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8 - Social Accountability - Health Fit Biz


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Human beings are deadline driven creatures.

We get most of the work done right before it has to get done. We need deadlines and we are also influenced by peer pressure.

We can actually use these things to our advantage to make positive behavioral change.

How? Social Accountability

What is Social Accountability?

We all have social media. We have an Instagram account or a Facebook account.

If you have been wanting to do something like make a blog, film some videos, do a podcast, write a book, lose 20 lbs, whatever the thing is that you’ve been wanting to do, you need to make a public announcement to drive change.

We need accountability in our lives.

If things stay hidden away in your brain, that’s a recipe to never really getting it done.


One example right away is to look at my (Ryan) blog The Movement Fix. I made an announcement at the beginning of 2015 that I would make a video post every Monday called Movement Fix Monday. I posted that on all my accounts, sent it out to my email list, and made it the header image on my YouTube page.


Is my header image pretty? No. But it keeps me accountable and it’s perfectly imperfect. 

A second example would be, let’s say, signing up for a marathon. Do you train really hard and THEN sign up for a marathon and then tell all your friends? Hell no. You sign up for a marathon, tell your friends, and then start training.

Human Beings Need Deadlines

We need deadlines to get stuff done, period. If all you do is keep yourself accountable to yourself, you’re missing out on big potential. Here is a graph I made showing the power of deadlines:


Pretty accurate.

Point being, use social accountability to create deadlines, otherwise you get a little burst of stuff done, but you never complete the project and make big leaps ahead.

This Episode’s Challenge

Think about your audience, your goals, and make a public announcement on either Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere so that you get things done!


Episode Transcript


Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back to the Health Fit Business podcast. On this episode, what we’re going to be talking about is the idea is social accountability. One of the most challenging things to do is finish projects or to stay on a consistent basis with completing something like let’s say a blog post or a podcast or a video. Something of that nature. Now luckily, we have the internet. We have the social media. And so, you can use those things to your advantage to use social accountability.

Human beings are deadline driven creatures. We also experience peer pressure so we can actually utilize those things to drive change and modify our behavior in a desirable way. So, for example, one of the things that you can do if you’ve been wanting to do weekly blogging, if you’ve been wanting to do you know lose weight, if you’ve been wanting to get say higher test scores or whatever it is. Make more money, whatever it is. If you use social media and proclaim publicly that I will do xzy on this date or every Thursday, I’ll release a video. Something like that and just put it out there. Now you have peer pressure and deadlines that are going to help change your behavior and drive you. So, that’s what we’ve got in store for your guys on this episode. Before we get in to it though, let me just say if you have not already been to our site healthfit.biz, make sure to head over there and enter your email address. We can stay in touch about all of the cool things we are working on.  So, head over there and without further ado, let’s listen in to this episode.

Ryan: Welcome back to the Health Fit Business podcast. I’m Dr. Ryan Debell.

Anthony: And I’m your host Dr. Anthony Gustin.

Ryan: Co-host.

Anthony: Host. The main host.

Ryan: We’re in your kitchen making strong eye contact.

Anthony: Drinking strong coffee.

Ryan: That is very strong coffee. What are we…? Let me see. This episode we’re going to talk about the power of social accountability.

Anthony: Right.

Ryan: What is social accountability?

Anthony: Social accountability is being accountable in a social way.  Socially.

Ryan: That’s helpful.

Anthony: It’s about setting expectations to others so that you have accountability.

Ryan: It’s actually really powerful, right?

Anthony: It’s extremely powerful so this is a good… A good example of this, for instance, is someone who’s been struggling to quit smoking or to lose weight. When they have their own battle and it’s all internal, super difficult. Right? That consistency is very very tough.

Ryan: Right.

Anthony: But if you have a pool at work and everybody is trying to lose 10 pounds, you don’t want to be that one person left out. You’re setting these expectations to people around you and in your environment to be checking in with you to see if you’re doing those things that you said you are going to do. Right.

Ryan: Unbelievably powerful to have accountability.

Anthony: So, if I just have something in my to-do list that says like “every Monday I’m going to this.” The only person who cares is me. I don’t really care.

Ryan: Right. Very few people have that internal ability. Self-accountability is really hard.

Anthony: It’s a challenge.

Ryan: If it was easy, Netflix wouldn’t be in business because everyone gets tired and they go “let’s just binge watch episodes of whatever.”

Anthony: If it was easy, everybody would do whatever they wanted to do.

Ryan: Right.

Anthony: Because ultimately, it’s just self-accountability. Every decision you make…

Ryan: The world would be a much productive place. Let’s give a concrete example from us. I’ll give an example of me using social accountability. The best example that I have is Movement Fix Monday. Two years ago, I made a public proclamation that every Monday… I said this on the first week of that year on my Facebook page, I said, and on my email list, I said “I’m going to make a video every Monday for this whole year.” So, once you publicly announce it, you are now socially accountable to that and it really changes your behavior because guess what? I made 52 posts that year every single Monday and you know what, if I don’t post it now, I get emails from people. “Where’s Movement Fix Monday?” So, I have people keep me, they keep me accountable but it wasn’t until I took that sort of leap of faith, I guess you could say, by publicly announcing “This is what I’m going to do. This is my plan.” Because you want to live up to that. You don’t want to say this and then fall off the bandwagon. It’s totally different in my head being like “I’m just going to make blog post when I feel like it.” Because you never feel like it. Maybe not never but do I feel like making a blog post every Monday? I’ve been lying if I said yes but because I have the social accountability, I’m like “I have to do this.”  It’s almost like an obligation that I’ve created for myself by using social media and people that are on my mailing list.

Anthony:  Let me ask you this.

Ryan: Okay. Ask away Anthony.

Anthony: Of the first 52 videos that you made, Mondays, how many of those Sundays where you like “Shit! I have to do Movement Fix Monday because I said I have to do Movement Fix Monday.”

Ryan: A lot actually and if I hadn’t have posted it publicly, I wouldn’t have done it to be honest. But there were lot of Sundays where I go “Oh crap! It’s 8 o’clock Sunday. I have to make this video. I have to do it” and I did it because I wanted to stay honest with both myself and the people that, you now, I kind of promised that I would do it for. If you don’t have a plan that you have like publicly stated, it’s really easy to fall of a consistent thing that you are trying to do. Consistency is key as you know.

Anthony: Of course!

Ryan: Consistency is key because one video a week turned out to be 52 videos. That’s a lot.

Anthony: So, this obviously, in your example works very very well for things that you would like to repeatedly do.

Ryan:  Yes.

Anthony: The Movement Fix Monday is a great example of that.

Ryan: There’s also single time events, right?

Anthony: Yes, and so when I was… I wanted to get a certain project on the ground. I wanted to launch a protein powder last fall. I didn’t know where the hell to get what I wanted to get. I didn’t have a product made.

Ryan: You just knew “I want to make this.”

Anthony:  Yeah and I knew what I wanted and what the product should be. So, to all the people that were following I said “Hey guys! This product is coming out on this day.” I had no plan. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know where to get it. I didn’t know how to get it. I didn’t have the money to buy it at that time. There were so many unanswered questions.

Ryan: But you started preselling it?

Anthony: Yes. So, putting that expectations in people’s mind saying “Hey guys! You’re going to be getting this in six weeks” forced me to take actions way sooner and more effectively and more efficiently than I would have otherwise because I needed to get it done then and moving the needle forward. It was the biggest thing on my plate.

Ryan: Human beings are deadline driven creatures. I’m having hard time with words today.

Anthony: Sorry?

Ryan: It’s okay.

Anthony: Get some coffee.

Ryan: Deadline driven. We are deadline driven. If you don’t have a deadline, things would just never get done. But if you have the social accountability either… mine’s a weekly deadline or “Hey I’m going to make this and it’s going to be available on this day” you will do whatever it takes to meet that deadline. It’s pretty incredible how much work, if you could graph out work done per day whether it’s like in a high school or a college or workplace. How much, what percentage of work gets done 48 hours before the deadline has to be met.

Anthony: Right.

Ryan: Probably 90%.

Anthony: The more public you can make those things, the more you’re going to bust your ass to get them done.

Ryan: Did people buy, did you already have those people’s money?

Anthony: Yeah.

Ryan: There you go. You have now not only just the announcement, people have given you money for product that you promised will be available on a certain day. You sure better believe that there’s some serious motivation there because those people hold you accountable and you don’t want to let them down.

Anthony: Exactly. Honestly, another example of this is, we’re both extremely busy people, we want to put out this information so we thought “Hmmm… how can we use social accountability to get these episodes out on a consistent basis?”

Ryan: Release schedule.

Anthony: Yes. So, we are publicly saying everywhere we can, “Hey guys expect this out every Tuesday.”

Ryan: Every Tuesday. Every Tuesday we will post a podcast. Rain or shine. Rain or shine. Why? Because first of all we know that consistency is key and that is true of any business anything that you are trying to do whether that’s exercise, losing weight, body composition changes, success in whatever area of life you’re trying to have success in. If you don’t have consistency, good luck. But we know that if we publicly announce everywhere, we are going to be held accountable. Even whether like it’s not actually real, there’s accountability out there.

Anthony: It’s very real.

Ryan: It is very real. Okay.

Anthony: It’s too real.

Ryan: I retract. I retract my statement. Having it out there is enough to keep us accountable to the consistent schedule.

Anthony: I mean, we can make excuses every time I’m going to say “Hey Ryan! Want to do podcast? Let’s do another episode?”

Ryan: “Nah.”

Anthony: “I have this Movement Fix Monday episode to get out and it’s Monday so I better get on that.”

Ryan: Right, right. But if we both are like “Dude, we got to. It’s Tuesday, we have to have a thing ready. We’ll do it!”

Anthony: Yeah. There’s tons of schedule to, to kind of work ahead and make sure this is done so I mean. We’re prod an episode on batching tasks.

Ryan: Doctor, can you push the button to get the coffee out?

Anthony: Right there. Let it flow.

Ryan: Here we go. It’s flowing. It’s flowing so nice.

Anthony: Okay. We’ll do episodes on how to set up schedule and how to batch tasks so that you’re not every Sunday night for a Monday morning up to get a task. You got to do stuff.

Ryan: Yeah. You’ve got to bulk record it. how many episode do we bulk recorded?

Anthony: 354.

Ryan: Yeah. If you’re not bulk recording, you are really putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself.

Anthony: So, that’s obviously a topic for another day but the most important thing is make it public as possible.

Ryan: Yeah. So, whether that’s like, for Movement Fix Monday, that’s banner of my YouTube page. Like if you go to my YouTube page, the top bar says “new videos every Monday.” I can’t not get any more public. Can we say that on our banner for our Health Fit Biz?

Anthony: Yeah, I think so. If it doesn’t, we’ll change it.

Ryan: By the time you listen to this, it will be up there so figure out, what’s the challenge for this week Anthony?

Anthony: When you guys are thinking about the ten thousand roles and trying to expand and do things to provide more value for more people think about the audience that you want to reach. Even if you have an Instagram page with 15 people, putting out there and saying “Hey guys, I need to do a podcast or a blogpost or post on Instagram every Monday or every Tuesday about whatever topic you want.” Make that as public as you can. Even if you don’t have that identified, let say you have some goal that you want to be reaching post it on Facebook for your friends to see. Say “Hey guys, I just want to put it out there. I want to lose 5 pounds this month.” Period. Enter. Send it.

Ryan: Boom! I think another, before we go, one last great example of this is if you are going to run a marathon…

Anthony: Too long for me.

Ryan:  A half marathon.

Anthony: Too long for me.

Ryan: A 10k.

Anthony: Too long for me.

Ryan: A 5k.

Anthony: Too long for me.

Ryan: A 400-meter run.

Anthony: Not bad.

Ryan: A 4-yard dash.

Anthony: I got it.

Ryan: Whatever it is. Let’s say you’re going to do a half-marathon, you sign up and then you’ll end up being ready but if you wait until you are ready to sign up, you’re going backwards. So, that’s a great classic example. Don’t wait till you’re ready.

Anthony: Yeah and you sign up with friends and you do it with friends.

Ryan: Exactly! Social accountability. You can do it on a large scale because of the internet and that’s very powerful. What are we going to wait and see from everybody?

Anthony: Identify some way you can provide value and make it as public as you can. How would you do that?  Whether that will be a onetime thing or a repeated thing?

Ryan: So, I expect to see a lot of posts out there.

Anthony: Oh yeah!

Ryan: Seven, eight posts?

Anthony: And all you seven people, say “Hey guys, I’m going to do this” and then we’re going to hold you accountable.

Ryan: Yeah. You should take us. Take us in it.  I want to see it. That will be a golden nugget in this area, hidden gem in this episode. If you’re listening to this part and you post something, take us in it so we can see and give you additional high five.

Anthony: Yeah. Double high five.

Ryan: Double high five. Fist bump.

Anthony: Get after it.

Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you find it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.