Make Sure Someone Holds You Accountable.

I’ve only ever lost weight once — from 2012 to 2013, when I decided to compete against my Dad in a $1,000, winner-takes-all competition we called The Belly Challenge. It worked for a few reasons:

1) I didn’t want to lose to my Dad, and I definitely didn’t want to write him a check.

2) I moved into a building with a gym on the ground floor, so I never had the excuse that it was too cold outside to go to the gym, or too far away.

3) I was living in Columbia, Mo., and Springfield, Mo., working a ton, and too busy to drink much.

But mostly, one thing changed that helped me lose the weight: Other people started holding me accountable for my actions.

That was the year I started working out a few times a month with a personal trainer. Having someone there to push me and encourage me really helped — I was willing to try workouts that I would never have tried without a workout partner. I also tried harder knowing that someone was watching (and judging!) me. With someone else there for my workouts, I couldn’t be lazy, and I couldn’t quit.

The other thing that helped: Dad and I held each other accountable. I’d text him after my workouts, and he’d text me after mine. If I found out that Dad had gone for a long bike ride or a swim, I knew I needed to make time for the gym, too. One of us couldn’t let up if the other one was still working hard.

Accountability is what I love most about working with a team — your colleagues are the ones who hold you accountable and make sure you’re performing at the level you’re capable of. They can encourage you when you need help, and help push you to do better work. They can be honest with you when your work is holding the team back.

It can be hard to take on big tasks on your own — but with a team, a shared set of goals, and a sense of accountability, you can really do great work.


That’s me and Dad, back in 2011 before we started The Belly Challenge.