Photo by Jon Eben Field; Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have long known that we are more likely to change a habit when we define a specific goal (like “increase the amount of money in my savings”) rather than a vague direction (“get better at money management”).

Beyond that, researchers have now shown us that if we can attach specific and meaningful labels or images to the outcomes we wish to see, this will increase our motivation for change. For example, it is a lot more motivating to set money aside into a “new computer” account or a “spring landscaping” account rather than a generic “necessities” or “long-term savings” account.

How can you get as specific as possible about the financial outcomes you’d like to see?