Do You Need External Accountability?

by | Sep 20, 2017 | Blog

I got an email yesterday that I addressed in the Mindset & Motivation Master Class. When I read it, I was instantly struck by just how different the Fat Loss Fast Track is.

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Here’s what part of the email said…

A book by Gretchen Ruben that discusses The 4 Tendencies, was really interesting. I took her accompanying quiz and realize that I’m an “Obliger“. Having read more about this, I believe it’s one reason why I have a hard time “just doing xyz” or feeling like I have zero motivation when it comes to ME. Obligers: meet  outer  expectations,  but  struggle  to  meet  inner  expectations.  They’re  motivated  by external  accountability;  they  wake  up  and  think,  “What  must  I  do  today?”

My point is that I bring 110% at work, at the gym, having due dates in college, etc. This perspective helps me understand my struggle with personal consistency when it comes to expectations I set for MYSELF.

In your FLFT, I really appreciated the basic expectations you put down for us. I’m wondering if (for Obligers like me) some sort of tangible accountability would help improve with consistency and motivation?

Here’s what this boils down to: you keep promises you make to yourself or you don’t. If you don’t, I want to help you change that, not just make you accountable to me. I want to help you solve the problem, not avoid it.

I don’t personally believe that someone is a certain way & that way can’t be changed. Maybe in the past you haven’t kept promises you’ve made to yourself but that isn’t who you are. It’s what you’ve done. It’s a past pattern of behavior. Not an identity. There’s a difference.

So, if I’m working with someone who breaks the promises they make to themselves, I’m not going to respond by saying, “okay, well, make a promise to me and see if that external accountability works better.”

No. I’m going to say, “We need to look at how you’re justifying breaking the promises you make to yourself. That’s where our work is.” That’s the change we need to tackle.

I am here to teach you to fish, not to give you a fish.

Because ultimately, for success in finances, fitness, career and just about every arena, we will do far better if we develop the ability to keep promises we make to ourselves. In fact, we should work towards valuing those promises more than we value the promises we make to others!


With the Fat Loss Fast Track launch kicking off last night, I didn’t workout this morning but instead went to a mid-day class. I needed to use the morning to catch up on some work stuff but that didn’t mean I couldn’t workout later.

I go to the gym around 12:15pm for a great strength workout.

Pausing Front Squat – Build to Heavy Single
Front Squat – Build to Heavy Single

“Doubled Over” 
15 Abmat Sit-Ups
30 Double Unders

It was a quick workout but I really love heavy barbell work and all forms of squatting, so I was a happy camper.

On the food front:

Since I didn’t workout at my normal AM time, my food routine was a little bit off. I had my cabbage salad bowl around 9am and worked straight through until my workout.

From the gym I went to visit my mom & grandmother. I wasn’t hungry after the workout so I stopped to get a coffee for the road.

There’s a new Whole Foods between my house and my grandma so I checked it out on the way home and got chicken thighs and some prosciutto wrapped basil & mozarrella. I snacked on those while getting ready for the final Motivation Master Class tonight! I hope to see you there!

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