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.

Goals that are pursued to fulfill intrinsic values or to support an individual's self-concept are called self-concordant goals. Self-concordant goals fulfill basic needs and align with what psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott called an individual's "True Self". Because these goals have personal meaning to an individual and reflect an individual's self-identity, self-concordant goals are more likely to receive sustained effort over time. In contrast, goals that do not reflect an individual's internal drive and are pursued due to external factors (e.g. social pressures) emerge from a non-integrated region of a person and are therefore more likely to be abandoned when obstacles occur.[18]

Give yourself a pat on the back for all those little wins -- they add up. And when you reach a major milestone, take time to acknowledge it. This reinforces that what you’re doing is exciting and important, and gives you a chance to recognize those who have helped you along the way. Plus, celebrating your accomplishments will help keep you motivated and focused so you can keep going.
Step 3: Stay in an attitude of allowing. Resistance is disharmony between your desire for abundance and your beliefs about your ability or unworthiness. Allowing means a perfect alignment. An attitude of allowing means that you ignore efforts by others to dissuade you. It also means that you don't rely on your pervious ego-oriented beliefs about abundance being a part of or not a part of your life. In an attitude of allowing, all resistance in the form of thoughts of negativity or doubt are replaced with simply knowing that you and your Source are one and the same. Picture the abundance you desire freely flowing directly to you. Refuse to do anything or have any thought that compromises your alignment with Source.
If you’re working towards becoming fit and you have set the smaller goals “to eat more healthily,” “to run a 5K,” and “to swim 1 mile, 3 days per week,” you may find that you do not have the time or energy to do all of those things at once. You can prioritize; if you want to run a marathon, first running a 5K may be more important to your goal than swimming every week. You may want to continue eating better, because that is good for your overall health in addition to helping you run.

The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.

Achieving complex and difficult goals requires focus, long-term diligence and effort (see Goal pursuit). Success in any field requires forgoing excuses and justifications for poor performance or lack of adequate planning; in short, success requires emotional maturity. The measure of belief that people have in their ability to achieve a personal goal also affects that achievement.