Before I moved to college, I was made aware of what they called the ‘Freshman 15’… the notorious 15 pounds that all freshmen gain from the school cafeteria which assumed no one under the age of 20 know how to fry an egg at home. It was open 18 hours of the day and insured at least 15 pounds to any freshmen with a pulse.
I was in my first year of college in 2013. I had applied to my particular university because of it’s renowned women’s rugby team. Through the course of the year I had become a starter on this team. I was learning the power of good habits and the benefits of exercise and accountability. I was extremely fortunate to have a rigorous structure set up for me in my first year of college. My five roommates, however, were all doing everything they could to avoid the freshman 15 on their own. An exercise bike found it’s way into the apartment entry way as one girl tried to work out before school. Others tried tennis or occasional yoga. The memory that sticks out to me the most however, was my roommate Emily. She had faithfully begun the set of P90X exercise DVDs that she’d received for Christmas.
Two weeks into her routine, I walked into the living room and kitchen to make breakfast. I found her sitting on the couch with a bowl of cereal watching her P90X workout. At the time I found it hilarious… to be honest I still do.
However, there is a lesson to be learned, and a point to the story. What Emily lacked along with the rest of my roommates, was accountability. She had no one to which she was accountable. Had I shown up to practice and sat on the sidelines while my teammates ran suicide laps, I would have been kicked off the team. I had support system of 20 women and my coach. Emily and the roommates had no one. If they wanted to drop the pursuits of their new habits, none of us would have thought less of them or cut them from our social circle.
This week I want to give the challenge of accountability: find a system of accountability for the habit you’re trying to form.
This is vital to creating habits that stick.
Written by Emma and Karl Pister