[Many people flounder.] By that I mean that many people fail to focus their efforts in a single direction. The reason usually is that they don't have clear-cut goals in mind, so they don't establish any momentum toward specific objectives. They are like a pilot flying without compass, radar or landmarks. ...
When you reduce your goals to writing you crystallize your thoughts. Instead of a generality like "financial security," you write down a net worth of a certain amount or a certain level of income; instead of a banal goal like "happiness," you write down the specific things you want that would make you happy, such as a particular kind of work, or achieving a specific objective; instead of an all-encompassing but imprecise goal of "good health" you direct your efforts to specific targets, such as a weight loss of so many pounds, or getting your blood pressure to a certain level, or establishing a certain schedule for exercise.
Do your goal setting in writing. A pencil and a piece of paper are two of the most powerful tools of time management. Incidentally, I recommend making separate lists of life-time goals and short-range objectives.
(Edwin C. Bliss, Doing It Now, p. 152)