Commit to your goals. Don’t make them optional.
I hear this all the time: “My goal is to finish my novel, but if I get halfway through by the end of the year, I’ll be good with it.”
Then at the end of the year there’s no novel, and probably not half a novel either. Just a person who feels bad because “everyone else is writing a novel.”
I never set “finish a novel” as a goal anymore. I write everything as connected novellas or short stories. And I finish them! Then I put them together and have a novel. That may not work for you, and it’s definitely not the “standard” way to approach novel writing, but I was tired of trying and trying to write novels that never worked out. I have a whole stack of unfinished or unpublishable projects to show for it. If you don’t REALLY think you can finish a novel, choose a different goal, or break the longer project into steps!
Don’t set a goal and throw in an opt-out. This is giving yourself mental permission to give up. If you want to move your life forward, you have to be intentional. Decide what you want, decide that you can get it, and if you have a setback, learn from it. Keep going. Mistakes happen. Setbacks happen. Wherever you’re at, you can start over. But do not give yourself the easy out. Don’t set yourself up to quit when it becomes hard!