This has become a shining beacon as I look through past years and see what I have and have not achieved. Essentially, anything that is 100% in my control can get achieved (e.g.the only thing that stands between myself and the goal is my effort or lack thereof). As the goals move less and less under my control - say on a gamut from spending (which is partially under my control) to finding a new job (over which I exercise a very limited amount of control) the success level also becomes less and less.
This puts me in a rather unfortunate paradox: on the one hand I can choose things which will I have the greatest likelihood of accomplishing, on the other hand some things which truly need to be accomplished are not necessarily the sort of thing that I have 100% control over.
So how do I set goals - or at least, how do I set goals such that I have a likelihood of accomplishing many of them (good for encouragement and continued effort) while incorporating those which I will have a much more difficult time accomplishing (and thus feeling defeated when they do not get done)?
I suspect the key lies in choosing the correct ratio - that is, choosing goals that are mostly within my control but including one or two stretch goals which are outside. I still get all the benefits of hitting everything under my control but also keeping the ones that are "not urgent but important" (to quote Steven Covey) on the agenda as well.
Ultimately the target is to hit everything that I have identified as a goal for the year, doing my best to eliminate the obstacles to where the only obstacle remains myself. Perhaps I am shying away from a slightly bigger reality, that of teaching myself to work slightly beyond myself to reach the goals that ultimately will make the lives of others better - as well as my own.