1. Get Specific

When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose five pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that you need to take to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague; be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10 p.m. on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

Whenever I ask people to tell me about their goals, I hear them say that they want to “get ahead at work” or “eat healthier” or “spend less and save more.” To which ...

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