In order to have the best chance of reaching your goal you need to go about setting and reaching them in the right way. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely and is a tried-and-true method of achieving goals for exercise:
Your goal needs to be very clear, without any question as to what you are going after. To say that you want to start exercising is not enough. To say that you plan to walk, three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for twenty minutes during your lunch break is a much better goal because of its specificity.
You must have a way to gauge whether you are in fact, reaching your goals. There are lots of ways you can measure your progress: minutes, miles, calories, steps walked, etc. Pick a method that is easiest and most encouraging for you.
Your goal must be something that is challenging, yet possible. To say that you would like to lose 10 lbs. in 2 weeks is not realistic. To say that you would like to lose 1-1.5 lbs. a week over 10 weeks is a much more doable goal.
Your goal has to matter to you. There must be a reason why you are doing it. For fun? For health reasons? For your kids? To be happy? You have to be able to recognize why it is meaningful for you to do it in order to do it.
Your goals should have an endpoint. You must create a sense of urgency, otherwise you’ll simply put it off. The best goals are those that have beginning points, midpoints (to evaluate how your doing) and endpoints.
If you’re successfully met your goals then when you reach them you set new ones. If you’re unsuccessful then try to determine why and readjust your plan or your expectations. Remember this is a fluid and an ongoing process.