Do you want to improve yourself every day? Of course you do. Nobody wants to stay at the same point doing the same thing and getting the same result every year. And this is what you are going to discover in this article. You will discover how you can improve yourself through setting benchmark goals.
I first came across this idea from Vishen Lakhiani, the guy behind the multi-million-dollar business, MindValley.
I considered Vishen to be my virtual mentor and I have learned a lot from him, especially in the field of creating potential through breakthroughs of the human thinking.
Vishen called this technique the “set point” or to put it in a simple term, the benchmark.
You have to identify the lowest threshold you can accept and then set it as a benchmark.
Take the example given from Vishen; he said his benchmark in the physical area is to be able to do 50 pushups once a week. And that is his minimum.
Every week, he would test this benchmark by doing pushups. If he manages to do 50 pushups, that’s great because it means he has maintained his body shape and are physically fit.
And if his body cannot take it and he fails the test, he would put his focus into building his physical health over the following week.
Vishen would then put more time into exercise and build his stamina to make sure he can do the minimum pushups.
He will also increase his benchmark to 51 pushups. Vishen will create a challenge to do more than his benchmark when he failed the test.
By creating these “set points” across every area in his life, he not only manages to maintain his performance, but he also improves in those areas.
When you maintain your performance, say if you are a blogger, and you write 1,000 words every day, you will improve your writing skills after some time.
Imagine if you have been writing 1,000 words every day and been publishing content consistently to your blog for 8 years, do you think your blog will become popular and you will become an authority figure?
Of course, you would. In fact, most successful bloggers you see in the internet world today made it because of their persistence.
They maintain their pace, and they have been doing it for years. Neil Patel said he had been a blogger for more than a decade. He has been writing and publishing fresh content to his blog almost every single day, for more than 10 years.
No wonder he is a successful blogger and internet marketer today.
And that is exactly what I’m doing right now. I’m setting myself a benchmark of writing 1,000 words every workday.
I know it is going to take time before I hit on something big. This is my benchmark, and this is my “set point.”
This is minimum threshold I can accept. And so I will do write and type 1,000 words each day.
Do you see how powerful creating a benchmark goal can impact your life right now?
When you set a minimum acceptable target at the area you want to improve, you will know what to do to maintain your performance, and at the same time, make an improvement.
When you maintain your performance consistently, your skills will improve, and you will become better at what you do.
Vishen Lakhiani also suggests us to set goals in these 12 areas:
1. Love relationship
Set a benchmark for how much time you want to spend with your lover each day. How many date nights you want to have, and what would you do each week to grow your intimacy with your lover.
Consider creating a benchmark for how much time you want to spend with your friends. How much time are you going to put in each month and what do you need to do to maintain this minimum threshold.
What do you love to do? Are you going to travel oversea twice a year? That is what I do since a few years ago. I told myself that I would set it as my benchmark to travel oversea twice a year. What about you? How many oversea trips or adventure you want to have each month or each year?
What should you do to maintain your environment? Do you clean your house at least once a week? Schedule and create the benchmark goals to improve your environment today.
5. Health and fitness
Create a benchmark for your physical health and fitness. How many hours are you going to spend exercising per day and in a week? What would you do to maintain your health to operate at an optimum level?
My benchmark is to do a few minutes of stretching every morning once I wake up and go for jogging or play badminton twice a week.
6. Intellectual life
What do you want to learn and improve on? Make it a benchmark to read and learn from others. How much time are you going to spend reading books each day?
My morning routine includes 30 minutes of reading. And I will also read whenever I’m free. What about you? What is your benchmark to improve your intellectual life?
7. Your skills
Commit to reading and learn to improve your skills. If you are like me, a blogger and a writer, I constantly read other people’s blogs, and I learn the way they write.
I may not be the best blogger or writer, but I’m constantly improving and learning to get myself to become an authority in the personal development industry. I believe that anyone can become good at what they do if they are willing to learn.
8. Spiritual life
Considering setting a benchmark for your spiritual life. What do you do to be more spiritual each day or week? Do you meditate? How much time do you spend on meditation? Set the benchmark now.
How about your career? What do you do to improve your career and to master your craft? Do you read and attend seminars from remarkable people in your industry? Do you attend meetings or discussions conducted from successful people in your field? Set the benchmark now as for how you want to improve and do better in your career.
10. Creative life
How much time do you spend to improve your creative life? Do you write and journal? Set a benchmark how much time you will spend in your creative life.
11. Family life
This is one of the most important areas in your life. Do you have a benchmark for it? How much time and how are you going to improve your relationship with your family members? Set goals to maintain and grow the relationship. Perhaps you can call your parents once a week or spend the entire weekend with them. Set the benchmark and create the set points now.
12. Community life
You can also set it as a benchmark as to how much you are going to contribute to your community and the world. Are you donating part of your income for charity purposes? If you don’t, it is time to consider making it a benchmark today.
Benchmark goals can be powerful because they maintain your performance. Have you ever seen people grow fat and feeling lethargic because of their age?
As people grow older, and if they did not maintain their physical health, they will suffer the consequences. They will become fat because their metabolism rate has decreased.
Not only that, they will feel lethargic, easily tired and have no energy. Why? This is because their age goes up, and they did not maintain their level of physical health.
This is why setting a benchmark goal is important. It maintains our performance and grows us over the long-term.
Here are the 4 steps how to set a benchmark goal to maintain and improve yourself everyday.
1. Identify the Area You Want to Improve
Go through the 12 areas suggested by Vishen. If you want to improve something in your life, you must know what it is and where to start.
Thus, identify the area you wanted to improve right now.
2. Set the Benchmark
Set the goal, create the minimum threshold, and build the minimum non-negotiable set point that you will accept.
For example, for Vishen Lakhiani, his minimum set point his physical health is to be able to do 50 pushups once a week. If he can do it every week, great, it means he can maintain his physical health level.
As for me, I set my benchmark goal to write 1,000 words on every work day. This is how I managed to maintain this blog up to this day. I pumped up fresh content twice a week for many months now.
What about you? What is the benchmark you are going to set and in which area?
3. Progress and Build the Habit
Once you have set up the benchmark, all you do is maintain and go through your day.
4. Initiate the Growth
If you successfully maintained and reached your targets, congratulations, and keep it going.
If you fail to achieve the benchmark, what should you do? Simple, on the following days or weeks, focus more on that area and work on the goal.
For example, when Vishen failed to make 50 pushups once a week, he would put more focus into building his physical health because that is the signal telling him that something is wrong.
Thus, for the following week, he would exercise more and build his stamina until he can reach his target again.
Apart from that, Vishen would also increase a little more on his benchmark. He would do 51 pushups in the next week. Why?
He wanted to create a small challenge that gets him moving.
You can do the same. Now, the challenge you create must be small enough so that you will want to take action. If you set the challenge to do 70 or 100 pushups, your brain will sabotage and you know you can never make it even if you want to.
This is what is happening to most people out there. They overestimate themselves. They set goals that are way bigger than themselves. More importantly, their actions don’t justify the results they want.
They set a goal to earn $1,000,000, but the actions they took just won’t bring them the outcome they want.
Small increment may sound boring, but with the small victory you earned, you will build more confidence and go higher, slowly.
In fact, small victories are the game changer. Read my article, How To Eat An Elephant, and you will discover why taking small steps are crucial to achieve success in life.
Setting benchmark goals or creating “set points” in every area of your life will make sure you are moving in the right direction and maintaining your progress.
Not only that, your benchmark will ensure that you grow and improve yourself every day because you will always be in action.
How do you think the idea of setting benchmark goals can help you in life? Do you think you can improve yourself in life right now?
Let me know your opinion on the comment section below. And if you like what you read, remember to share it with others too.