The quality of your life is directly related to your standards. A standard is a personal rule or expectation about the level of excellence you require in something, and when you raise your standards you change your life.
In my work as a professional coach, I've found that most people haven't taken time to define their standards. Invariably, they've inherited rules from others, leading them to live their lives using someone else's game plan! If you'd like to improve the quality of your life, consider increasing your standards.
Your Model of Interaction
Your Model of Interaction dictates how you engage with people, and is related to who you believe you are. If you identify yourself an impatient person, you'll treat others with impatience. If you identify yourself as kind, you'll interact with others in a kind manner.
The law of reciprocity dictates that you will receive what you put out into the world. If you find yourself on the receiving end of uncooperative, negative behavior, it might be time to take a look in the mirror. If you already treat the people in your life with warmth and kindness, then you're ahead of the game. Take a moment to define standards for how you'll interact with others.
Your Ability to Keep Your Word
Your personal integrity is related to your ability to do what you say you'll do. When you make a commitment, then you fail to follow through, you diminish your credibility and undermine your self-confidence. When you follow through on your commitments, your credibility and self esteem increases.
The level of faith you have in your own ability to follow through on commitments will directly impact the quality of your life. You'll be much more prepared to take risks when you have a high level of belief in yourself, and your willingness to risk is integral to your ability to tap into your potential.
Before you commit to something, make sure it fits within the framework of your life. If it doesn't, don't commit. If you commit, follow through. Set yourself up to win, and believe in your ability to keep your word.
The White Space in Your Life
White space is an open playing field. It's uncommitted time. When you define standards to govern how you'll spend your time, the quality of your life increases exponentially. When you include a requirement to schedule uncommitted time, your stress level will decrease exponentially. This supports you in embracing your responsibilities, rather than resenting them. Spend a few moments defining a standard to create white space in your life.
Your Physical Health and Vitality
Do you like the way that you look and feel? Realize that whatever you might be dissatisfied with is the result of the behavioral standard you've set for yourself.
If you want to change your appearance or energy level, it's imperative to define standards of behavior that support your aspirations. Set some standards that guide how you'll care for yourself!
Your Financial Position
Your financial reality is directly related to your financial standards. Wealthy people have a different set of behavioral standards than people who struggle financially. What financial realities do you find acceptable? Do you think it's okay to have credit card debt? Do you require yourself to save? Have you established spending norms, or a process to use when making buying decisions? Take a few moments to define your financial standards.
Your attitude is your disposition or frame of mind. It's how you see the world. In order to create the reality of your dreams, you must believe your dreams are possible. How are you going to approach your life? Will you allow yourself to honestly assess your reality? Will you believe you can impact your life? Will you require yourself to make the improvements required to develop the life of your dreams? Set those standards now.
Nothing will sabotage your efforts to live a quality life more conclusively than surrounding yourself with people who don't support your standards. The most difficult course you'll navigate as you make life improvements will be terminating relationships with people who aren't equipped to grow with you, and reassuring those who are.
Your relationships have the capacity to tear you down or lift you up. Surrounding yourself with people who share similar standards is an incredibly powerful way to create a lifestyle that pulls you toward your highest potential. Surrounding yourself with people who don't support your standards will almost surely degenerate the quality of your life.
Take a moment to consider the key people in your life. Do they conduct themselves in ways you respect? Do they support you and celebrate your successes? These are the people you should treasure and invest in. If they don't, you may want to reconsider sharing your life with them. What standard will you hold for the people in your life?
Your standards act as the framework for your life. Increase your standards, improve your life!
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Kimberly Fulcher is a professional coach, author and speaker, with twelve years of experience in human development. Her professional experience includes the co-founding and $ 38 million dollar sale of SkillsVillage.com, and her leadership of a leading Silicon Valley consulting firm, where she grew revenues from $3M to $25M in four short years. Kimberly sits on the board of directors for The Silicon Valley Coach Federation, and actively supports non-profit organizations that benefit underprivileged women and primary education initiatives. Kimberly offers group and individual coaching programs, speaks throughout The United States, and will publish her first book "Life Fitness - Nine Steps to a Balanced Life" in early 2004.