Step Two- The What and When: What do you want to accomplish and when do you want to accomplish it?

So we figured out the obvious: you want to look better and maximize your sexy! So, now we need to establish what objective goal(s) need to be accomplished in order to realize this subjective dream.Well, from a logistics standpoint and keeping things as cost effective as possible, there are three major ways I track “look better” progress with my clients, in order of importance from least to most important:

1.) Scale Weight: Anyone who knows me knows that this is by far the LEAST important goal, but it gives a number that’s easy to track. Body fat percentage is a much better method of tracking progress, but it is too inaccurate on a small scale and too costly on a large scale. The key is to take your initial weight before you start and then not weighing more than every week or two. Some people do better with tracking their weight every month. There are a lot of variables for controlling your body weight and the natural fluctuations based on diet (and for women, their menstrual cycle), so the less frequently you do this the better.

If the scale is just too de-motivating for you in general, then just skip this one altogether if you must, because the next two markers are far more important.

2.) Dress/Pant Size: This is probably the most simple and effective unused method of tracking whether or not you are on track. It’s safe to say that if you are dropping dress and/or pant sizes that you will be looking better, right? You can also one dress or one pair of pants that you really want to get into since that is the true end goal in mind. I tell my clients to assess how they are fitting in their preferred dress/pant size tracker on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It is very powerful to literally be able to feel yourself comfortably get into clothes that use almost rip when you put on.

3.) Digital Pictures: Pictures don’t lie, that’s the bottom line. If you want to look better, what better way is there to assess it than pictures? I cannot over-emphasize how important this is. Taking a before picture is YOU telling the whole world “I am ready to change and ready to do whatever it takes to make those changes”. Take pictures wearing exactly what you want to look your best in. Maybe it’s taking pictures of you in the dress or pair of pants that you are using to track your dress or pant size. Or maybe it’s a sleeveless shirt and tank top that you want to wear during the summer.

Take a front, side, and rear view picture and be sure to note the exact conditions in which the picture was taken (lighting, distance from camera, time of day/week, etc.) to be as accurate as possible in your assessment. Your before pictures will become your trophy and they are an absolute must if you really are serious about getting results that count. Take new pictures either bi-weekly or monthly until the goal is met.

Step Three- Planning and Preparing for Roadblocks: What are the big obstacles that will prevent you from having the success you desire? What’s contributed most to past failures?We know what you want to accomplish, now it’s time to plan and prepare for obstacles that might get in your way of getting the job done.

The big thing I hear is that people are too busy and tired and don’t have enough time to get their workouts in or make their meals. Well, I don’t care how busy you think you are, there is always hidden time throughout the day and week that can be freed up IF you prioritize. Think back to WHY you wanted to do this in the first place. Remember what’s most important to you. Make your workouts and your meal times just like work appointments. Either you make the appointment or you don’t. And if you want to keep your job (or get your dream body) then you better make that appointment.

Another one is boredom eating or emotional eating. Boredom eating means just that, eating to fill up dead time when you have nothing better to do. Find an active hobby to keep your mind off of eating when boredom strikes and you can beat this habit. Emotional eating describes the use of food to cope with stress or to reward for accomplishment. Food is like drugs or alcohol in this regard, it can be very addictive. There is no quick fix for emotional eating. One way to keep it in check is to plan your meals and follow you plan. If you didn’t plan it, don’t eat it.

At the end of the day, the key is to be honest about potential roadblocks so you can plan and prepare for them. That’s where social support and accountability come into play. My clients who have had the HUGE success have undergone their transformation with the support of other friends or family members. This is critical, especially since most of the poor food and drinking choices that sabotage one’s progress occur on the weekend, when most people hang out with their friend and family. If they are committed with you and your goal to get fit and look better, you can put yourself in a much better position to realize the success your desire and deserve. The last thing anybody needs is sabotage or peer pressure from those closest to you, so get them on board and get them on board early.