Measure What You Want to Improve

There is an important principle I learned from Gleb Reys: That which is measured, improves. Like Gleb, I believe that this principle is important for our self-improvement. If you want to improve yourself in certain area, you should find ways to measure your progress in that area.

Here are two reasons why you should measure what you want to improve:

  1. Your mind will be aware of every single opportunity to improve
    Measurement makes your mind focused on your goal. Such focused mind is crucial for achieving real, significant, progress.
    For example, have you ever experienced that when you buy something new (like a car or cell phone) you suddenly see that many people also own the stuff you buy? It’s not that suddenly many people buy the same stuff you bought. It’s because your mind filter information based on whether or not it is important for you. Since you now own the stuff, the information which was filtered out is now considered important and passes the filter.
    Similarly, when you measure your progress in certain area, your mind will be focused on it. Clues which escaped your attention in the past will now be clear right in front of your eyes. You will be aware of even the most subtle clues of how you can improve yourself in that area.
  2. You will be aware of where you currently are and how far you are from your goal
    You will know your exact position, not based on your feeling or assumption, but based on hard facts. You can then take the necessary actions to improve yourself. Just like a business should based its actions on facts and not mere feeling and assumptions, you should also do the same. Remember, in this flat world you are also a business. Besides, how do you know that you actually move forward if you can’t even measure it?

Now that you’ve seen the importance of measuring what you want to improve, here are six steps you could do to use it for your personal growth:

  1. Know the kind of progress you want to achieve
    First of all, you should know the kind of progress you want to achieve. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to achieve financial freedom? Whatever it is, it should ideally be related to your life purpose.
  2. Find the right metrics that clearly measure it
    You should find the right metrics to measure the progress you want. This is a tricky step. You should be sure that the metrics you choose really represent the progress you want to achieve.
    For example, how do you measure your progress toward financial freedom? Simply using your income is not the right metric; bigger income doesn’t necessarily mean you’re closer to financial freedom. A better metric would be your passive income, since it’s your passive income that determines whether or not you are closer to financial freedom.
  3. Set goals based on the metrics
    After determining the metrics you want to use, you should set goals based on them. The goals should be specific. State clearly what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. A sample goal might be “earning $1000 a month in passive income by the end of this year”.
  4. Measure how you are doing
    After determining the metrics and the goals for those metrics, you should then measure periodically how you are doing.
  5. Review your progress
    To know how far you are from your goals, you should review your progress regularly. Compare your progress with your goals to see whether or not you are on track to achieve your goals. Do a reality check.
  6. Take the necessary actions
    Your review should give you a glimpse of how good you are doing so far. You can then take the necessary actions to put yourself on track to achieve your goals. For example, you might decide to find a new source of passive income to achieve your goal of financial freedom.


  1. Excellent post, Dan!

    Thanks for bringing my post up as well, I agree with you on all the accounts here – measuring your success is a sure way to improve.

  2. Great read. Having this sort of mind-set in place really is the big first key step to personal-development.
    Organize IT

  3. @Gleb:
    Thanks, Gleb! Your post is very inspiring, I love it.

    You’re right, having the right mind-set is the very important first step to personal development. Nothing can hinder our progress more than our own thoughts.

  4. Awesome!

    Exactly right -” That which is measured, improves”

    Correct goal setting will help to keep one focus on the important tasks to do.

    At our blog, my hubby James shares how anyone can plan a achievable and exciting goal:-


  5. @Karen:
    From experience, I can say that focus is crucial to achieve anything in life. As you said, goal setting – with challenging but realistic goals – is a great way to help us focus on the important.

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