If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau (American 19c philosopher)
Having goals is important, but to put them into practice (especially long-term ones) you also need sustained resolve. Resolve can be broken down into determination and persistence, so these two topics will be covered here.
Determination is resoluteness to do what you intend despite temptations, drawbacks, obstacles or contrary desires (your own or somebody else’s). In other words, it means not giving in to yourself or others, and following your goals despite internal or external pressures that go against them. This implies that nothing should divert you from acting upon your decision, except another decision based on new insights or information (e.g. you hear on the radio that the place you want to go fishing is flooded). This ability can be a great personal asset, because even if everything else fails, you know that you can always rely on yourself.
The first step – make up your mind!
Do you sometimes still weigh up your options even after you have taken an action? Once you are clear about your aim and start making steps towards its realisation it is not helpful to keep thinking about it. An overlap between deciding and acting (i.e. mulling over other choices after having already moved in a certain direction) increases insecurity and negatively affects the quality of performance.
Doubt, as a part of the process of assessing and deciding, may help you avoid mistakes and make right decisions, but it is unproductive when it interferes with the already taken action. Your state of mind can contribute to the sense of being on the right track, in the right place at the right time, which, in turn, increases confidence and improves performance.