Just as you must properly prepare for a hike, you also have to prepare for a lifestyle change. The nutrition plan in this book will provide lots of solid concise information to change your lifestyle and to change your body.  However you must be disciplined and follow the steps and commit yourself to the process.  It only takes 30 days or less to form new habits and you have to practice all the steps daily for them to become habits.

This takes hard work but just like getting to the top of the hill and enjoying the view, you too will enjoy your new body and your new life.  If you commit to it and stick with it through the easy times and the tough times the rewards will be priceless!

Commitment to success is crucial.  Perseverance is key and you must give it your best every day.  Focus on one new positive action each day.  If you make a mistake do not linger, simply move on to the next positive action.   You should make proactive affirmations to yourself every day.  For example:  “today I’m going to make good food choices.”   “Today I’m going to exercise well for 30 minutes.”   “Today I’m going to be healthier and lose weight.”  

In addition to this, do daily visualization activities.  Visualize what you will look like when you make the changes and lose the weight.  Visualize yourself eating a nutritious meal and feeling full of energy.  Visualize yourself finishing a hard 30 minute workout and feeling great.  Visualize yourself feeling young and vital, enjoying time with your family.  Do this every day because in order to change the outside you have to change the inside.   Affirmations and visualization are vital to your success.

When hiking a trail you often have to take some alternate paths or cut throughts.  In a similar fashion you may have to make some adjustments with your new lifestyle program.  The general trend will be up but you may have to make short-term changes or tweaks in the program to keep moving in the right direction.  You may make mistakes but don’t let that deter you from moving forward and making continual progress. 

There is no failure only feedback!  Fail forward, learn from your mistakes and use this knowledge to tweak and make changes to your lifestyle nutrition and fitness program to make it better for you.  Each individual has their own program; you will need to individualize it for yourself.  Track what you eat and what you do every week and assess how you feel after any changes you make so that you can make the appropriate modifications.  If you feel good and the changes you want are happening continue the current program.  If not make one change at a time and re-assess your results and how you feel. 

Goal-setting is a crucial tool for your success as well.  Write down your goals and be as specific as possible. make a goal of losing a certain amount of weight, running a certain amount of mileage, or fitting into that dress, or wearing a certain size of pants. Write down your goals and make them SMART:   specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible.  Here is one example of how to set a SMART goal for weight loss.   Use any wearable fitness device to see how many calories you burn a week by exercising. Let’s say it’s 1,000 calories.

Now you want to bump up the calorie burn. For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is:  “I will walk enough to burn at least 1,250 calories through exercise this week.”

Specific. Rather than simply saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” you’ve specified how many calories you’ll burn.

Measurable. Your device will track the calories you burn, so you’ll clearly know when you succeed.

Attainable. Since you’re already burning 1,000 calories a week through exercise, bumping it up a bit should be manageable. To burn 1,250 calories, you’ll need to add about one extra workout.

Relevant. Exercise is of course vital for weight loss! So exercising more fits into your larger weight loss plan.

Time-bound. This is your goal for this week, period. You can choose to pursue this goal again next week, or you can set a new goal. It’s easier to commit to a goal, and be successful, if you do it for a set amount of time.

Break up larger goals into smaller goals and track them on a weekly or monthly basis.   Use pictures as well.  Take a picture of yourself now and put it in a prominent place you will see all the time to motivate you to reach for your goals every day!

Every time you achieve a short-term goal give yourself some type of reward.  Perhaps it’s a shopping trip, a spa day, a small purchase, or something else, but keep a positive reinforcement system in place.

I do not claim to have all answers, however I have provided some solid, science backed guidance on how to improve your health and your body.   Educate yourself as well:   read further on when I’ve taught, read references, read other books, read other websites.   Continue to learn and expand your knowledge base.  Continue to try new things and see if they work or not. Growth is the key whether it’s health related, financial education, or any other area of life; continue to expand and learn and grow!

Get an accountability partner.   Make it public if need be, post your goals, pictures, and progress on social media or with your partner.   Positive feedback and positive influences are key.  Remove yourself from any negative influences or peer groups and only associate with successful people or those are vested and interested in your success.  Work out with other people who want to work out the way you do, eat with the people who want to eat what you want to eat. 

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