When setting goals, it's best to use SMART goals. SMART refers to the acronym:
If you don't know exactly where you want to go, you won't get there. This seems simple, but think about how many people totally miss this. They say things like: "I want a better life," or "I wish I wasn't so unhappy." But these are very vague and general. What exactly do you want?
If your goal is specific, it should be able to be measured. If you can't measure it, how do you know whether or not you've reached it?
Goal setting is great, but there comes a point where you just have to get to work. Actions are what will dictate how successful you are.
This should really be the first bullet point (but then it would spell RSMAT and that wouldn't be as cool as SMART) because it's the most important. If you know why you're doing something, and that reason is very compelling to you, then you're more likely to reach your goal.
Your goal is complete when you put a date to it. When do you want to achieve this goal? Once you set the final end date, work backwards to now, so you know the specific actions you need to take day by day.
SMART goals only work if you keep reminding yourself of what your goal is in the first place. But with daily discipline you will achieve your goals.