1. Focus more on the process and less on the outcome.
Process-focused goals break the big prize down into achievable, measurable actions. It’s the difference between “I want to lose 20 pounds” (focused on an outcome) and “I am going to have only fruit for dessert this week” (focused on a process).
2. Choose between a “be-good” or “get-better” goal.
Being healthy doesn’t always mean you need to start a new habit. It may mean you want to get better at something you already do. For example, if you don’t go on walks but want to, that would be a “be-good” goal. If you already go on a walk, your “get-better” goal could be to make the walk longer.
3. Program your brain with an “if/then” solution.
Try tying your goals to a cue. If you want to get in more exercise, tell yourself the night before, “If I wake up at 6 am, then I will go for a 45-minute walk.”
4. Aim for a range rather than a set target.
In order to make your goals challenging, but also achievable, try setting a “high-low” range. For example, “I want to meditate three to five times this week.”
5. Visualize the process.
Picturing each step toward your goal makes it feel attainable and manageable. When you believe you’ll succeed, you put in more effort.