Amazing post, and very timely! I agree 100% with "create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years)" - so many people (me included) just don't do this and then struggle with staying on track. I found that by using SMART goals and especially by identifying my emotional attachment (the big reason WHY) behind my goals, I could start to actually achieve them. Now I am hooked!

Business goals, of course, are an inherent part of business planning. The Business Planning Makeover will show you how to create a business action plan that will provide your small business direction for the coming year - or longer. When you've completed it, you will have a vision statement, a mission statement and specific business goals that enable you to put your business planning into action.
Step 4: Use your present moments to activate thoughts that are in harmony with the seven faces of intention [creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, abundance, and peaceful receptivity]. The key phrase here is present moments. Notice right now, in this moment, if you're thinking that it's hopeless at this stage of your life to change the thoughts that comprise your belief system. Do you defeat yourself with thoughts of having had such a long life practicing affirmations of scarcity and creating resistance to your success and abundance that you don't have enough time left to counterbalance the thoughts that comprise your belief system?
^ Rasmussen, Jens; Lind, Morten (1982). "A model of human decision making in complex systems and its use for design of system control strategies" (PDF). Proceedings of the 1982 American Control Conference: Sheraton National Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, June 14–16, 1982. New York: American Automatic Control Council. OCLC 761373599. Cited in: Wrench, Jason S (2013). "Communicating within the modern workplace: challenges and prospects". In Wrench, Jason S. Workplace communication for the 21st century: tools and strategies that impact the bottom line. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. pp. 1–38. ISBN 978-0313396311. OCLC 773022358.
If you really want to achieve your goal, you will think of it when you need to. Sometimes you forget, but no one is perfect. Also, you can write it on a sticky note and put it in a place you go every day, or put it in as a phone reminder if it is a specific time (i.e., I want to stretch for 10 minutes every day until I can touch my toes). Soon enough, your goal will become your habit!
Mistakes do happen, sometimes with our knowledge and sometimes without knowledge. Committing a mistake is not a sin; to not learn from it and not to emerge strong from the mistake is not smart though. Grab the moment, seek guidance if necessary, contemplate on the years that are left in your one and only life. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
A positive relationship between goals and performance depends on several factors. First, the goal must be considered important and the individual must be committed. Participative goal setting can help increase performance, but participation itself does not directly improve performance.[3] Self-efficacy also enhances goal commitment.[5] For goals to be effective, people need feedback that details their progress in relation to their goal.[3]