Set specific goals. This will result in much better performance than setting easy goals, no goals, or just saying that you want to lose weight. An example of a specific goal is “I want to lose 20 lbs in 12 weeks so that I can look and feel great while I’m on vacation with my family.”
Set challenging, yet realistic goals. 20 pounds of weight loss in 12 weeks, while challenging is realistic; whereas 36 pounds in 12 weeks, while definitely challenging is not the most realistic outcome.
Set your goal with a positive mindset as opposed to a negative one. For example, losing weight because you will feel better about yourself and therefore be a better spouse/parent for your family when on vacation, and not because you hate the way you look.
Keep track of your progress. If the goal is weight loss, be sure to track the important aspects of your weight loss along the way, such as logging your food intake and weighing weekly, to determine how you are progressing to your goal.
Break down your bigger goal into smaller more manageable goals. Keeping with the goal of losing 20 pounds in 12 weeks, break that down into how much you need to lose each month, week, day, etc. Accomplishing the smaller goals as you work your way up to the larger goal will keep you motivated for your entire program.
Lastly, keep your goal(s) aligned with your own personal ideals and ambitions, doing the goal for yourself, and not others.