So we are now in August and I hope that you have conducted an assessment of your personal values since last week’s article. Personal values help guide you along throughout your journey of life and really help set a benchmark for how you want to operate.

Leading on from last week I want to talk to you about setting standards this week.

Every week I see my own clients and also people further away contacting me asking for advice on how they can up their game.

When it comes to improving yourself, I think you can tell by now that I believe in improving one or more elements from what I like to call my M.A.S.T.E.R.Y formula. The Mastery Formula is always getting mentioned with everyone I work with. In fact, if you speak to any of the people I work with they will refer to me as “the guy who loves habits” or “the habits geek” or my personal favourite “the guy that is obsessed with habits, in fact the really annoying guy who is obsessed with habits.”

If you try and set your standards high when it comes to daily habits then I know for sure you will succeed.

It’s not a possibility…it’s a probability.

So what does “setting standards high” actually mean?

In my opinion it just means doing something to the best of your ability and to go above and beyond the norm. Take fitness for example…

Let’s say most people go to the gym a couple of times per week and go for roughly 60 mins each session and do not measure the sessions and any improvements. Setting your standards higher in my opinion would be to go three per week minimum and still go for maximum 60 minutes per session but I would put in some measurable factor. This could be as easy as increasing at least one lift each week or it could be to add an extra core exercise in every week at the end of your workout. It’s all about doing things better and being the best you can be.

So what actual tactics or process can you deploy to set your standards higher?

As a student of productivity and a student of daily habit management I have been researching my various sources this week and have come up with a process I have pulled from various people for you to use. If you are like me and you like to set your standards high then the 5 step process below is not to be missed:

  • STEP 1: You need to gain clarity. Your first step is to clarify what it is exactly you want to achieve in life. It’s impossible to set standards if you don’t know what it is you want. Ask yourself what do I want to achieve now and in the future? whom do I seek to become as a result of achieving this goal? What traits would I need to cultivate to achieve this goal I seek? What new behaviours and routines would I need to adopt? How would I ideally like to live my life having achieved this goal? It’s important at this stage not to see your goal from the limited perspective of your current reality. Instead, envision your goal from the future perspective of your desired reality. This is so important.
  • STEP 2: Analyse your current situation. Consider your goals and the roles you play. Now honestly ask yourself whether or not you are doing your very best in all these areas of your life. If the answer is “yes” then there really isn’t much that you can change by yourself. However, you may want to gain more knowledge or simply ask for help in areas of your life where you are struggling most and this is where someone like me comes into play. With the right kind of knowledge and help you can do better than you are at this very moment. Is this what you would like? Although if on the other hand you feel as though you’re not doing your very best, then this indicates that you have untapped potential and room to grow within specific areas of your life. The standards you set for yourself will depend on the kind of person you want to become and the goals that you would like to ideally achieve in each area of your life. These are the two important factors that will lay down the foundations for the personal standards you live by.
  • STEP 3: Find a mentor or a role model to work with. Your next step is to find appropriate mentors. These will be people who are currently living to the highest of standards in specific life areas that you are wanting to focus on. The purpose here is to use them as inspiration to help you raise your own personal standards. Let’s say for instance that you have a friend who is very health conscious, active and fit. This friend of yours has certain standards that they uphold every single day. Your task is to get a sense of what they expect of themselves in various situations, as well as an idea of the healthy rituals they partake in. Ask them what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in this area of their life. Then it’s your task to model these standards to improve your own health and well-being. Mirroring others is a tactic that can work really well.
  • STEP 4: Set some clear standards. It is now time to set some clear standards and expectations for each area of your life. In other words, you must identify a set of KEYSTONE standards you will follow. These standards effectively become the rules you live by. You could for instance take one of your life roles and set standards for what you believe, for what you expect, for how you behave, work and live. The new rituals you create must lead to new decisions, actions and habits that can help you to successfully maintain your higher personal standards over the long-haul. It’s all about commitment.
  • STEP 5: Utilise the pain and pleasure principle. The final step of this process is to utilize the pain and pleasure principle to help instil the motivation you need to follow through with these rituals, and subsequently live your life in accordance with your higher personal standards. This involves creating the biggest gap possible between the two. I will touch on this more next week ok? Tony Robbins is the man when it comes to this so expect some Robbins style content next week.

So there you have it, a 5 step simple process you can use to up your game and set your standards higher.

So what are you waiting for?

Go set those standards and then do everything possible to reach them and then exceed them.

Raise your standards and the universe will meet you there.

High standards are the foundation for great achievements.

Happy Thursday to you, now go and raise the bar.

Why not aim for the sky when it comes to setting standards?