The point of goal setting is to improve the quality of your present-moment reality. Setting goals can give you greater clarity and focus right now.
When you set a goal that improves your present reality, what does it matter how long it takes to achieve the final outcome? Whether it takes one week or five years is irrelevant. The whole path is fun and enjoyable.
Whenever you set goals, you can envision a path of sacrifice and suffering by focusing on the illusion of the future, or you can allow the goal to inject your present reality with excitement, enthusiasm, and motivation. Even though it seems like you’re setting goals for the future, you’re really doing so for the present. The better you understand this, the more easily you’ll achieve what you set out to do. If you adopt this mind-set, you’ll soon learn to set different kinds of goals.
If your goals look great on paper but don’t fill you with desire and motivation when you focus on them, they’re worthless. Don’t settle for wimpy goals you aren’t passionate about.
Effort If you want to turn your desires into reality, at some point you must take action. When you set goals that truly inspire you, you’ll feel naturally motivated to take action. You’ll work hard, but it won’t seem like hard work because you’ll be so inspired. For the most part, you’ll just be doing what you love to do.
When you focus single-mindedly on what you want, you’ll begin to notice new resources appearing in your life. If you don’t take action, however, those resources will dry up, and you’ll be no closer to your goals.
Self-Discipline Self-discipline is another one of those dirty words. We’re told to take it easy. Go with the flow. Don’t sweat it. The myth of fast and easy pervades modern society. This may convince you to buy a lot of junk you don’t need, but it isn’t an effective way to run your life if fulfillment and success matter to you.
Self-discipline is the willingness to do what it takes to achieve the results you want regardless of your mood.
Motivation starts the race, but self-discipline ultimately crosses the finish line.
Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth