I'm not sure that a "I tried" or "I was going to" is really anywhere as close to as good as "I did." However, sometimes I think the failed effort is sometimes 63 times harder than actually succeeding!
My mom used to make pancakes. Not just any pancakes, but pancakes in the shape of a "T" for me! Aunt Jane made RAINBOW cakes for her kiddos! B eats a lot of pancakes - so in an effort to do those great mamas proud, "I tried" and "I was going to."
Exhibit A - The tools to make perfect shapes for toddler cakes
Exhibit B - A great start
Exhibit C - #$&%*@! (I mean, oh dear)
Exhibit D - Well, they still taste good!