You have your last meal of the day. Preferably something high in slow digesting protein and carbs, coupled with the usual healthy fats. About two hours later, you set the clock and look forward to what the next morning has in store for you.

It’s around 6 am, and you’re all set to hit the gym, full steam ahead! You indulge in a protein shake followed by a cup of black coffee. This is what you love doing, this is what keeps you going. It also keeps you nicely energized and on your toes throughout the day.

Most of us hardcore gym-goers take our fitness goals very seriously. We make sure we’ve narrowed it down to just the right diet, workouts and lifestyle choices to get us to the next plateau and smash it down with full force! Your life revolves around it, your values and principles are based on it. A lot of the discipline you conjure this way translates directly into your work and personal life.

The question is how long can you keep this level of dedication and motivation up? How do you make sure you don’t get soft around the edges as the years accumulate? Somewhere down the line, you might yourself wondering: “Am I losing my edge?” or “It ain’t what it used to be”. And the blame game ensues; stress, personal matters, lack of time or energy or any number of factors you feel might be at fault.

Well, here it is: none of the above! It’s you, just you, who’s accountable for upholding that drive and motivation. And if you are indeed slipping away in the wrong direction, it is time to take charge.

You can certainly get back on track and continue being accountable for the fitness goals you’ve set:

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  • No one can do it for you; there is no way around it. YOU have to do THE WORK! Write your goals down in a journal. Set a realistic time frame, and learn to focus on the short term ones, in addition to keeping the chief goal in mind. Keep before and after pictures, or anything that helps you visualize where you want to be. Log all related information such as meals, training regimens and parameters, how you felt before and after the workout. Keep a check on the number of calories that are consumed Vs the ones that are burned away
  • Find a workout partner, or someone who shares your love and passion for an active lifestyle and “clean” eating. Even if this person doesn’t accompany you to the gym, he/she can certainly be a source of inspiration and serve as a reminder so as to why you do this. Having someone to appreciate your efforts and share successes with can be a major morale booster in addition to fueling motivation
  • Setbacks are going to be a part of the game. Don’t get hung up on those. Use past failures as a source of self-betterment and a chance to learn what works for you and what doesn’t[/list]

If you’re willing to dish out a little extra cash, a great choice is to have a coach or personal trainer track your performance or give you the push you need. A trained pro checking up on your from time to time can work wonders when we’re talking accountability!