If you don't have a goal you'll never achieve anything.
The second most important thing you can do is have a plan to achieve your goal.
Without goals you will float meaninglessly through life.
Life will simply happen to you and you will be forced to react.
I am very intentional about the things I do, in most areas of my life. Recently I've decided it doesn't make sense not to live life more intentionally in all areas. The first step is to have a goal. If you don't have a goal you will never achieve the things in life you want to achieve. I always set the bar high with my goals. I figure that even if I don't achieve my goals I'll achieve much more than if I set the bar low and accomplished the minor thing I set out to do.
The second step is to have a plan. A goal, although extremely important, is useless without a plan. The plan is the process you plan on using to achieve the goal. I usually start at my goal and work my way backwards figuring out what each preceding step is required to be where I want to be. Each step in the plan now becomes a mini-goal. If you want you can break those down into separate plans again.
When I decided I wanted to be a pilot I didn't just say, "I want to be a pilot," and then sit on my butt hoping it would happen. I started phoning around and doing research online to figure out what was actually required to achieve my goal. I found out that to fly for the major airlines I would need my Airline Transportation Pilot's Licence. To get that I would need to pass 2 major standardized ATPL exams. To write those exams I would need to study and have a certain amount of flight experience in several different categories. To gain that experience I would need my Commercial Pilot's Licence. To get that I would need to get my Private Pilot's Licence. To get that I would have to pass certain intro tests and start taking flying lessons. And to finance all that I would need to have some money saved up or loans available to me. So that's where I started. Today I have my ATPL and the option to fly any plane anywhere in the world I choose.
I'm now in the preliminary stages of planning for the goals I want to achieve in other areas of my life.
So my message to you, if you want to get a promotion, change careers, lose weight, get married, complete a triathlon, renovate a house, or simply live a more fulfilling life, is to make a conscious decision to achieve your goal, plan on doing it, and then do it. That is all. And if you fail, I guarantee you will be much closer to getting what you want than if you did nothing at all. Try again. It will be easier than the first time you tried. I promise.
I'll leave you with a quote from Wayne Gretzky:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."