Classic goal-setting theory says that you first set a goal, then you make a plan to achieve it and finally you start taking action. Recently, I've begun to question the wisdom of this approach. Now, I'm inclined to believe that, for certain types of efforts, you're better of setting goals in the middle.
Uncertain goals should be set in the middle. This will enable you to set the correct challenge level to maximize effort.
Some research shows that for very complex tasks, goal-setting can hinder effectiveness. This is because complex tasks are cognitively demanding in the beginning and can be frustrating because you can't perform adequately. To add on more tasks can impair your performance.
For the last few years, I've been fascinated by habit forming, personal development, and the process of "self actualisation" - unlocking the best possible version of yourself. I'm not interested in the sort of "self-help" personal development that focuses on building confidence and "getting what you want in life" - I'm much more interested in systems and frameworks that help people improve themselves over time and achieve clear measurable goals.