The Fat Burning X-Factor: Accountability… How To Unleash It’s Power To Create The Body Of Your Dreams (Part 1)
Note: Published in the private member’s Burn the Fat Inner Circle
Most people understand that a full-blooded physique transformation within a pre-determined time period requires strict compliance to your training and nutrition plan.
However, why is it that some people are able to radically transform their physiques in a short time period while many people make little if any significant progress at all, when given the same amount of time?
Why is it that people who even follow the same program like Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle or Body For Life have widely disparate results?
Could there be an “X-factor” at play here that contributes greatly to the wide variance in results?
I believe the answer is a resounding yes.
What is the X-factor?
If you’re not getting the results you want, accountability may be the edge you’ve been seeking to radically transform your body in a relatively short period of time — even within the next 12 weeks or less.
At its core, accountability is taking responsibility for your actions (or inactions) by making your intentions (semi) public. Through the accountability process, you create positive pressure on yourself to follow through on your goals.
Since November 8, 2006 I’ve successfully completed two fat burning missions. I’ve experienced first-hand the positive effects of holding myself accountable to my goals on each mission.
The pressure I created for myself forced me to follow through and finally achieve the body I had been dreaming of for 6 long years. I firmly believe my accountability plan was THE difference between success on my current journey and the “failure” I experienced during the previous 6 years of attempts to get back into shape. The reason I put failure in quotes is because you never really fail as long as you learn from your experience.
In Part 1 of this article, I will discuss what I learned from my experience and how you can unleash the power of accountability in your own physique transformation journey.
The Accountability Dilemma
Before I discuss how to set up your own accountability plan, there is however, an “accountability dilemma.” The dilemma is that the very act of making your goals public will almost certainly invite skepticism and negativity from some of your friends, peers, “online energy vampires” and even your own family.
Why do so many people seem so intent on attacking other people’s dreams and goals and pulling them down? I’m sure there are many reasons, but most likely, here is the answer:
Once you begin to succeed, other people become acutely aware of their own shortcomings and lack of ambition. They realize that they’ve been standing still, and they fear being left behind as you continue to grow and move ahead of them.
It’s imperative that you consider this aspect of human nature when setting up your own accountability plan by:
(1) Preparing yourself for the slings and arrows or criticism and negativity, as they are definitely going to come your way,
(2) Enlisting the support of at least someone who “has your back,” or
(3) Participating in a group such as the Inner Circle where you know for certain you can broadcast your goals and intentions in a safe and supportive environment.
Mission 1: Overview
The first step in any successful physique transformation mission is to define your parameters. You must get very specific about your goals and your target body statistics like total weight, lean body mass, and body fat percentage.
(For more information on the science of goal-setting be sure to listen to the 2nd and 3rd episodes of Tom’s Burn The Fat Show.)
I have provided below a brief overview of my first mission to give you a specific example of what I mean by defining your parameters.
Time: 12 Weeks — November 8, 2006 to January 31, 2007
Goal: Get a six-pack for my 33rd birthday on February 1, 2007
Reward: Eat a chocolate birthday cake, guilt-free (while sporting six-pack abs).
Accountability: Two-step process (explained below)
My Mission 1: Two-Step Accountability Plan
Phase 1: Internal Accountability – The First 42 Days
Before we go any further, let me distinguish between “internal” and “external” accountability. “Internal” accountability is essentially the act of making your goals semi-public, while simultaneously avoiding negativity from “energy vampires”. This is done to enhance and preserve your self-esteem during the critical early stages of a physique transformation challenge when your self-confidence is just starting to increase.
The three core elements during the first phase of my Mission 1 internal accountability structure are: A blog, daily progress reports and daily pictures.
A blog is a natural fit for documenting a physique transformation journey. By their very nature, blogs encourage you to reveal your inner thoughts, struggles and successes. This can be a very cathartic experience in and of itself. The other benefit is that by posting regularly, you will eventually attract visitors to your blog, which multiplies the accountability X-factor because you know other people are checking up on your progress.
To give you an example, no one read my blog for the first 42 days (which I was actually happy about), but I kept on posting anyway. One day, all of a sudden, BOOM! I had hundreds of readers across the globe due to the success I was having and my consistency in reporting those results every single day. Can you see how powerful this is?
Blogs also have one very important feature…commenting. Getting positive feedback from real people is worth its weight in gold because this adds another multiple to the accountability X-factor. So, even if you have to deal with daily negativity from “offline people,” you now have “online people” who will follow your journey and cancel out some of that negative energy.
2) Daily Personal Journal
Experts on personal achievement, such as Anthony Robbins, have long taught that keeping a daily personal journal of your thoughts is a major factor in determining your rate of success.
While I was skeptical for a long time, and I thought that a workout journal was enough, I now embrace this “personal journal” approach wholeheartedly. When I look back on my journey from where I stand today, I’m most proud of the growth I’ve demonstrated in my most personal posts.
As most people know, the physical changes you experience during a full-blooded physique transformation are merely the outward manifestation of your daily innermost thoughts and feelings (which manifest into actions and results). What better way to express your daily thoughts by journaling them daily — and even sharing them on a public blog?
A daily personal journal is different than a training or nutrition log. Your training journal, while very valuable, is more left-brained in nature as it details your progress through numbers and statistics. Publishing a journal of your daily thoughts and feelings is a much more emotional endeavor. Use both types of journals and see for yourself how powerful an accountability tool a personal journal really is.
3) Daily Pictures
This is the big one! Taking and displaying progress photos has been the major key to my physical transformation. The reason is quite simple. Knowing that I had to take a daily picture of myself pushed me to break through the pain barrier every single workout, every single day, for 84 days.
I mean, who wants to embarrass themselves publicly by not making progress when the pictures are there for the whole world to see? Definitely not me!
Taking pictures may seem like a hassle, but please remember that if you don’t make progress every single day, then when will you make progress? Every “amazing” before and after picture comparison you have ever seen had one thing in common: Between those dramatic “before” and “afters,” that person made a little bit of progress every single day.
Here’s another secret about taking daily pictures: If you want to radically transform your body in a short time period, you need to change the way you mark time. Instead of thinking in months or years, think in days, hours and minutes. This is because a successful transformation takes place on a minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day basis.
A lot of people like to make 1 year, 5 year and 10 year plans. This is a good thing, but only setting long term goals is an approach destined to fail for most people due to procrastination. The only time you have is the present; RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.
Transforming your body is quite literally an ongoing 24 hour a day process. You must schedule your 8 hours sleep, your 16 hours of nutrition, your 1 hour of mind power and your 1 hour of exercise. Then you must put it all together with absolute precision on a daily basis.
Remember, once you have mapped out your success plan, the steps you must take in “real-time” to achieve your goals are the same, whether it takes you 12 weeks, 12 months or 12 years.
Your Phase 1 Action Plan
For the first phase of your journey, I highly recommend implementing all 3 accountability components — the blog, the personal journal and the photos – if you want maximum results in minimum time.
However, I realize that time may be an issue for you due to work and family commitments. If this is the case, I suggest you select at least one of the components and incorporate that into your accountability plan first before moving on to the other two.
I recommend taking daily pictures, for the reasons I discussed above, even if they’re for your eyes only. At the very least, take photographs once every week, not just a 12 week “before” and “after.” I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. However, some people may prefer to start by writing down their daily thoughts in a journal or on a blog instead.
In part 2 of this article series, I will discuss the awesome power of “external” accountability and a strange twist of fate that occurred on Day 42 that may surprise you!
Finally, if you are in any doubt as to the power of this “internal” accountability structure here are my Day 42 pictures below. I made more progress in those 42 days than I had in the previous 6 years.
That’s the power of the X-factor… Accountability.
About the Author:
Adam Waters is a NESTA certified personal trainer, Inner Circle contributor and a real-time physique transformation expert. Adam recently overcame 6 years failed fat loss attempts to get into the best shape of his life at age 33. Adam has documented every day of physique transformation journey in real-time at his blog. This blog includes Adam’s exact weight training, cardio and nutrition plan along with daily progress pictures, video updates and tips on how to overcome adversity.