Let's take a look at motivation. This is something that can make or break any effort to lean out.
It is different for everyone. Each person needs to really know why they want to lean out. Then keep reminders of that goal handy.
For me, my main goal at the time I began to lose fat was to get healthy (I had a long list of problems) and to just make life easier. I was tired of stairs seeming like mountains and having to come up for air in the middle of tying my shoes.
A person's goals and motivations may change as old ones are reached or simply because your outlook has changed. That's OK as long as they keep you focused and moving in the right direction.
Some things I found helpful:
Wrote down a short term goal and kept it where I would see it every day
Reasearched others who had done what I wanted to do (VERY motivating)
Printed or cut out pictures of what I wanted to look like (tried to keep this realistic for my bodytype, etc.)
Began visiting helpful/motivational websites (like this one)
Began helping others
Keep visible a cool article of clothing that I want to fit into
Taking pics throughout your transformation so you can see the changes over time that you might not see day to day
120 lbs LOST!!!
In the mirror of adversity we see what we are truly made of.