For instance, "I'm going to be more active" is a goal. "I will walk for 30 minutes every day for the next month" is a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
It's specific in that you know how much activity you're going to do. It's measurable -- did you walk today or not?
It's attainable and realistic; everyone can find 30 minutes in their day, and walking doesn't require a lot of equipment or special training. And it's timely because you'll be able to see at the end of the month if you hit your goal.
9. Stand up.
Most of us now spend eight hours a day sitting at our desks at work, and two to three hours sitting at home. That kind of sedentary lifestyle is nearly impossible to counteract, Dr. Holly Lofton of New York says, even if you hit the gym for two hours a day (and who does that?).
She suggests wearing a step counter that will keep you aware of the movement -- or lack of movement -- you're making throughout the day. Try standing up at your desk while on a conference call, or walking to a colleague's desk instead of emailing him. Take the stairs. Park farther away. Everything counts!
10. Life will never be stress-free. Learn to cope.
Scientists disagree about whether stress itself produces a physical change in your body that can lead to significant weight gain. But we all know the effect a stressful day can have on our willpower.
The problem, Kushner says, is that there never will be a long period in your life without stress. And if we cope with everyday stress by indulging in brownies and vodka, the weight will continue to pile on.
"Life happens. It's not so much stress that causes weight gain, it's the coping, the push back," he says.
The key is to learn positive coping skills. If work is stressing you out, take a 10-minute walk instead of hitting up the cookie tray in the breakroom. Take a yoga class at the end of a long week. Use deep breaths to get through a phone call with your mother.
And treat yourself to a stress-less day.