Daily victory is crucial to fitness and fat loss 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 you stay on track, avoid the bursting weight loss bubble, or patch it up and re-inflate (it’s never too late), here are my Five Steps To Health and Fitness Success:

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 fat percentage, body mass index, 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, possibly 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 or even your spouse or friend with the right tools. Anything that is measured and watched consistently, improves. In order to gauge progress, measurements should be documented once a month. Keep in mind that as you begin to exercise, body weight 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 irreplaceable. 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 consistent 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 replacing the fast food breakfast with oatmeal and apple, 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. Review this often to re-charge your motivational batteries.
5. Regularly re-assess and reward. Measure your progress on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on your goal. However, the scale is not the most accurate measure of progress, at least not in the beginning. At the outset it’s best to focus on inches lost, or even just how your clothes fit. If you’re consistently putting effort toward your goal (seek progress, not perfection) you will notice incremental changes and you can, and should reward yourself on Sunday by enjoying a favorite treat (like pizza or chocolate – you know how it goes, just don’t overdo it) even if it’s not supportive nutrition. 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 weight loss bubble from bursting.

Follow my five steps and you’ll finally be able to reach your fitness and fat loss goals, even if you’ve failed in the past!

Author's Bio: 

A personal trainer with over 10 years experience and hundreds of success stories. Having appeared as a fitness expert on CTV’s Canada AM, Conor is known for his highly acclaimed “Stop The Confusion!” presentation, in which he teaches audience members how to reclaim their attractive, healthy, energetic body…once and for all!