Commit to Accountability


Several years ago, my former colleague Shonda emailed the entire office. A dedicated runner and all-around athlete, she wrote that she had seriously injured herself and needed to scale back on her activities. She wanted to know if anybody was interested in going for daily walks with her at lunch. Walking was something she could still do, and she thought it would help her build herself back up. It sounded like a fun prospect, so I replied “yes”.

Commit to Accountability

Walking at Lunchtime

The next afternoon at lunchtime, four of us assembled in our building lobby for our first walk. Our office wasn’t far from the White House, so we headed in that direction to do laps around the Ellipse. We walked fast. Someone suggested we try racewalking, so the rest of us complied, pumping our arms hard and taking enormous strides. Being 5’3” and not nearly as fit as the rest of the group, I was breathless and sweating after about five minutes of walking at this pace.

We started going out every day at lunch to walk. Some workdays were busier than others and it wasn’t always convenient for me to take a break, but I enjoyed the time with my colleagues and the intensity of our walks, so I rarely skipped a day. Never had I realized how challenging a walking workout could be! I ended up losing ten pounds after we started our walking regimen, which was not even something I’d intended to do!

Accountability in Achieving Goals

I tell this story to illustrate how important accountability can be in achieving our goals. Walking with a group motivated me to get out there every day to exercise. I wouldn’t have done that on my own, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard as I did when I was trying to keep up with people who were more physically fit than I was.

As we embark on our 8-Week Walking Challenge, I’m hoping you’ll let me and other members of this group provide the accountability for you that Shonda and my work colleagues provided for me. Research shows that people who share their fitness goals with others or specifically choose an “accountability buddy” to keep them on track have a much higher rate of success.

Accountability to Each Other

At the end of eight weeks, we’ll have built a small but mighty community of walkers who feel great, mentally and physically, because of our daily walks. And I hope this habit—and some of the people you encounter in the program—stay with you long after this eight-week activity ends.

Join the Facebook Group and share how you think the group can help you reach your goal.