Full disclosure: I am not very good with this one – I think because so often, life goes off track, I feel like a failure if it isn’t accomplished, so in some ways, it’s less crushing if there isn’t a set deadline.
But… without a deadline, you really have nothing to aim for. It doesn’t become really tangible, you don’t really become INVESTED in it.
So, a good balance is to set a deadline, and take small action steps to get there. By deadline, you may not be there, but you will be closer than if you hadn’t set a deadline and taken action. Extend the deadline and keep going – an extended deadline is better than never even beginning!