You use small, step-by-step goals to reach larger ones. A similar strategy was presented as research at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Because what and how much you eat is influenced by both positive and negative cues, goal reminders or 'primes' can help committed dieters stay dialed in.
Numerous studies have shown that simply wanting to stay on a diet usually isn't enough. Attractive displays of high-calorie food trigger impulses that can override even the most serious dieter's intentions. But positive messages can also have an effect. When a healthy eating poster was prominently placed in a butcher shop offering free bite-sized snacks, customers took fewer of them.
The same strategy worked at a grocery store, where a poster listing healthy recipes convinced diet-conscious shoppers not to load their carts with cookies, chips and cake. This strategy doesn't have the same effect on everyone. It only helps people who are trying to eat right. Leave yourself a memo on the refrigerator door.