Life can throw a lot of shit your way.
While you had a brilliant plan for a productive day — breakfast at 8, start work at 9, break at 12, finish all work by 4, etc. — you throw it all out the window by mid-morning.
Look — things are going to happen. As much as we can try to control every moment of our lives, we simply can’t.
You probably know this. That’s not what this piece is about. It’s about not letting life’s capricious twists and turns getting in the way of you achieving your goals.
There’s a way to prevent this. It requires a redefinition of progress. It all starts with this idea: set your baseline.
I have a good friend that’s been journaling every day for about a decade. No matter what happens, she writes. She gets words on the paper.
She is incredibly tired and they want to go to bed? She writes.
She has loads of work and deadlines are fast approaching? She writes.
The world’s falling apart? She writes.
When I asked her if she found it to be a chore, they said no. She knows she’s going to write. She doesn’t need to worry about not getting it done. It’s more unconscious than brushing her teeth.
Writing has become a part of her baseline — those things that are part of our day no matter what happens to us.
The baseline drives us forward or backward. It creates of us what we feed it. It’s essential. Because at the end of every day — the baseline happens. The lofty goals and actions we planned to take don’t.
The baseline are the everyday habits that determine our course. On the day-to-day, motivation will fluctuate, our free time will come and go, and not everything goes our way. But when we zoom out, that’s just noise in the data. Te small ups and downs that feel great or terrible in the moment but mean very little in the big picture.
Good and bad days don't determine you direction. Your baseline does.
Choosing Your Baseline
One of my friends was sharing his New Year’s Resolutions the other night. He was struggling to make progress on them. And it was clear why: he had several things he wanted to do — all of which would require him to undergo incredible behavioral change over night.
It simply doesn’t work that way.
Your baseline changes slowly. You can only add so many things to it at one time. It also can’t hold too much.
Add too much to your baseline and it will regulate itself. It will come back down. Add things you don’t really believe in and they will fall to wayside as well.
I really care about my baseline. There’s tasks that I do near every day. I value them. I put them first.
- Write daily
- Publish every other day
- Meditate daily
- Record a problem daily
- Weekly review
- Solve a problem every week
These are a few of many. Here’s the thing: I didn’t add them all at once. I added them as they felt necessary. And slowly (but surely), my baseline adapted.
It's like running a marathon. To get to that point, you don't run 26 miles on your first day. You start slow and small. You slowly work your miles up.
Change Your direction
Now that you know how your baseline works, the next question is how are you going to leverage it? What small steps will you be taking in the next week to set your life on the right track?
For the next week, I’ll be incorporating yoga into my daily practice. Just 10 minutes — that’s all I ask. Once that’s ingrained, I’ll step it up. But sustainability matters the most here. I can sprint all I want, but life is a marathon — I’m gonna pace it right.
I want to help you achieve your goals. Schedule a meeting with me here: https://www.sparklabs.one/our-creators/benheim