Achieving life goals need persistency and being completely focused. A life goal can be finishing up your degree, thesis, getting a professional certification or similar. However, be careful about not mixing up your day-to-day goals with your bigger personal goals. Crossing off items from your daily to-do list is a great motivator and a source of serotonin for your brain. However, you should leave your daily survival mode and take a step back to look at the big picture. You need to think why you are doing these small tasks or where you want to be in the next three years or five years. If you live your life with no direction or plan and only count on small tasks as victories, then, you cannot move your career forward or get lost in the daily chaos.
Unfortunately, most of our days are filled with lots of meaningless and busy work such as answering emails or attending unnecessary meetings. If you think how much of your time you spend on something meaningful, you will notice that it is only a small percent of your work day. Therefore, you need to start tracking your progress towards your real goals. The first step of doing this is that you need to divide your bigger goals into more manageable smaller steps and visualize them. You can also divide these steps into smaller tasks to keep track of them easier. Then, take your calendar and plan when you will accomplish these tasks. Set out to complete specific tasks each week on top of your daily work. You will see that as you complete these smaller steps, you will get much closer to your bigger goal. If you cannot stay true to your schedule or if you planned it out too ambitiously at the beginning, you can always revise it to make it more manageable.
You can share your goals with a friend or coworker, if you are having problem tracking your own progress. Therefore, when they ask you about your current stage, you feel accountable and obligated to complete your tasks according to your proposed timeline. Also, it is important to celebrate your accomplishments when you reach your milestones. You can give yourself a day off, go to a small vacation or buy something you really want. Celebrating your successes is important to keep your motivation up so that you can move on with your work.