The importance of accountability 


I gained 10 pounds since moving to France this year (Freshman 15 -> French 15?). As much as I can blame the buttery croissants and odd work hours (night meetings with the US), it still doesn’t change the fact that I was getting out of shape. When forming goals for 2016, “exercise 3x/week” was one of my top ones. I was doing well for a couple of weeks, but soon my social calendar became full with dinners, happy hours, and meet-ups. It was easy to tell myself, “I’ll just run extra hard tomorrow” then end up skipping again.

After eating like a queen in Seattle and returning to Paris with some serious jetlag, we decided to take advantage of the time-change and started exercising every morning at 7:00 am. One month in, it’s still a struggle to wake up early (Tyler literally drags me out of bed some mornings), but I feel so much more productive throughout the day.


I’ve tried various behavior change methods in the past, including BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits program (which got me to floss my teeth every night!) However, nothing has been more effective towards achieving bigger goals than having human partners to keep me accountable. Every day, Tyler accompanies me to run, swim, or even do blogilates. I’m now up to 100 push-ups/week (while Tyler crushes me at 1000), when I could barely do 1 before.

For me, it’s not about calorie-counting (I’m way too lazy for that, plus it takes the fun out of food); it’s about how I feel about myself and my confidence in achieving what I set out to do.

One of my best friends in Seattle, Ashwini, also proposed we send each other weekly goals every Monday. This ranges from simpler tasks like “call my grandparents” to harder ones like “write a plan for my new side project”. Neglecting a task now results in letting myself down and letting my friend down. It’s a great motivator.

Find a goal-buddy and give it a try!