OCD word counting

I’m guest posting at Savvy Authors today sharing my desperate spreadsheet attempt to struggle through daily word counts. I am the slow tortoise of writers and my shell is made up of Excel formula cells. Come download the spreadsheet and join me in my trundling race toward The End.

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?