Generally speaking, people make goals that are too general. We make goals to improve our health, or to make more money, or to be more spiritual. These goals rarely have any effect. Here are some examples of better goals:
- To lose 10 pounds by January 1
- To have a quiet time at least five days a week.
- To go on a date night once a week.
Goals can be about behavior or results. You can have a goal to exercise so many times a week, or a goal to lose so many pounds. In either case, the goal needs to be specific. “Lock and Lathan (1990) famously described the drastically different effects on behavior is a function of how specific the goal is.”
Bottom line: goals don’t work because they are too vague. Specific goals work better.
 The Psychology of Goals, edited by Gordon B. Moskowitz, Heidi Grant