Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years' time? Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment? Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today? If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life's direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: having a million dollars in the bank is only proof of success if one of your goals is to amass riches. If your goal is to practice acts of charity, then keeping the money for yourself is suddenly contrary to how you would define success. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can't simply say, "I want" and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. The first step toward successful goal setting is a breakdown of all aspects of the goal. You want to make sure each goal is worthwhile, and yet the importance of simplicity and repetition in goal setting on a daily basis is really important.
Making to-do lists is a fundamental form of goal setting—one without extensive documentation for action, desired outcomes, or detailed analysis. These lists typically include the incremental action items of a larger goal that you're working toward.