Did you bring a map?
My wife, Glenda, as we were lost on an interstate highway
As I've said before, if you want your life to have meaning, you have to have a mission in life, something that you want you life to show. Your goals are the vehicles that provide the pragmatic focus to your mission. Many people can go for days, months, even years, and find that they have accomplished nothing except getting older. They had no goals in life. Do you want to be like that? Without goals, that is your fate.Time management begins with your goals. We all have 24 hours in a day. How you use that time is up to you. Consider sailing. You can put out on a lake, raise your sail, then let the wind blow you where it will. First you go north, then east, maybe south for a while, then east again. You may enjoy some pleasant breezes and get a good tan, but you may also encounter a squall that will rip your sail and capsize your boat, or you may find that you've been run aground. On the other hand, if your goal is to get to the other side of the lake, you'll tack with the breezes so that even when they are against you, you still make progress toward your goal. If a storm comes, you'll lower your sail so you won't be driven willy-nilly into danger.
Goals are the tiller of your life. They are the pragmatic framework you use to determine how you spend your time. They help keep you from drifting through life, sometimes having a good time, but at other times being driven by the winds of danger. You can use what happens to you to further your goals, rather than just reacting to the events of your life.
Many people say you should have three levels of goals: long-term goals, medium-term goals, and short-term goals. Long-term goals are things you want to accomplish within the next 10 - 15 years. Medium term goals are things you want to accomplish within the next 3 - 5 years. Short term goals are things you want to accomplish within the next six months to one year. The main point, though, is to have goals, concrete things to work toward in your life, or you will find at the end of your life that you feel you have wasted it. Find three to five goals that help to further your mission in life, plan them, then work towards them.
Goals are not static. They are the guides of your life and your time management plans, but they are not straight jackets. Sometimes you discover you are not ready to work on a goal. That's okay. Change it.
Sometimes you find that a goal doesn't fit in with your mission. That's good. It is better to discover this before you have spent much time pursuing a goal than to accomplish something, only to find out that what you accomplished not only isn't in line with your mission, but outright goes against it. You'll know this has happened when you reach a goal, and find that the accomplishment leaves you feeling empty.
As you work toward your goals, keep a list of other goals you want to work on. Don't let yourself get sidetracked, but when you finish something up, it is better to have new goals in mind to replace it. This way you keep yourself moving forward, and give yourself options.
The most important thing to remember is that the goals you are working on are not important in and of themselves. They are important for the joy they give you, and they are important for how they externalize who you are.