When you reach around the third week of your new training and/or nutrition regime, things will start to peter off. The scale will slow down; your strength won’t increase as fast and your cardiovascular ability won’t improve as quickly as you would like it to.

This is the time when you will start to see your motivation dwindle.

This is also the time when you need to kick it up a notch, change something, get a new training partner, get another personal training session to kick your butt into high gear, find a new quote that makes you move, find some new recipes to try.

Find something that will shock your body into passing that plateau.

We all hit this time. No matter what kind of shape we are in or how driven we are when we start, there will be a time when you just don’t want to train or diet any more (yes, even I reach this point).

As a matter of fact, it is actually the people I see working their tails off, at the gym or on the stairs, who keep me going …

It’s my clients who are making no excuses for missing a session or not working hard. It’s the lady on the stairs who lets her friends go buy some baked goods while she stays to do a flight of stairs on her own. It’s the people who are ecstatic when they lose a half a pound a week because they are finally down, not up, for the first time in a year.

This is what motivates me to keep going: It’s you.

I have some homework for you all to do this week. I want you to think about your life as a whole: career, kids, vacations, family and, yes, yourself. Where do you want to go? What are your dreams and ambitions? What do you want to transform your body and your life into?

Find pictures that inspire you. Find quotes. Is there a dream job you’ve always wanted? Print out the job description. Now you are going to take all those pictures and pieces of paper and you are going to create a goal board.

It can be whatever you want it to be. You are the only person who has to see it and even know of its existence. It has to be things that you really want, not something that “may be nice if it happens”.

They can be short-term goals (as in weeks and months) or long-term goals (as in years or centuries, even) … wherever your mind takes you. Fill the board with your dreams.

And if you can’t find a printout of what inspires you, then make it yourself: use colours and textures; be as creative or as simple as you want to be. Use pictures of other people, even.

Now, I want you to put this board somewhere you will see it often as a constant reminder. It can be as public or as private as you like.

Now you need to change something up in your program: increase the intensity, increase the power, change the exercises, add some intervals, put some plyometrics into your strength workout, change the number of days a week you are training, use full body exercises, use exercises that combine more than one muscle group – just do something different.

Lastly, get off the scale for a week. Stay focused on eating clean and getting portioned, controlled foods into your system every two and a half to three hours.

Work hard! Focus on your goals and you will be rewarded.

Remember, I’m always listening.

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.pkfitness.yk.ca/Clients. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.