Much information I have absorbed recommends setting a specific, measurable goal and setting a date, on or before which it will be achieved.
The idea of affirming oneself with positive statements, in the present tense, on how one will be feeling after the goal has been completed, is often recommended to be either written, spoken, or both, once or twice a day -- usually at morning/night.
The process of visualizing the scenario of what having accomplished your goal will look, feel, taste, smell, etc. like -- tying in as many senses as possible -- has been proven to be influential in the goal achievement process. There are variations on the process of creating the visualization -- writing out the story, speaking it out loud, imagining it, or a combination of these elements. Regardless of the method enacted, doing this has been proven to have powerful effects.
When both affirmations and visualizations are combined, in conjunction with a specific, measurable goal, research has shown that synergistically positive results ensue in most cases. My understanding is that this is because these processes work together to access the subconscious mind and provide it with instructions. And it appears that the subconscious mind, when given clear instructions, is quite good at following directions.
Do you have any experience with this? If so, please leave a comment and let me know!