Set measurable goals, and start small. A goal like “finish my book” or “work on my book every week” can become overwhelming. Set a goal you can measure so that you can celebrate small successes along the way.
Setting vague goals like “write as much as I can” feels like it’s helpful because it takes the pressure off–but it will usually lead to a slow slide away from progress without ever noticing.
Let’s do some math. If you write 100 words a day, that’s 36,500 words–a decent sized novella–by the end of the year. So you totally do NOT need to set an enormous goal for yourself in order to accomplish something. You need to find a goal strategy that fits your life and the time you have.
Another example: If you set a goal of “one day a week, I will write on my lunch break,” you can see whether you’re meeting your goals or not. If not, find something else that will work better. Don’t get started on a guilt cycle!
If you’re setting goals that let you slide through without progress, you’re not helping yourself. You can start over any time you want!