How easy is it to watch water boil?  When the results aren't initially clear we impatient humans quickly give up and go about other business.  An incredibly similar situation can occur with goals.  Upon setting a goal, whether precise or vague, we can become distracted, disoriented and lose sight of the main driving picture.

If you are anything like me, your mind wanders easily, and focusing on long term goals is difficult.  Our  kind requires a special brand of persistence to maintain our focus.  In order to re-enforce that focus and keep driving us towards the inevitable achievement of a goal, I recommend breaking our goals down into smaller pieces. 

Before you start piecing up your goals lets examine them, and really dig deep to find out whether or not we're setting our goals wisely.  A key factor in goal setting is to make them precise, and measurable.  It's not necessarily as important to know the full scope of "how" we'll achieve what we want, but its incredibly important to have a detailed view of the final result.

Let's say for example that you want to lose a few pounds before summer arrives.  Don't simply state, "I'm going to lose weight for the summer."  Take a few minutes to measure yourself, hips/waist/chest, write down your measurements and set your goal with the slimmer version of you that you want to see.

It is also important to be realistic, and having a measurable goal will help keep you in line with reality.  Nobody is going to lose 40 lbs and 10 inches within a month without some serious health issues, or being fairly out of the ordinary, so identify what you feel is a reasonable and realistic goal.  On average weight loss is about 1-2 lbs per week.  If you set yourself up with an unrealistic and often unattainable goal all you are doing is setting yourself up for failure, and when you don't hit that goal you'll inevitably feel annoyed and dispirited by not reaching it.

As a bit of a contradiction to my previous statement you shouldn't limit yourself to what you, and others, "think" isn't possible.  In fact I would encourage you to think outside the box and push towards whatever you can imagine, but make sure that your goal is realistic to you.  KNOW that you can achieve it.

When you've jotted down a few realistic, obtainable goals, you can start to break them down into mini-goals.  The reason you want to split your goals into smaller pieces is so that the big picture doesn't lose focus, and so you don't lose motivation when you aren't satisfied with absolutely huge results.  Put together what you know about your goal and break it down.  If we are using the previous example of weight loss we can estimate that on average a person loses 1-2 pounds per week, and since we're especially awesome we'll stay on that high range.  Our first week goal is to be 2 lbs lighter.  Now if we started out saying we wanted to lose 20 lbs in 2 months and we weighed ourself the first week, we might be discouraged.  ONLY one POUND!?  Seeing it in the light of small steady progression gives us a different angle to view our goal from, we can see each small result happening before our eyes and that keeps us pushing towards the end gain.

I once knew a guy that played his life like a video game.  We talked often about how motivated we both were to excel in video games, playing hours on end.  Our conversation led us to saying something along the lines of, "Man if we only did this sort of thing at work, we'd be rich by now."  From that day forward he would apply "experience points" to each activity of his life.  If he read a book he gained "Knowledge points."  When he would exercise he gained a point for stamina, one for strength...well you get the picture.. Needless to say he lives quite lavishly nowadays, and with good reason.  He found a way to achieve his goals in a way that excited him daily, kept him pushing and striving for a better him.  All he had to do was find out what kept him motivated and channel that energy into whatever activity he needed to excel in.  Take an example from my friend.. After all, Life is a game isn't it?