I have been fighting with the same 20 lbs. for about the last 5 years. Last year I went hard and knocked out 15 of those pounds but this year 10 of those sneaky fellas got the best of me.

As I was reflecting on this battle that I have waged with my weight over the years, and the reasons behind it, I could clearly see the difference between my times of success and my times of failure in this area and it all came down to awareness and accountability.

When I track the food I eat each day and set a goal to exercise or drink water – my brain is constantly trying to meet the goals and stay within the ranges I have defined and this is what helps me to see results.

For example, this past week, I tracked all my food intake and the process of doing this made me very aware of my choices. That means that when I was presented with the all-American chocolate cake and I became aware of the fact that one slice would cost me 790 calories and that I would have to record that in my tracker – it gave me pause, a BIG pause. It was just what I needed to make a better choice and find an alternate option that was more aligned with my goal. That is what awareness is all about.

When I don’t track my food and just float along in my day, it’s so much easier to choose chips and chocolate cake because my awareness of the damage is dimmed and I am not keeping myself accountable with the app. That is a slippery slope and if I continue on that path –BAM! I find myself asking “where did those 10 extra pounds come from?”

I see the same things happening in the area of career. Some of the most common pitfalls associated with career success have to do with limited thinking and lack of confidence.

When I am coaching my clients and they are saying what they can’t do because of what someone has told them or some statistic they read, etc. – I immediately help them gain awareness about what they are believing and present them with some alternate options. They then can make a conscious choice about whether they want to continue on that path or choose a path more in line with their goal.

Likewise, I serve as someone to keep them accountable to goals they have stated they want. That means having to challenge them in areas that they may not have considered.

For example, sometimes they want to get right to the strategic planning and skip over mindset work but I take the time to help them understand that because they have years of negative thoughts and beliefs grooved into their mind and heart this has to be addressed. If they skip over the upfront work of becoming and staying aware of beliefs that limit and sabotage them, the best plan in the world won’t help them.

What are some areas that you continue to struggle with? Are really staying aware of your triggers – the things that cause you to fall in a certain area? Do you have someone or something that is holding your accountable?