Evaluate yourself on improvement, not achievement

Evaluating yourself based on your achievements is irrational because you cannot control when you reach your goals. Why would you evaluate yourself based on something you can’t control?

Achievements are a biproduct of steady improvement — if you make progress every day, the achievements happen on their own time. So evaluate yourself based on your daily progress. That’s something you have the power to control right now.

Here is an example. If you want to write a book, don’t say, “I want to release my book in 2014. If I don’t, that’s a failure.” That is achievement-based self-evaluation. Instead, say, “I’m going to write for 1 hour today, and every day. If I do that, I’m successful. The book will be done on its own time.” This is progress-bases self-evaluation.

If you wish to evaluate your progress at the end of the day, ask these questions: Are the steps I took today a tiny bit better than the steps I took yesterday? Did I improve even a tiny, tiny bit today? Am I a little — even a tiny bit — better off? Did I go a little faster, a little harder, or a little longer today? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you will achieve your goals in time.