I'm not going to lecture myself or you about the typical goal-setting principles. You've probably heard the SMART acronym before. But since the end of the year was kind of a downer for me (I do NOT deal well with people hurting other people), and I don't want to become obsessed with negative things, I've realized the same is true for goals.
For me, goals don't work so well when I frame them negatively. If I'm trying to quit a bad behavior, well, it's like the pink elephant principle. If someone tells you not to think of a pink elephant, pretty soon you can't think about anything else. If I'm trying to cut back on sweets, well, that's nice but soon I start thinking about my favorite sugary treats. If I say I don't want to spend so much time on Facebook, just the thought of not checking in with my lovely online friends for twelve hours sends me screaming back to the computer.
I do much better when I think about my goals positively. I'll get such pretty strong muscles if I work out, for example. Telling people on the internet why they're wrong doesn't seem nearly so attractive when I'm focused on my own goals. I will enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when that novel is done much more than the feeling of time wasted when I've spent four hours on Facebook. Essentially, it's about increasing positive behavior more than obsessing about the negative stuff.
Thoughts are powerful, and whether your goals are personal or professional, I bet you'll succeed more when you focus on what you want than what you want to eliminate.