I'm currently on deadline, trying to finish a novel by February 1, 2015. At this point in writing the book, my only wisdom about accomplishing one's writing goal is short and sweet: "Plant your behind in a chair and write." Period. Forget waiting for the muse, or feeling more rested, or happier or being thinner or...doesn't matter, just write.
I've noticed, however, that other writers have written thoughtful, in-depth articles on how to set writing goals, so I'll list those links below. Good info from the pros.
Articles by Writers on Setting Writing Goals
Articles listed in no particular order. Click on title to go to article and, of course, forget years in titles--these tips are good for any time, any year.
(by Leah McClellan)
She describes how to apply the acronym SMART to set goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
(by Moira Allen)
In defining writing goals, she lists three criteria: Measurable, Meaningful and Attainable (similar to Measurable, Attainable and Relevant in the above article). The latter half of the article looks at short- and long-term goals, and measuring success.
(by Charmaine Clancy)
She starts out with a simple, but important, task: Know your writing goals. Following this are tips for culling your goals, measuring your progress, reminding yourself to achieve, and eliminating excuses. Personally, reminding myself to achieve hits home.
(by Cynthia Penn)
Using her own writing goals as examples, she offers tips on focusing, and how social media & professional speaking support her writing goals.
Happy writing! Colleen