Welcome to March! An exciting and transitional time of year. It is the month of daylight saving, St Patrick’s Day and SPRING! As temperatures rise we think more of getting outdoors and wearing less layers. We think of how we want our summer bodies to feel and look.

March is a great time to refocus on any lingering resolutions or healthy living goals you have. Perhaps you want to release a few – or a lot – of pounds, eat healthier, build lean muscle, or age gracefully. Now is the time to dial in. After all, the body you build today will be revealed this summer!

For me, March kicked off the start of my third 16 week Challenge that involves a before and after photo and a 250-500 word essay. Out of 3,000 entries, I received an Honorable Mention for my first challenge.

Here are a few lessons I have learned from participating in these challenges:

Start with the end in mind.

16 weeks from now, we will be at the end of June. Turn the page and we will be celebrating the 4th of July holiday weekend. Keeping the end in mind, where do you want to be this summer? If you have a weight loss goal, you can plan to release 1-2 lbs per week and in 16 weeks, you’ll have released 16-32 lbs! WOW! What would that feel like? What size would you be in? What clothes in your closet would fit or fit better and feel amazing?

Start now

You don’t have to have one last binge or eat all of your favorites the next few days. You don’t have to wait for Monday, or the first of the week, or until you feel like it. You can choose to simply start today. Start now. Be sure to read Healthy Holidays, Healthy For Life! for some of my favorite tips for a healthy lifestyle.

Your before photo is what gets you to your after.

Measure-Your-Weight-Loss-ProgressThink of your starting point as a snapshot. It is the pivot point or turnaround and it is important to document it. The before photo is what drives you to the after. So no matter how badly you do not want to take it, JUST DO IT! Take photos from the front, side and back in as little clothing as your comfortable in. Measure your body in inches. Do your body fat % if possible. Some scales give a rough measurement or your local gym might have it as a free service. And keep a journal. Track how you are feeling, your energy, your sleep, your workouts, what size you are wearing. Remember, we are Measuring Progress Beyond the Scale and Weight.

Consider this a journey toward a healthy lifestyle, not a diet.

The reason so many diets fail is the mindset going into it. If you plan on a diet, or a quick fix where you will eat a healthy diet and exercise for 30 days, and then go back to your current eating plan or lifestyle, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Healthy living is a process and a journey of daily consistent action that you can maintain.

Phone a friend. Or two.

If you are going it alone you are doing it wrong. Your family, friends and co-workers can provide invaluable support. If you include them in your plan and let them know that you are taking steps to lead a healthier lifestyle, they will go out of their way to assist you. They will remind you of your goals when you are tempted. And, they may even join you.

Hire a coach.

Even though my passion is assisting and coaching others toward a healthier lifestyle, I still use a coach. It is so easy to sabotage ourselves or get in our own way. If I can not see my own progress or get discouraged, a coach can remind me how far I’ve come and cheer me through. A coach will also let us know when it is time to dig deep and just follow the system, or when it’s time to make some tweaks to get better results.

Where ever you are at on your road to a healthier lifestyle, I’d love to talk to you and hear your story. And if you are ready to kick it up a notch and truly focus on your goals, I’d love to partner with you.

Want to learn more about our membership, nutrition or coaching programs? Visit LivingLifeMoreAbundantly.com