If you want to meet the goals you set, consider the following three factors:
- The more specific a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it
- Ambitious goals are good, but overly ambitious goals can be discouraging
- Regular feedback on progress improves outcomes.
When it comes to weight loss, then, a goal to eat fruit for dessert, rather than cake, is specific and can be clearly tracked. Specific goals around exercise or types of food you will eat — behaviors you have control over — are better than goals like improving cholesterol or glucose levels, which can fluctuate for reasons outside your immediate control.