1530s, "end point of a race," of uncertain origin. The noun gol appears once before this, in a poem from early 14c. and with an apparent sense of "boundary, limit." Perhaps from Old English *gal "obstacle, barrier," a word implied by gælan "to hinder." Or from Old French gaule "a pole," from Germanic; or a figurative use of Middle English gale "a way, course." Sports sense of "place where the ball is put to score" is attested from 1540s. Figurative sense of "object of an effort" is from 1540s.
Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced. By following the Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting you can set goals with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.
A positive relationship between goals and performance depends on several factors. First, the goal must be considered important and the individual must be committed. Participative goal setting can help increase performance, but participation itself does not directly improve performance. Self-efficacy also enhances goal commitment. For goals to be effective, people need feedback that details their progress in relation to their goal.