When it comes to setting skimo race goals, from time to time we need to re-evaluate and change with your current situation. I'm currently excited about some of my new goals, and new races I'm planning on tackling this season.
Yet every workout can and should have a goal. If you're just going through the motions, then improvement will come slow. Every workout can be broken down into 3 areas: Stamina, Strength and Skills.
You should know for each day which of these 3 you're working on. Of course, workouts can combine these. For example, on a long "stamina ski" you can do several "skill" boot pack transitions. Or in an interval workout, make sure your course has several kick turns.
I also like to make my workouts as measurable as possible. I time myself on race gear on the "Lone Pine" run at Norquay ski area (set my pb this week). During my "Billatt" workouts (check out this interval protocol, it's been found to boost VO2 max by 6-8%) I measure and mark how far I can get up the hill. I have many friends that measure their total vert for the day. Some even keep track of their yearly vert values. Constantly challenging yourself is a great way to stay motivated and chip away at improvement. And it's usually the athlete that consistently and continually improve themselves that end up on the podium.