How to Measure Success

Опубликовал Admin
23-05-2021, 10:50
Everybody wants to be successful in life. Whatever efforts you put in to succeed, you can determine your progress in a number of ways. How you measure success will depend on how you define it. You might find that you succeed by one definition of success where you don’t by others. Your definition of success may even change over time.

Measuring by Performance Outcome

  1. Define your outcome. If you have defined success as having achieved a specific outcome, you need to know what that outcome is. Think about your school work, or job or whatever aspect of life you’re looking to succeed in. Do you want success to be measured at regular intervals or do you want success to be measured at the end of a project? For example, is success to you achieving 80+% on all of your assignments throughout the school year or straight A’s in all of your exams at the end of the year? You decide your definition of success.
    • Be sure that your outcome measures are attainable and realistic, if they are not you might end up feeling exhausted and fatigued as you will always be fighting a large uphill battle.
    • Be clear on what you really want from your goals. To do that, you need to understand why something is a goal. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, you might determine that the underlying reason is because you want to be healthier, feel better in your clothes, or become stronger.
    • Ask others for strategies on how to achieve your desired outcome. You should have a plan for achieving your goals.
  2. Outline performance benchmarks. A benchmark is an ideal or standard that you set for yourself; it is essentially the best outcome that you would like to get for yourself. Make a calendar of your expected performance as indicated by the benchmarks you have chosen. For example, if you’re trying to lose 16 pounds in two months, break it apart so that you have smaller benchmarks. Using the same example, you might put on your calendar benchmarks of two pounds per week over eight weeks.
    • As another example, imagine that you're trying to obtain the outcome of becoming a top student in your class. Performance benchmarks you might set for yourself could be receiving an A at least two out of your exams and an A on at least four out of five of the class assignments.
    • Leave space to add details of your actual performance.
  3. Compare actual performance with benchmarks. Mark your actual performance on your calendar under your benchmarks. Reward yourself if you met your target. It’s okay to feel upset if you didn’t manage to meet your benchmarks at any one particular time.
    • Make sure your reward is in line with your performance. For example, if your benchmarks are set weekly, don’t reward yourself with a shopping spree at the end of each week that you meet your goals. Keep things in perspective and save big rewards like this for when you succeed at the final overarching goal.
    • You can still set benchmarks, even if a goal is harder to physically measure. For instance, if your goal is to feel more at peace, you might ask yourself at the start of the month, "On a scale of 1-10, how at peace do I feel?" Then, try strategies throughout the month to help you feel more peaceful, like meditating daily. At the start of the next month, ask yourself the same question again to determine if what you've been doing has been helpful.
  4. Take setbacks into account. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control. If this is the reason that you don’t meet your target performance, know that you have not failed. If there is something that you are doing that is keeping you from achieving your goals, think of solutions to the issue.
    • For example, if you are sleeping in and that’s preventing you from studying as much as you would like to, ask someone you live with to make sure you wake up at a certain time.
  5. Reset benchmarks. Given any setbacks that may have happened, reset your benchmarks for success if you need to. This will more likely happen if your benchmarks are set at regular intervals. If you have a major outcome as your definition of success (e.g., run 10k in 1 hour at the marathon in June) then you can easily change your outcomes along the way.
    • You will need to change the amount of effort it takes to achieve your outcome but it is still likely that you will achieve your goal. Reset your benchmarks for performance outcome and carry on.

Measuring by Effortful Pursuit of Your Values

  1. Define your values. Concrete outcomes are not the only way to measure success. You can also measure success by trying hard to live up to your values, even if you sometimes fall short of the mark. List the sort of characteristics you want to have, in order to be considered successful. These can be things like, ‘I pick myself up when I’m down’, ‘I look for the positives in every situation’, or, ‘I make an effort to speak kindly and politely to everyone, even if I’m in a bad mood.’
    • These values don’t come with an expiry date: they will help you gauge how you’re doing at any given stage of life.
    • When you're trying to define your values, think about what really matters to you. What makes you feel most excited? What lights you up? What do you want to be remembered for?
  2. Evaluate your current performance. Are you living up to these characteristics most of the time? Think of examples that can show that you are or are not living up to your standards of success. Are you trying your best to be the kind of person you want to be? Think of behavior you can improve to be successful. Ask others for advice on how to do it.
    • Ask others for their opinion of your current performance. They can give you a perspective that you might not have thought of.
    • Remember that this is a life long process and there often will be no concrete outcome.
  3. Consider the manner in which you did things. Decide if how you did things is more important than what you did. For example, if you managed to score goals in all of your football matches but you were arrogant and rude to your friends and lost some of those friends, are you still successful?
    • Or, if you did NOT manage to secure straight A’s in all of your exams but you worked hard throughout the year and you learnt a lot of skills along the way, did you really fail? Keep things in perspective.
  4. Cut yourself slack in tough times. Sometimes it just makes sense to reduce effort, such as if the goal you are trying to achieve is not really obtainable.
    • Try not to have an all-or-nothing mindset; it's okay if you have a setback now and then. Just focus your attention for how you're going to bounce back afterward.
    • Keep in mind that when you get sick or need to direct your attention elsewhere, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are not succeeding, but that your success is on pause while you deal with more pressing concerns.

Measuring by Evaluating the Roles You Play

  1. Think of the different roles you play in life. Whether you are successful or not is not only defined by any one particular outcome or quality. You are a brother, a son, a friend, a student, a football player, a citizen of this country. List all roles you can think of.
    • You might be doing better in some roles than others. This is natural and to be expected.
  2. Define your success in these roles. Think about the quality of your relationships or the number of roles you have. What do you think makes you successful? Think about the effort you are putting into all of these roles. Remember that you will always have ups and downs in life.
  3. Keep in mind that definitions of success can vary by domain. You might have to think about your actions, the quality of your relationship with others, your performance, or other aspects of your role. Here are some examples of success in different roles:
    • As a citizen: you make sure you recycle.
    • As a son: you speak politely to your dad.
    • As a football player: you attend all of your practice sessions with the team and encourage your teammates to improve.
  4. Evaluate how you are doing in different roles. Think about how you successful you are in your different roles by asking yourself some questions. Are those who depend on you satisfied and happy? Do you feel that you are living up to your ideals?
    • Ask others for their opinions on your success. There may be people you engage with in different roles.
    • For example, ask your mother how you’re doing as a son, or ask your boss how you’re doing as a recently hired employee. Other people may tell you things about your performance that might surprise you.
  5. Identify the roles that you can improve your performance in. Do you think you can be a better son by taking care of your mother? Do you think you can be a better friend by being more reliable? Think of things you can do to improve your success in these roles.
    • Remember that success in your roles is malleable; it depends on how you define it and whether you want to change to reach the ideals you set for yourself.


  • Using more than one method for measuring success may be useful.
  • Depending on what kind of success you are seeking, you may have to consider others' opinions. For example, if you think you’re succeeding as a student because you’re trying hard, but your teacher says that you’re not performing as well as you should be, you may have to think of other strategies for doing better in school.


  • There is a big difference between ‘I am failing’ and ‘I am a failure’. Everyone has successes and failures. Failing does not mean you are a permanent failure.
  • Success is often subjective.
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