How to Get What You Want by Raising Your Standards in the New Year

Mike Ditka, the great football coach of the Chicago Bears, has often said, "You get what you tolerate." If your life is less than you'd like it to be, it's possible your standards are too low.

Are you comfortable with only making $30,000 a year or being 10kg overweight? If you don't raise your standards, you're stuck. You're likely to end up with whatever is acceptable to you and nothing more. 

It is easy for us to settle... because it is scary and uncomfortable to venture out of your comfort zone. Deep down, we are afraid of raising our standards because we have our self-doubts about whether we can achieve them.

But here's the thing:

If you don't decide that you deserve and want a better life, your life will never be better.

 This applies to all areas of your life:

  • Your health
  • Your happiness
  • Your friendships
  • Your love life
  • Your family
  • Your job
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your income

How to Raise Your Standards and Enrich Your Life:

Step 1. Determine your current standards

Your standards determine the lower level of what's acceptable to you. What's the least you're willing to accept in your life?

What do you really want?

You won't sink below your standards, but you won't rise too far above them either. When your standards have been violated, you'll get busy in a hurry to change your situation.

Step 2. Take ownership of your standards

You can raise your standards at any time. Your standards are entirely up to you. You have the right to thrive. You weren't put on the planet to just exist and scrape by. Determine your own destiny.

Step 3. Recognise how your standards affect your actions & behaviour

Your most important standards deal with your own conduct.

Are you willing to tolerate being late again? Procrastination? Letting your family down? Not speaking up for yourself? Making changes in this area will have the greatest impact because all aspects of your life are influenced. Become a more effective person by raising your expectations of your behaviour.

Step 4. Determine a standard you're committed to raising

Perhaps you'd like to make more money or take more calculated risks in life. What would impact your life the most? How would your behaviour change if you adopted that new standard?

Step 5. Visualise success in that area

Imagine yourself in that high-paying job or enjoying time with better friends. Focus on the feeling it generates. That feeling will draw you to your new standards like a magnet.

Step 6. Take aggressive action

You'll know when your new standards have taken hold because your behaviour will change. If you're still stuck, your standards haven't changed enough. If you hate your job, then either you learn to love it or change it. If you can't find a better job, learn new skills and improve yourself until you are worthy of one.

Step 7. See your new standard as a fundamental shift, rather than as a goal

See yourself as the person that makes health a priority. This is much more powerful than having a goal of losing 10kg. Improve your work ethic. When expect more from your work, your career will improve too.

When you change who you are, your results will follow.

Step 8. Track your progress

Recognise when you're living up to your new standards. If you're trying to save more money, make note of all the times you're behaving congruently. You might buy less expensive food at the store, skip your morning latte, or carpool to work. Track your progress and pace yourself so you can stay motivated.

Step 9: Consider what could happen if you fail to live up to your new standards

Keeping with the money-saving example, you might not be able to pay your bills on time or you might have to work beyond 65 instead of retiring. If you get a new job, remind yourself all the reasons why you hated the previous one so you will appreciate and work harder on your new one. Make a list and understand the pain you face if you don't stay on track.

Use this pain to motivate yourself to stick to your new standards.

Have high standards and your life will rise to meet them

Tony Robbins has said that raising his standards was the most important factor in turning his life around. It's important to set a baseline for what you're willing to accept in life. You don't get what you want in life, you get what you're willing to tolerate.

So you can either stop complaining and accept your life for what it is right now. Or raise your standards and build a better life for yourself.

Don't let your fear of failure hold you back and limit your potential. If you raise your standards and stay on track, you will overcome the obstacles in your path and succeed. Because the only way to excel in life is to no longer tolerate mediocrity. No one said that it was going to be easy. But if you want to succeed, you have no alternatives!

At the end of the day, we choose the lives we live, whether subconsciously or consciously.

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Even though many people want a better life, few are willing to do what it takes... 

How about you?

About the Author

Tim Wayne is the chief writer at Elite Financial Habits. He understands that the rich didn't grow their wealth using magic; it is simply an intelligent combination of mathematics, psychology and economics.

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