I don't know if you are one to set goals. Most people do at one time or another and not always about fitness. I can remember seeing charts on the wall at a club I worked with names and goals set for the end of a sales period. I am sure the goals were set by someone other than the sales person; probably the sales manager. If you are prone to set goals in any area of life but find yourself falling short, you might consider the acronym SMART.
The five words that follow will remind you about the goal and help you find ways to be successful.
The "S" reminds us to be specific. Above all, a goal needs to be clear. If a goal is to "lose some weight", it is so vague it has little value. What does have value are the changes needed to lose weight. Going to happy hour every night is most likely not going to be part of the equation. Grabbing dinner on the way home at a fast food restaurant isn't on the menu either. Naming the changes you are willing to make to accomplish any goal gives it value. In this case, you would claim your goal by saying "lose weight by...."
The "M" reminds us to name the criteria that makes the progress measurable. "To lose weight" is vague. Putting a # on the # of pounds is not. Always find a way to measure your progress with any goal just to stay on track.
The "A" stands for attainable. So often we sabotage our efforts by biting off more than we can chew. We know it's impossible to lose 20 pounds in three weeks (unless an illness is involved). Make a goal challenging enough to feel a sense of accomplishment when you have reached it, but not so hard that you feel overwhelmed from the beginning.
The fourth word representing the "R" is relevant. When goal setting, think in terms of what you can stick with and work to make it happen.
The last "T"; timely, focuses on the need to accomplish a goal within a certain amount of time. A timely goal will encourage the right choices about obstacles that stand in the way such as happy hour.
I use "to lose weight" as an example knowing that many of you have other goals in life.
Use SMART making sure that your goal becomes a reality and not a dream!
Resource: If you want more information about SMART goals read about George T. Doran and his work on SMART goals in 1981