Last May, Nick over at Abandon Nest wrote a 3 week series called 21 Days to a Fitter You. In it, he has a great tip about taking before and after pictures when you start an exercise program. He points out how it can be a great motivating tool when used in conjunction with an exercise plan.

How should you go about taking pictures? Start the night before you begin a new program. I use (now that I have one) a digital camera with a timer function built in. Try to strike a pose that you know will show off what you want to improve.

If you’re a beginner, continue to take photos every seven days until the end of your program period. This way, you can see a gradual progression as you go along, and it will be very thrilling. For intermediate and advanced lifters/runners, take pictures only every 3-4 weeks. Your body won’t change as rapidly after it has been whipped into shape.

This is such a great idea that I wish I had thought of it. Literally. Most of my pictures are just general pictures where I can say where I was at one season or another, but without being able to point to specific results from specific programs. He has some great before and after pictures for a 6 week program that he put himself through to illustrate his tip; I suggest you check out the full article.