Everything you do, every single decision you make, either takes
you a step closer or a step further away from your goal. You either
grow or you regress; nothing stands still.

Got that? Good.

Now, let's apply that to your training goal. First, what's
your primary goal? Lose that blubbery gut? Build mountains of
muscle? Bench press a Buick? Look hotter than that slut your
husband left you for?

Whatever your goal, get it in your head right now. Whatever you
want your body to look like, visualize that physique. Maybe it's
one of these below:

Got it? Good.

Now, imagine that you're standing on a long path that's
stretching out before you. Go ahead, do it. At the end of this path
is your ideal body: lean, muscular, powerful.

Got it? Good.

Now, imagine that every decision you make during your day
regarding your diet, your training program, or your lifestyle in
general, will cause you to either take one step closer to that
ideal physique or one step further away. Every single daily
decision every minute of the day.
Everything! It should be
easy to imagine this because, well, it's true.

What does that mean exactly? Let's break it down:

• That meal you just ate? Did it take you a step forward or

• What about your last scheduled workout? (Or did you skip it
and take a step or two back?)

• What about the substances you chose to put into your body last

• Sleep levels?

• Recovery methods? (Did you even use any today?)

• Energy systems work and NEPA (non-exercise physical

• Supplement choices and consistency of supplement

• Did you take the stairs or the escalator today?

• Did you choose to educate yourself about something today or
watch re-runs on TV?

• Did you choose to perform triceps kickbacks or close-grip

• Right this very second, how's your posture sitting in that

• Did you drink a sugary cola today? Do you think that took you
one step forward or one step backward?

Negative actions or behaviors, even small ones, accumulate into
regression — you get fatter, weaker, smaller, dumber, and sicker.
Positive actions or behaviors, even small ones, accumulate into
progression — you get more muscular, leaner, stronger, smarter,
and healthier.

I'm not trying to turn you into an anal retentive OCD sufferer.
This is just a mental technique that creates both awareness and
accountability. It's a construct that can keep you on the
path to reaching your goals.

Whether you achieve that ideal body or not is up to you and the
decisions you make daily. The fault, if you fail, is yours. The
success, if you achieve, is yours too. Embrace the accountability.

How many steps did you take forward today? How many steps did
you take backward? They add up.

Got that? Good.

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram