My guess is that if you have taken the trouble to pick up an article on goal setting you are someone who is interested in self improvement, who lives a conscious life and who knows "if it's to be it's up to me.
You may have even heard of the now famous study of a group of 1953 Yale graduates who were interviewed in 1953 and again in 1973. What the study found was, that in 1953 only 3% of these graduates had written down a set of clear goals. When re-interviewed 20 years later, these 3% were worth more financially than the remaining 97% put together! That is powerful stuff!! They also measured their level of happiness and fulfilment and once again the 3% were way in front.
Most people set goals or make resolutions in their minds, but what makes some people able to achieve their goals and others just abandon them?
The first golden rule of goal setting is to get it from your mind and into writing. This way you can refer to it (every day is best) - you will own them more, and even if you get off track you have it there in writing as an incentive.
A common acronym for gaol setting is SMART - ie Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Frame. The ability to measure how you are going adds incentive along the way and giving your goals a time frame gives you the motivation you need to start.
Goals need to be specific - eg. you could change "I want to spend more time with my family" to "every Wednesday night and Saturday morning we will do something fun together as a family".
Make your goals realistic - you will not be able to be Prime Minister of Australia by the end of the year if you have only just finished school.
You need to make your goals about YOU! This is not about pleasing anybody else, living up to others expectations or trying to be something you're not. Goals need to be something worth pursuing, that you have the resources now to begin the process and are within YOUR control.
A powerful addition to your goals setting is visualisation. If you spend 5 minutes daily with your eyes closed and visualise yourself having achieved your goal your subconscious mind will be mobilised to help you to succeed.
Achieving goals by themeselves is not what makes us happy in the long term; it's who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfilment.
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it" - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.