You’ve probably heard it a million times – something to the effect of “get an accountability buddy!” or “find someone to work out with/meditate with/do yoga inversions with (you get the point).” But, what’s the basis for these claims? What’s the reasoning behind why, exactly, sharing a wellbeing experience with someone else enhances it for the both of you?
The answer lies in 3 parts: commitment, support, and socialization.
Committing to more than just yourself
You can tell yourself you won’t hit snooze on that 6AM alarm as many times as you want, but if there’s no one around to double check you on it, you might just flip over your phone and snooze yourself back to sleep.
But, if you knew that someone you cared about was counting on you to push past the grogginess and carry through with your plans, you might just think twice.
According to a study conducted by the American Society of Training and Development, making a goal and committing to it with somebody else increases your chance of following through by 65%. 65%!
It makes sense, though. After all, it’s a lot easier to tell yourself you’ll bail on that post-work cycling class than it is to send that text to a friend and be met with disappointment.
We all need a little support sometimes
Setting a goal of any size is hard! Committing to a workout routine, taking strides to better your mind and body – these are no small feats, and certainly not tasks you have to go at alone.
There’s ample research surrounding just how crucial social support is for both physical and mental health. It makes sense, then, that having somebody in our corner, rooting for us and our goals, would only get us that much closer to achieving them.
Imagine if you were to run a marathon. You’d train, work hard, prepare, and do everything you’d need to do to make it to race day. Then, imagine running past your own personal cheering squad – your people – yelling your name, encouraging you, and snapping the very sweaty footage you’ll still want to post when it’s all over. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of push you might need to persevere?
Now, apply that same concept to all goals. Maybe your marathon is penciling in 5 minutes of uninterrupted meditation daily, or trying that new online workout class you’ve been hesitant to venture into. Wouldn’t your cheering section (or cheering person) make you feel more supported to give it your best shot?
We’re social creatures, after all
Another reason why accountability works is because of how innately social human beings are. This goes deeper than the fun we feel laughing with friends over a meal, or the enjoyment we derive out of spending time with family.
This social element of the human experience is, in fact, evolutionary. Cooperation with others is what allows (and has allowed) human beings to both survive and thrive in this world. It’s only right, then, that having somebody to share our experiences with would only make those experiences better.
Every shared workout or joint goal is also an opportunity to share laughter, strengthen bonds, and create memories. Same outcomes as a fun night out, maybe just minus the hangover.
Get somebody in your corner
Whether you want to make lunchtime bootcamp workouts a more frequent habit, or you want to hit a new running PR, get somebody else involved!
Make a commitment to someone you care about, and let them commit back to you. Be one other’s fiercest supporter, and watch each other reach goals you may have never thought possible. It’s all about accountability.
To help you open up the wellbeing experiences you love to those closest to you, Gympass offers the option to add dependents* to your plan. Don’t miss the chance to turn your family members into your best accountability partners.
For more tips and ideas, check out our partner apps! From workouts to therapy, meditation, and everything in between, a Gympass membership can help you start small in the biggest of ways. Sign up today and start flexing your mind, body, and mood.
*Eligibility to add dependents to Gympass accounts varies company to company. Please be sure to check if your company currently allows employees to add dependents.