Traditional advice about goal setting teaches that we should set goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) if you want to succeed.
This works great for some and for certain tasks like maybe short-term projects like writing an article or report. However, over the long term, plans like these leave little room for flexibility. If you stick to the SMART framework, you're almost destined to fail in the long-term as such plans are extremely rigid and become too complex.
Instead of committing to a specific action plan over the long term, try choosing a theme that includes a vision of what you want to create or accomplish. In contrast to plotting a specific route on a map, consider various paths toward this specific theme. Both methods will get you to the same place over the long term, but following a general direction within a theme gives you more flexibility to explore along the way.
Source : http://www.squidoo.com/visualize-goals-journal