Among the pieces of advice my father's passed on to me, I've probably been most influenced by this one:
"Plan your work and work your plan."
One of the reasons I started started carrying a day planner 13 years ago was that I figured to achieve more, I would have to be more efficient. To be more efficient, I would have to habe better control of my time. To have better control of my time, I would need a day planner. There have been many changes in the tool but I still use a day planner pretty fervently with the intent of getting the most out of the day.
My current system for achieving through doing is a Palm Zire 72 synced with MS Outlook 2003 both at work and at home. As I explore how to integrate my current set of day planning data islands with 43 Things to take advantage of a world of like-minded people looking to learn and do new things, it's interesting to see to which level of detail people refine their goals.
I don't know if some people have heard of SMART* goals. I try to make all my goals as explicit as possible with a given time frame. That can be a bit of overkill sometimes, I know, but "Exercise more" is just pie-in-the-sky until you make it "Lose five pounds in the next three months with a plan of aerobic activity three times a week."
That's my two cents on goal setting... for now anyway...
*Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible