Goal setting: a conundrum

I have an Excel spreadsheet for my writing goals.  It is mildly OCD.  I’ve posted screenshots of it and links to it before but I won’t bore you with the specifics again.  I’m more interested in the general today.

How do you manage your goals?

See, I have a dropdeadline coming up.  To meet that deadline, I gave myself a rough-draft deadline somewhat before so I can rest a day or two, get some feedback, and then revise before sending.

I know how to manage my hard deadlines: I meet them.

But soft deadlines, like the ones I set for myself, are… well, by definition, softer.  And squishier. 

Here’s my question: If you set shorter-term, softer goals for yourself, when you exceed those goals, do you reset your next-session soft goal to reflect the forward motion?  Or do you allow yourself that overachievement as breathing room relaxation?

Here’s my worry: Some people say “Oh, I easily achieve my goals and then I’m so inspired I just keep going!  Would you like to see the needlepoint wall hanging I completed of my plot notes with the romance arc depicted in gold thread?”  I am not one of those people.  When I meet my goal, I take a break and eat brownies.  I’m afraid that if I constantly push my goalline, I’ll flame out.

But maybe I’m being too easy on myself.  Maybe I could do more if I just pushed a little harder.  Or a lot harder.

So I’m curious, how do you manage your goals?  How much do you ask of yourself?  How much is too much?

1 thought on “Goal setting: a conundrum

  1. 1st question is – why? Consider why you are even asking about the balance of squishy goals vs. mounting an axe over your head.
    2nd question is – what? If you meet a goal early then push to do so again, what have you gained?
    3rd question – who cares? This may be the biggie! Who is truly affected if you push harder to meet your goals faster.

    Since you’re already OCD about your goals that squishy time should be a goal. It’s a refresh. It’s also a pillow because sometimes life throws curves that upset meeting goals. Then the pillow is really nice to have. A pillow takes a beating and is still squishy.

    I put a dark chocolate glaze on my brownies.


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