There are two kinds of goals; time goals, and word goals. At least, that's what I call them. Word goals are a certain word count that writers want their novels/stories to have. Time goals are how long until you feel you have to finish your novel/story.
In this post (there will be more!), I'm going to write about time goals.
Lately I have set a goal for my current novel, Sadaar; I want to finish it by the end of summer. To some, such goals are impossible. "What?" they might say. "There is NO way I could do that."
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Here's the way I actually do my goals;
1) Ask God to help you make the goal. It works. No kidding.
2) I force myself to write. Writer's block? Sit down and think about what's blocking you, and then remedy the situation. If my creative juices are gone, I keep writing, no matter how dry the stuff I'm typing out is. That's what editing is for! Also, ignoring the internet helps.
3) Do not, whatever you do, don't start editing before the novel is done, unless it affects the plot. This one may differ from each person, but as for me, there are so many mistakes out there, I will never get my novel perfect before going on to write the next piece. I keep on writing and never look back at what I wrote until the novel is done and in front of me. Then I edit like mad. :)
And for those who don't have goals, you might want to think of making one. This, too, may differ from each person, but for me, I find that my productivity goes up a level by having a certain self-imposed date that I want to finish my novel or reach a certain part.
All in all, I think that time goals are a good thing to have, especially if you want to write a lot.