"'When it comes to self-persuasion, vague goals are death. For example, people have really vague goals — 'I want to get a six-pack' — which is an excuse to do nothing, since the path to a six-pack is unclear. It would be better to say 'I want to go to the gym two times this week.' Once you accomplish that minor goal, you can escalate it: 'I want to run on the treadmill for 10 minutes without stopping . . . now 15 minutes . . . now 30 . . . ' and finally, once you get to an advanced level, you can set more ambitious, vague goals like a six-pack."
Whenever you're making goals, try applying this concept to them. For example, if you're trying to save money, write down some concrete and specific steps you can take, such as shave $200 off your monthly rent by getting a roommate or moving to a smaller apartment or saving $24 a week by bringing lunch to work three times a week.