There is plenty of advice out there on how to create goals; but what about why you're coming up with them in the first place? Oh sure, goals help you get something - a certification, degree, job, house, car, etc. What if instead of the object you might acquire you create your goal because of the experience you will have on the way there?
Here is my personal take:
I create goals because of the work I will have to do on myself in order to reach them.
When you shift your motivation away from the physical or material outcome, and point it towards something deeper, you will find a lot more satisfaction in both the process and the results. In essence, you win every step you take forward, whether its a stumble, crawl, or leap. And even failures become success, because you will have learned something that makes the next attempt better.
Think back to when you were a kid. We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. They might say something like a firefighter or police officer, teacher, doctor, singer, artist, etc. But have you ever asked them why they want to be those things? Could it be to become brave, strong, smart, helpful, creative? It seems we know as kids what we lose sight of as adults - it's all of the experiences that get us there that we are looking forward to, not just the end goal.
When I graduated high school I wanted to be a math teacher. Life has taken me a lot of different places since then, and I like to think that a strategic coach is like a highly evolved form of math teacher. (Humor me!) Strategy comes from analysis, which comes from math. Coaching involves teaching people how to become self sufficient in some area of life. Of course, I never expected the path it took me to get here, but I also wouldn't change any of it. I wasn't at all prepared to be a math teacher straight out of HS, and college alone wasn't going to get me there. Life found some pretty creative ways to prepare me though, and I have some awesome stories to show for it!
So the next time you sit down to set goals, whether its a small project or a major life change, consider how you will need to change to get there. Then enjoy the process and be grateful for each step that is molding you along the way!