Sometimes I find it important to set myself specific projects in order to progress and find having a goal (even if only experimental on a theme) quite important in motivation for progression. Do others set themselves specific projects or goals to achieve over a given or open time period?
Pretty much, in order to get anything done.
It's something I've done for over 25 years. Some projects have spanned that period others have been 2 - 5 years before the works exhibited.
I spent 2 years photographing an abandoned canal, followed by 5 years shooting Industrial Landscapes in an Urban area, and my main projects at the moment have been shot over another 5 year period. I tend to set longerterm aims/goals with Exhibtions in mind, these often need to be arraged with Galleries 2-3 years in advance.
All my projects actually form a more complex body of inter-related work, and I've gone back to University twice to help contextualise the work.
Yes, starting (and more importantly) finishing a photographic project has been my preferred modus operandi for more than fifteen years. If you don't have a project, you will sort of drift through the photographic world and not accomplish much except the random snap or two.