People who make their goals reality often do several things differently than people who set goals and fail. To set yourself up for success, you need to:
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.
4. Be a realistic optimist. Believe in your ability to succeed, but don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal.
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.
7. Build your willpower muscle. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t.
8. Don’t tempt fate. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.”