Stop Setting Goals, Start Raising Your Standards.

I spent the better part of the weekend cleaning the house for company coming over this week. Whenever I receive visitors, I invest a set amount of time to deep clean and declutter.  During the process, I realized how much I fell in love with the final outcome.  It felt amazing!

But then a thought crossed my mind.  Why didn't I clean my home to this level on a routine basis?  Why wasn't this my normal standard?
This question led me to realize all the areas of my life that were operating below my ideal standard.  We set our standards based on the level of quality or excellence that we desire.  Sometimes, we do a great job of maintaining certain standards.  For instance, if there's a certain food you don't like, you'll hold steadfast to your commitment not to eat it.

But, in other instances, we let ourselves slide.  This is a scenario that quickly leads to unwanted results.

I can identify a few areas in my life where I'm operating below standard (or with no standard at all). When someone maintains a set standard, they're usually very consistent in their behavior.  It doesn't have to be huge. A simple example is someone who makes sure to keep their nails done consistently. She has a clear standard and rarely deviates from it.

While clear standards sound like a lot of hard work, in reality, they actually help improve our quality of life.  Imagine what life would be like if you set some clear ground rules for your life and operated within those parameters?

Standards for your home environment.
Standards for the types of men you date.
Standards for your health & fitness goals.
Standards for your personal appearance.
Standards for your earning/income potential.
Standards for maintaining your self-care routine.

....and so forth.

How do we know what our standards should be? One suggestion is to use outside influence to help set the measures.  For example, if you quickly clean and wash your car because you'll be driving someone around.  That should be your standard for how you maintain your car on a regular basis.  If you know you're going to run into someone you know on your errand run, how you dress for that interaction should be your standard for leaving the house.  If you try to quickly lose 10 lbs before going on your beach vacation, that weight goal could be your new standard for yourself.  People who work out consistently throughout the week have made that the standard by which they live by.  You don't have to use outside influence as your ultimate personal standard, but it's a good place to start. 

Standards make us happier.  When we consistently maintain them, we streamline and simplify our lives.  When standards aren't set, we allow ourselves to go down a slippery slope. We eventually become acclimated to pretty much any circumstance without trying to uplevel.  If I'm not happy with the way I'm presenting myself to the world, it's because I failed to set personal standards or I'm not adhering by them. 

I often listen to podcast interviews with successful online entrepreneurs.  When they share their story of what made them successful, one of the common denominators is consistency.  They often took action every single day which eventually compounded over the course of time.  That consistent behavior is an example of setting a standard for how they wanted to operate their business and sticking with it. When they maintained that standard long term and they were handsomely rewarded for it.  Setting goals is ok, but goals don't have a built-in system for their achievement.  If you have a set standard for how you'll live your life, you'll likely end up achieving your goals by default.

The right set of standards will absolutely change your life. I used to work for a company that operated hundreds of locations across the U.S.  the managers who set the highest standards for themselves and their teams would receive the largest bonuses and would often be selected for promotions.  If you feel like your life isn't reaching the potential that it can have, I advise you to start by taking a look at where you need to implement new standards.  They don't necessarily have to be the highest standards possible, just set some guidelines around what you will and will not consistently do.  Be specific and set multiple standards for different areas of your life.  As you maintain these standards, review them to see if the bar needs to be raised once again.

We all know people who live by a high set of personal standards.  Oftentimes, those people seem to achieve results with the greatest of ease.  The secret sauce to their success is consistently maintaining their standards.  It's a lifelong habit.

I promise you that your life will be transformed if you put this philosophy into practice.
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  1. WOW you have no idea how much this made an impact on me. I've been complaining to my husband for months that we need to clean the house, it's disorganized, I can't live like this, etc. My mom always kept a clean home and required her kids to do the same, and it's because of the high standards she held for our home. Most times we didn't actually have to do much cleaning because things were cleaned on a regular basis. Standards are everything! Thank you!

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  2. I think I've just found my new favourite blog! - Thank you for the FABULOUS content Bella Mocha.
    Love Sabrina from England 'seeking to raise her standards and raise her game xXx

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  3. I am obsessed with this article! What a great way to look at it- raising your personal standards. I'll be sharing this with everyone I know!

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  4. If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready.

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