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Feedback is vital to any health and fitness journey. It's is one of the most important components to long-term motivation and it keeps us moving in the direction of change.

A performance metric, such as the number you see when you step on the scale, is a kind of feedback. For those with weight loss as a resolution for this new year, the scale may be considered your best friend and worst enemy. Don't give the scale that much credit. That scale on your bathroom floor is a tool. It was designed to measure how many atoms you have. That's all it does. It uses a spring or coil on wire to estimate atoms based on how the the Earth's gravity affects that spring.

A scale doesn't measure how strong you're getting, how much better you feel, or if you can play or work for hours. The number of atoms we have in our body usually has nothing to do with what we actually want, making your weight on that scale (those digits) a terrible performance metric. Keep in mind that that number can fluctuate from day to day based on a myriad of factors (hormonal fluctuations, water retention, dehydration, the time of day, the time of the month). Here are some better ones to consider:

Take pictures.

If what you want is to look better in a swimsuit, a pair of jeans or even naked take before and after pictures. Rather than hopping on the scale every day , whip out your camera phone once a week and take a selfie instead.

Use a tape measure

If your waist or hip measurements, the circumference at the widest points, are going down, you are losing fat--which is usually someone's actual goal, and possibly replacing it with muscle weight. Just keep doing what you are doing.

Play and work.

If you goal is to be able to play with your pets or children or without getting tired, set a time to play with them every week. If it's getting easier to do week after week, then you're making progress! The same goes for work, if raking the yard, chopping wood or carrying groceries up flights of stairs becomes easier then that's progress.

Keep track of what you're doing.

When it comes to the human body, only bad things happen quickly (like injuries). Good things take time, and always more time than we think they should. Keep track of healthy things you are doing, like eating colorful vegetables at every meal and walking daily, is the best way to see if you're doing what you actually need to do to reach your goals. When you start doubting yourself, just look at all the little things you're doing and remind yourself you're on the right track! Just keep moving forward!

So revaluate. What's your goal? What measures are you going to use to determine your progress?

Now get to it!

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