I've been thinking about that. For a while, I'd accepted that definition, but something just didn't feel right. Today, sitting on the sand in Long Beach, NY, I realized what my problem with it was.
Attaching a time determination to a goal is left-brained, and only half the story.
Sure, having a time for your goals in mind: 5 years, 6 months, etc. and then adding the smaller steps to your weekly and daily list of do-ables is essential. Especially for charting, and for the left brain.
There's a danger, though, in defining a goal as attached to a time limit. What happens when life intervenes and you miss your deadlines? Have you failed at your goals? Obviously, the answer is a resounding "no." If you renegotiate your timeline, does that mean you're redefining your goals? Again, I'd say "no."
So I don't think a timeline is the definition of a goal.
I think the definition of goal is:
Once you have the commitment, the timeline, the do-ables, the actions within the reality of your days, weeks, and months are all tools to use to get there. And commitment is as much a right-brained activity as it is left-brained. Commitment is a whole-brained approach to defining "goal."
I'd love to read your thoughts and responses to this redefinition of "goal."