This has to be one of the most important things that I have ever done. Not only did it make me think about the kinds of images that I wanted to capture in a whole new way, but it significantly increased the number of images that I kept from a shoot!
Shooting with a goal means simply this, think about the shots that you want to get, or an area of your photography that you'd like to improve on and then make that your focus on your shoot.
If your goal happens to be capturing some images of a horse running, think about how you want that horse running in your frame. Do you want it running at you, or do you want a side view? Or perhaps you're after some interaction images. What kind of interaction do you want? Be specific when it comes to the shots that you want. It'll help you to focus rather than just pushing that shutter button and hoping for the best.
Your goal can also be something as simple as to pay more attention to your backgrounds, or the lighting on your subjects. The goals that you set are up to you, but set them! By using a goal every time you shoot, you're going to see the aspects of your work that needed improving get better and better. And not only that, but you'll see the number of images that you keep from a shoot increase! If they don't, have another look at the goals that you're setting and make some refinements.
Until next time, happy shooting!