"Whether it's deciding how much weight you want to lose or how much money you need to save, it helps a great deal to know where you want to end up," says Jonathan DeYoe, a financial planner and owner of DeYoe Wealth Management. Once you know exactly where you want to go, you can create a specific step-by-step action plan to get there. For example, if you want to lose 15 pounds before your wedding in 10 months, you'll need to lose about 1.5 pounds per month. If you want to take a $3,000 vacation one year from now, you'll need to save $250 a month. Knowing where you're going also helps you track your progress, DeYoe says.
Take action: Take a look at your specific end goal and deadline, and then do the math. Calculate exactly how much money or weight you'll need to save or shed on a monthly basis to help keep yourself accountable during the process.