School children from the ages of 8 to 12 planed out a desired academic future. Children who planed their future and thought about obstacles did better in their academics than students who only dreamed about the good academic future. They did not address how to reach that goal.
In second experiment adolescents who delivered a set educational goal with a plan achieved more than persons without a plan. The plan specified where, when, and how they would start goal pursuit.
Citation: Gabriele Oettingen, Gaby Honig, Peter M. Gollwitzer “Effective Self-Regulation of Goal Attainment” International Journal of Educational Research 33(7):705-732 · December 2000