11 Tips to Hold Yourself Accountable For Exercising in the New Year

Every year, millions of people set themselves up for their New Year’s resolutions. They sign up for a gym membership or start training for their first marathon. Unfortunately, most people stop working towards their resolutions by February.

As a fitness coach, I understand the value accountability can provide someone when working towards their goals. I’ve taken my knowledge and put together a list of 11 tips to hold yourself accountable so you can achieve your exercise goals this coming year.

Let’s dive in!

1. Set Realistic, Actionable Goals

The word “resolution” gives the idea that you have to start a large, daunting goal on the first of January and last through the entire year. A goal with such a long time frame is intimidating, and partly why many people fail before the second month.

Repositioning your resolutions and turning them into actionable goals is more attainable. It requires something measurable with a set timeframe. For example, if your goal for the new year is to exercise regularly, you’re not going to succeed. Instead, set a goal such as:

  • Lose 15 pounds in two months
  • Sign up and complete the half marathon in May
  • Run 1 mile in 10 minutes by June

Throughout the year, you’ll be able to track your progress. This gives you more motivation to keep going.

2. Decide Why You Want This Resolution

Algining your resolutions with your values is crucial. You have to understand why you are wanting to go after these goals in the first place. Ask yourself the question and write down your answers. Maybe you are trying to lose weight to build more self-confidence or to have a longer, healthier life with your children. Get down to what it is you really want!

3. Change Your Mindset

Most importantly, you have to change your mindset. Telling yourself negative things like, “I can’t do it,” won’t hold you accountable. It’ll set you up for failure. Reframing your thoughts starts by telling yourself positive affirmations. Start saying “I can do this,” or even better, “I am doing this.”

A great method is by creating a personal mission statement. This is the thing you’ll tell yourself when you start feeling like giving up. It’s meant to motivate you to keep going and remind you of the bigger goal.

4. Sign Up with a Coach

Sometimes holding yourself accountable means committing to someone else. Working with an online fitness coach means you’ll show up to every single session. With their skills and experience, they can help you develop a unique fitness plan to cater to your specific goals. Plus, they’ll hold you accountable.

5. Make a Definitive Plan

Signing up for a gym membership isn’t a plan. A plan is to create a calendar. You can utilize this to plan your weeks to include strength training, cardio, personal training, and extracurricular activities outside.

Be specific with what types of workouts you’ll do and how many reps. Don’t forget to include rest days. They’re equally as important as your workout days to allow your muscles to recover and avoid any further injuries.

6. Include Milestones Along the Way

On your calendar, set up specific milestones. While you have your end goal in mind, it’s important to set smaller goals, too. If your goal is to be able to run 1 mile in 10 minutes by June, set various milestones for yourself such as running 1 mile in 20 minutes by February and 1 mile in 15 minutes by April. The smaller goals will make your bigger goal feel more attainable and less daunting.

7. Write It All Down

A fitness journal can help you to track various elements such as:

  • Energy Levels
  • Sleep Patterns
  • Moods
  • Nutrition and Diet
  • Workout Reps
  • Cardio Distance and Times

The more you can visually see your progress, the more likely you’ll be to hold yourself accountable towards continuing towards your goals.

8. Celebrate Each Milestone

A reward system is an excellent way to hold yourself accountable for staying on top of your New Year’s resolutions. For each milestone, you reach, pick something that is incentivizing and personal to you. It helps you keep a positive mindset throughout the process and makes your resolutions more fun.

9. Prepare For Your Obstacles

There will be several obstacles that’ll stand in your way from your fitness resolutions. Outside sources could be work or social engagements that take priority over your workout. Internal sources could be procrastination or lack of motivation to get out of bed for your morning run.

Make a list of all the potential excuses and obstacles you may confront. Then, write down what you can do to get ahead of them.

If you don’t feel like you have enough time, schedule a session with your online strength coach to do your workout from home. If you’re struggling in the morning to run, set your clothes and sneakers on the floor on your side of the bed.

10. Tell a Friend, Family Member, or Coworker

The more we keep our resolutions to ourselves, the lower our chance of succeeding. Telling a friend, family member, or coworker about your goals does something to our ego. We don’t want to feel like a failure or seem like a flake, so we work harder to make our goals a reality.

11. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

There will inevitably be hiccups along the way. Setting resolutions and holding yourself accountable isn’t about beating yourself up when you skip a day of working out. Instead, learn from the moments you fell off the fitness wagon. What was your reasoning or excuse? What could you have done differently? Implement what you’ve learned in the coming days.


These 11 tips are just the start. Holding yourself accountable towards achieving your New Year’s resolution doesn’t mean you have to take on the entire endeavor alone.

With the help of the coaches at DeMetz Online Personal Training, we can be the extra support to keep you accountable, too. Schedule your online sessions around your busy schedule and do all of your workouts right at home. Get in touch with our trainers and start putting your resolutions in motion today.

Demetz Personal Training About Nathan Demetz Personal TrainerNathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.

Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!