1. Know Where You Start

When you write a new destination on your GPS, you have either two choices. You either put a starting address, or you start from your current location. If you don’t do one of those simple steps, your GPS won’t work. Same goes for your health goals. You might be rolling your eyes right now but so many people come in my office and don’t even know where to start. If you don’t know where you are starting from, meaning body fat, lean muscle mass, weight, or anything that would help you measure progress, how can you know if you are getting close to your destination.

2. Make It Clear and Realistic

“I want to lose weight”, “I want abs” or “I want to get back in shape”. These goals could not be more vague. Losing weight? Losing weight is easy, losing fat needs a plan. You want to be in shape? Round is a shape!

Here are examples of specific goals:

I want to lose 5% of fat in 5 weeks.

I want to gain 5 pounds of lean muscle mass in 3 months.

I want to gain an inch on my arms in a month.

I want to increase my vertical jump by 2 inches.

Measure everything you need to know now, get it all done, and then set a goal. Be honest with yourself. Losing 20 pounds in a month might seem cool to say, but impossible and hazardous to your health in many ways. Be honest, realistic and go for it.

Stick to plan

3. Set Up a Plan

A simple plan should include a timeline. A start date and an end date with some phases in between. Phases would be determined by how long you give your self. 6 months would give you 6 workouts. To keep your metabolism going and prevent adrenal fatigue, alternate between hypertrophy and fat loss circuit phases. The same goes with your diet.

Alternate between higher and lower calorie weeks, higher carbohydrate/low fat weeks alternated with higher fat/lower carb weeks. Many permutations are possible here and this is where trial and error comes in. Measure often and take notes. Stick with what works and discard what does not.

4. Make it About You

Every time someone starts a new lifestyle, it seems like everyone has to pitch in and give his or her two cents. As if everyone is the same and should do the same plan or diet. Listening to others about what THEY are doing and trying to make you believe that it is the best thing for you as well will only set you back. Stay on track by not listening to other opinions. No one knows you better than you.