The BET. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on accountability or to get in shape.
I joined a group… text. It starts with a friend who didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a course that she’d already taken for basically four weeks of accountability. She had the material, knew the workouts, but really just wanted the accountability. So I suggested a bet of $10. Something easily attainable (20 minutes), not enough to burn out, but consistent enough to produce the results of feeling healthier, and starting a positive habit. I said, “The first person to stop/miss pays the other $10.” She replied, “How about….”
Before I knew it, I had joined… or helped co-create, no joined, a mommy fitness group. I was the only one without kids…(apprehension)… it turned out to be FANTASTIC! I had no excuse! None. I couldn’t pull the working card, because I feel like kids = full time job, so I felt like we were on an even playing field, but then there was one girl… let’s call her wonder woman. WW had three kids and a full time teaching career. So, I had to make my 3 workouts a week, because I had no excuse that I could use, that they did not have 1, 2, or 3 fold. If I came close to not getting my third day in, I’d think, no excuse… if WW could find the time, so could I.
It was also nice. At first, the text were a little overwhelming with 6-7 people in the group, but it was nice having a group that would text what they did, and if you were behind, you felt the pressure. Applied pressure, just enough pain to stop the excuses and apply the pain of actually getting out of bed an hour earlier so I could move my body.
Wait, I thought you said only 20 min!?
Yes, but if you wake up an hour earlier than you’re used to, you need an extra ten minutes of grogginess time. Then there’s ten minutes to change, twenty minutes to exercise, and twenty minutes into the time suck vortex of the unknown. And just like that poof the hours gone!
So here’s the “How about…”
What we did:
Method of Communication: Group Text, which on one hand was great b/c it went right to everyone’s phone, on the other hand it was a lot of text.
Exercise Schedule: 20 mins, 3x/week
The Workouts: Anything that pushes the person a bit, within their comfort level. Everyone is at different levels, with different goals, capabilities, injuries, and exercises they enjoy.
The BET: The bet ran in one month cycles. If someone missed getting in 3 work outs, any of the weeks they owed ten dollars at the end of the month to be divided up amongst the people who completed all the workouts. Each week started over, so everyone has to get three workouts done within that weekly time frame. There was no, doing 5 one week and 1 the next. At the end of every month, there would be a meet up, out somewhere, to chat and divide up the winnings.
The Idea Behind the BET: This is not a competition, it’s just about everyone doing better. It’s to help keep each other accountable, reinforce the habit with positivity (and maybe do a little trash talking now and then if excuses start rolling in) and words of encouragement, and help create a healthy long term habit that pushes everyone just a little bit further. It also provides for the chance of self discipline, because let’s face it, this is done mainly on the honor system.
Things I would consider changing:
If we were to do it again, I think I would assign everyone a day to be responsible for. For providing encouragement, checking in on progress, and maybe tallying the day. That way it wouldn’t feel like the same people were the only ones being active, but draw everyone into the process.
Also, I would maybe set a time for the checking in texts; for example, maybe between 7pm to 8pm, so the bulk of the group text would not be during work, but would be during an agreed upon time for everyone.
I would also set a get together at the beginning of the month for the month out, and figure out a style of gathering ($-$$$$, coffee shop- sit down restaurant, alcohol- no alcohol) time, date, and location. That way everyone can have a say, there’s plenty of time to plan, and it will be something to look forward too. Maybe even, if someone’s having a birthday that month, let them decide. The possibilities of the “treat” meet up in the end can be anything agreed upon by the group. Maybe it’s a movie, or a workout class everyone wants to try.
So who thinks they’ll give the BET a try?