There are many things that go into a successful weight loss campaign, but one key is to reward yourself for good behavior. That's exactly what I did this week.

Twelve weeks ago I started my New Year's diet with a goal of losing 20 pounds by April 18 -- the date of my first golf outing of the year. I am happy to report I reached that goal this past weekend.

I will share more about my weight loss journey later on, but right now the point I want to make is the importance of rewarding yourself when you reach your goals.

Rewarding yourself for good behavior is a great incentive to stay on track with your current diet plan. If there is no tangible reward for reaching a goal, the goals can seem empty and pointless and consequently can lose their motivational power.

Now, I don't feel that I went completely crazy in rewarding myself for a successful weight loss campaign, but I did treat myself to something that I have not enjoyed in the last three months; steak on the grill and a baked potato with butter and sour cream. I have to say it was delicious!!

I will return to my "good" eating habits today, which, among other things, includes no red meat and no potatoes. But, there will be another reward in the future, I hope.

While I have reached my initial goal, I could still stand to lose a few more pounds. So I will continue the same eating and exercise patterns I have engaged in for the last 12 weeks, and when I've lost all the weight I can, the plan is to continue down the same path in an effort to keep it off. At that point, I figure I can "cheat" more as long as I stay active.

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