Namely, what's the rush?
The rush to get published? For what? I have it on good authority, from her and from published authors I'm friends with, that this never gets better. The demands on you only increase, and your time is less.
Time, my agent said, to really push the envelope in your writing. To see what you're capable of. To try different things. With all this rush to get an agent, and then a publishing contract...she said (and I really do think she's on target here) pure writing falls by the wayside in some cases.
Why not prepare yourself as well as you can beforehand?
I think this advice can be extended to almost every aspect and place we're all at in our writing. Whether you're doing a first draft, editing, looking for an agent or looking for a publisher, the way is long, and we need to stop and enjoy the route a little more. (I am lecturing myself as I type this).
So although I've got myself a goal here, I'm not going to worry about it if I don't make it by that exact day. I'll relax on my little raft on the publishing waters and just see where I go.