How To Set Standards For Yourself

How To Set Standards

Have you ever wondered how to set standards for yourself and actually keep them?

Being too “busy” or ill-prepared should never prevent you from living up to your own values and standards.

I used to make things way too complicated…

And the things I wanted to do would rarely get done.

Now, I understand you must focus on a core set of values, habits, and tasks to get shit done.

It’s okay to have a laundry list of things you have to do, but let me break things down for you and you’ll understand what I’m talking about REAL QUICK.

To keep things simple and ensure you actually accomplish what you need to accomplish, we’re only gonna work in sets of three.

Three to five critical things are the absolute max you should be taking care of each day.

This let’s you FOCUS on what needs to get done without being overwhelmed.

Here’s how I’m working lately:

  • Daily – 3 critical tasks, 2 optional.
  • Weekly – 3 critical tasks, 2 optional.
  • Monthly – 3 critical tasks.

I sat down and thought about the direction I wanted to go and what it would entail to get there.

I asked myself what those tasks would look like.

Down the line they most certainly will change, but for now, I’ve drilled into three tasks that will move things forward.

If they take 10 hours, they take 10 hours. If they take an hour, they take an hour. As long as these three critical things are finished, the day is a success.

That’s my current scorecard.

From there, I’ve allowed myself the room for two optional tasks. These are low pressure tasks that are helpful but aren’t “mission critical” at the moment. These can be preset, routine tasks. Or they can come from my “working list.”

The working list is simply all the shit I need to do… The laundry list of to-do items.

From filing taxes (make sure you do it), to purchasing supplies, to renewing the lease, to giving the dog a bath. I work items from this list into my “optional” tasks for each day.

This is the 80/20 Principle in practice, as we’ve discussed before.

80% of the results are coming from 20% of critical tasks.

The “laundry list,” the 80% of tasks, only moves the ball 20%.

Some stuff is going to fall by the wayside, but it doesn’t matter. When you’re actually making progress towards your goals, the little things don’t impact you as hard.



Then, add a few from there, as you have time.

There should be NO EXCUSES for failing at your three critical tasks. Get them done!

From there, I have a list of three critical things that need to happen on a weekly basis. And then three critical tasks for monthly. The same guidelines apply here as well.

So now, let’s take that same mindset, and apply it to YOU.

First, let’s look at your core values.

What are the three top values or principles you live by? Discipline? Loyalty? Survival?

I don’t know your values. What are they? You don’t have to tell me, but write them down.

Actually work through this.

Figure it out, and then make all of your decisions based on those values each day. Of course you’ll never be perfect, but allow yourself to be better.

Now, let’s take a look at your habits.

What are the three CRITICAL habits you need to follow each day to move forward in a positive direction?

This can be anything that benefits you, but think in the LONG TERM. These should be things that set you up for success years down the road, not tomorrow.

Is this going to the gym? Writing for an hour? Hitting your calorie goals? Working on your side hustle to make it your main hustle?

Again, what are they?

You have to ask yourself this question and come up with an answer.

Finally, let’s look at your tasks.

Ask the same questions as above about the TASKS that need to get done each day, not the HABITS you follow each day.

You can apply my method above to this list of tasks.

So, what would be an example of all of this in use?

Let’s break it down. And keep in mind this isn’t necessarily me…     😉     (Never give away all your secrets.)


  • Discipline
  • Loyalty
  • Survival
Daily Habits
  • Wake up by 5 am.
  • Physical training for at least an hour.
  • Eat home-cooked meals, carnivore or keto.
Daily Tasks
  • Write emails to clients and subscribers.
  • Work on a new piece of content for two hours.
  • Read or research for an hour.
  • Plus two optional tasks, which would vary based on what needs getting done.

From there you can build out the weekly and monthly tasks, in the same manner.

I shouldn’t have to spell this out.

That’s how to set standards for yourself.

So to recap…

#1 – You’ve got the values and principles you live by each day and base your decisions around.

#2 – You’ve got your long term success setup by critical daily habits.

#3 – And then you’ve got your short term action items that move the ball.

Sets of three. Work in sets of three if you want to get shit done.

Give this method a try for one month, and see what happens.

It’s simple. And that’s why you’ll be blown away by the results,

Nick Hagood
Demons & Destiny

PS: This is the EXACT METHOD I used during Monk Mode to truly get shit done.

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