Having goals has always comforted me. The more unachievable they seemed to be in the beginning, the more motivated I was to reach them. I would not advise people to follow this behaviour though. I think I used to exhaust myself and never stopped to celebrate any of my achievements. This did not bother me at all, and I just focused on the next thing.
I only started realising this when I missed my bachelor graduation ceremony because I concentrated on the application duties around my master. People around me were disappointed, they wanted to come and cheer with me. For me, it passed, and I wondered how much it mattered. It did matter, milestones do matter. I learnt that very slowly.
During my master studies, I went to study for a semester in Germany as I needed two advanced language exams for my degree. Later on, I thought I could have an internship as well while I was there. Goals, bigger goals and step by step I had a relatively full list of them. I spent my days studying in German, taking German language lessons, applying for internships, going for interviews (at the strangest places ever), writing my master thesis, and, most importantly having fun and building relationship with other German and international students. I spent very little time in the dormitory, I was always on the move. I truly enjoyed the time I spent with people there from all around the world, and that stays with me forever.
So, what changed for me? Celebrations. We celebrated every single achievement: passed exams, birthdays, traditional and religious events, family and friend visits, travelling together and many more. These celebrations were powerful. Experiencing how important it is to take time to live in the moment changed how I approach achievement.
Goals for me now transformed into my lifestyle. Visualising them in any form made the difference to me. It helped me to set up achievable goals even by chunking them up or spotting the missing pieces. There are many materials out there on visualising goals and motivation, and this animation is quite helpful explaining goals as a whole: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Achieving goals builds the confidence to set new ones. It also should not be forgotten to take some moment to pat on your back, there is no need to wait for someone else to do something for yourself.