Once you come up with intrinsically motivated goals and have decided what is realistic to expect from yourself, write it down. Write your whole plan including the short-term and the long-term aspects. Writing it out actually allows it to imprint on a different part of your brain. Write check-ins in the plan as well. It is important to periodically reassess---is this still realistic? Is this still what I truly want?
Anticipate setbacks and new opportunities. Using “if/then” thinking encourages creativity and problem solving. “If I cannot wake up early enough to exercise before work, then I will work out before bed”. Plan B and C and D are evidence of your flexibility, not your failure.
If you find yourself thinking negatively about your progress, talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. You would not say to a friend, “geesh yeah you really are a lazy bum for not working out everyday”. Instead, to a friend, you would say, “yeah it’s really hard getting up that early. It’s so amazing that you’re working towards that and even trying it!”. (Hmm...talking to yourself like you would talk to a friend is, in fact, a great idea for a resolution….)