The first thing I did when deciding my current program was to layout what I wanted to have accomplished at its completion. In times past I would decide what workouts to do as I went, resulting in a real disorganization and loss of motivation when shit didn't happen instantly. Goals, in my opinion, are the driving force behind accomplishing anything, even when the goal is no where in sight. My goals that I set before deciding on my current routine was:
-Corrected imbalances between my legs/back and chest/arms
It's a short list but it has clear long term objectives. This combined with continued short term goals is what I find most ideal. The program I chose was Starting Strength, which includes 5 fundamental compound movements and focuses heavily on squatting. From the research I had done this was a clear cut choice as it focused specifically on the goals I had in mind. I had full confidence in my program from the very beginning that no matter what happened week to week, the end result wouldn't disappoint.
Another major aspect to keeping focus throughout a workout routine is to track the progress. When I was several weeks into the program and had made poor improvements from the previous week, I couldn't feel bad about it knowing how much has already been improved. Simply continuing and completing a routine guarantees results. Whether the goals someone has is based on body fat, muscle mass, strength or whatever the case is, having all the numbers that represent progress towards the desired result keeps stress out of the whole equation.
I will make another post sometime soon with an outline of my next routine and goals/starting stats, all that good stuff. And hopefully log progress somewhat frequently.