How goals should be phrased is an interesting topic. In one of Steve's earlier articles
he mentioned they should be specific, have a firm future due date and easily answer the question "have I reached this goal?" More recently (May 2006) he posted
...The Power of Now taught me that there is no line segment. The point is all there is. The past and the future are illusions. They only exist to the degree we focus our attention on them right now. We create the past and the future by imagining them in the present. But we donít even exist outside the Now...I understood that if I am to experience anything in life, I must create it in this moment. It must exist in some form right now, or it doesnít exist at all.
My take: the former type of goal is "I earn X dollars / month by selling my artwork by December of this year." The latter: "I am an artist who recognizes and is inspired by the natural beauty all around me and makes others aware of it through my art."
I like the second approach. The first turns the goal into an intimidating uber-task that must
be done before this date or it's total fail. The second, in contrast, is more a mindset, a state of being. Now how to ensure that this mindset is actively maintained and doesn't become a fantasy, a delusion? That's where you have tasks that maintain this mindset goal: "I will meditate for ten minutes each day." "I will create ten sketches per week." "I will find a new place outdoors to paint each month." "I will attend at least one art class per semester at my local community college." Note there are no hard deadlines, but rather tasks that should be done every day / week / month / semester. If a task slips it's not a disaster but a gentle reminder to get back on track, there's always next time. Conversely when the tasks are done for now you can honestly claim your reality is congruent with your mindset goal and feel accomplished.