Daily victory is crucial to New Year’s resolution success. Each day that passes without movement towards the goal diminishes the emotional commitment, and increases the odds of failure. That’s how the weight loss bubble bursts for so many people.

To help my readers stay on track, avoid thge bursting resolution bubble, or patch it up and re-inflate ( it’s never too late ), I will share with you my Five Steps To Health and Fitness Success in 2014 :

1. Define ( or re-define ) your weight loss and fitness goals, and WHY they are important to you.

As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche says, ” He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how “. Is your weight loss goal motivated by a fear of disease, a desire for more confidence and self esteem, to be a good role model for your children, to be more attractive and desirable to your spouse? Isolate the core emotional reasons why, list them out, tape to your bathroom mirror and refrigerator, and read them each day.

2. Find your starting point. Take  “baseline” measurements of your weight, blood pressure, body mass index, body fat percentage, resting heart rate, and circumference of your waist, hips, arms, and thighs. Have someone you trust take a picture of you in your bathing suit or revealing exercise clothing. Don’t be shy. This picture, even more so than even your weight on the scale, will motivate you to stay on track. All of the other measurements can be performed by a competent fitness professional, your doctor, your spouse, or even a friend with the right tools. Anything that is measured and watched consistently improves. In order to gauge progress, measurements should be documented each week. Keep in mind, that as you begin to exercise, bodyweight rarely changes at the rate we hope, but other measurements will. Use them as motivation.

3. Design a comprehensive program. This is where a certified fitness professional is irreplacaeble. Books, magazine articles, and other generic guidance will not suffice. A personalized program addressing the specific needs of the individual is highly recommended, as everyone is different. Most certified personal trainers offer program design independent of their training services. Although there is no substitute for the continued guidance and accountability a good personal trainer can provide, an inexpensive starting point is to have the trainer create a comprehensive program including both exercise protocols and nutritional recommendations.

4. Get your daily victory. It may be as simple as repacing the fast food breakfast with oatmeal and banana, or walking up the stairs, rather than taking the elevator. All that is important, is  consistent, daily progression towards the goal. Do not allow even one day to pass without a victory, and soon the willpower and discipline to succeed becomes second nature. TIP : use a daily journal to record everything eaten, all exercise performed, and the positive feelings associated with those victories.

5. Regularly re-assess and reward. Measure your progress each Saturday. If you were disciplined throughout the week, you will notice incremental changes, and you can ( and should ) reward yourself on Sunday by enjoying a favourite treat ( like pizza or chocolate – but no gorging, please ), even if it’s not supportive nutrition. Do be certain to get your daily exercise victory to sustain momentum – even if it’s just performing five minutes of basic calisthenics or walking. Knowing that you have one reward day per week gives you something to look forward to, eliminates feelings of “mourning” over perceived loss, and keeps the resolution bubble from bursting.

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