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?