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