The truth is, making huge changes in your life comes down to one relatively easy concept: raising your standards.
Everything else, all the tips and tricks, exercises, and strategies are only useful if you’ve set the appropriately high standards for yourself.
When people hear this for the first time, they often get defensive. They’ll say something like “if that’s all it takes, everyone would have whatever they wanted.” To some extent – that’s true. And that’s true because most people here in the United States do have whatever they truly want.
This can be kind of tricky because part of you is reading this saying “well I want a Porsche and I don’t have that.” Or “I have 20 thousand dollars in credit card debt and I want it to be 0 dollars.”
It’s true, you may want those things, but you also want to only work 40 hours a week and to go shopping and out to the bars every weekend with your friends. The Porsche and paying off the credit card take a level of discipline and sacrifice that you absolutely do not want.
However, for all of us, in every area of our lives – whether that be your body, your finances, your career, your relationship – we all have these beliefs about what we truly deserve and truly need in our lives. This set of beliefs has been there and has created the life you have right now. As in the my examples above, the person we’re talking about has consciously or unconsciously decided that a Honda Accord is okay and 20K isn’t too much credit card debit.
Unchanged, you will continue on your current path getting the same result for the foreseeable future.
I frequently work with people who are working on their bodies and one cycle, which you’ve probably experienced yourself, illustrates the point perfectly.
People will frequently set a number goal for how much they’d like to weigh but will usually settle for a different number they are okay with. For example, someone weighs 160 and they want to get down to 145. They go into full work mode restricting their calories, doing extra cardio, and quickly they see themselves get down to 152 just like that. At this point, they let their guard down and start enjoying their life a little bit – eating some cookies, missing some workouts to cuddle in bed with their lover or their dog, and before the know it they are right back at 160 again. Once they see 160 on the scale, they go right back into work mode to work on their body again. What does that tell me as their coach? Their standard that they are holding themselves to is that they need to be under 160 pounds. 145 will only be actualized if the person ever truly decides that they MUST weigh 145 pounds rather than they SHOULD weigh 145 pounds.
You will have sudden moments in your life where your standards will change on a dime. That DOES happen.
I remember when my standard changed on eating a plant-based diet. I stopped counting the days or the months I was “sticking to the diet.” I just set the standard of not consuming cheese, eggs, and meat and then it was done. Some people smoke cigarettes for years and “quit” or “try” to quit several times in their lives. It never sticks and they find themselves right back at the gas station getting their pack of Marlboro Reds. Then one day they just say, “no more” and never touch cigarettes again.
These moments are rare and beautiful. Don’t count on them. Create them.
For most people, changing our standards comes down to really evaluating what life we should create and what we can’t live without. We must do work to get our minds clear on exactly on what we must have and exactly what behaviors we need to eliminate.
Start here with this simple and amazingly impactful exercise:
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: