How to Raise Your Standards to Change Your Life

by The Relationship Guy
August 24, 2015

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“If you want to change your life you have to raise your standards.”

~Anthony Robbins

One of the most powerful things you can do to change any aspect of your life or result that you’re getting is making a new decision.

Make a decision to raise your standards.

Mike Ditka, the great football coach of the Chicago Bears, has often said, “You get what you tolerate.” 

True words.

If your life right now is less than you’d like it to be, it is most possible your standards are too low.

What you demand of yourself is feeble.

As an example, one of the reasons Donald Trump makes so much money is that only making $1 million per year is totally unacceptable to him.

In fact, he associates so much pain with under-achieving that he pushes himself to the limited.

Granted, the man has made some mistakes, his politics are interesting, and he doesn’t have the greatest hairdo in the world, but you have to admire what he demands of himself and his business.

He knows how to create results on a massive scale.

If you want to move the needle in your life, you will have to get very real and honest with yourself before you can create new results.

Let’s answer a question or two first.

Are you comfortable with only making $50k per year?

Are you OK with being 20 lbs (10kg)  overweight?

Are you satisfied with marriage without much intimacy and playfulness? 

Are you okay with marrying someone that hits you a few times a year and verbally abuses you the rest of the time?

Whatever applies to you and your situation, the same principle goes for us all.

If you don’t raise your standards, you’re stuck and will remain so until you change something.

Ask yourself – what is the outcome of that standard?

You’re likely to end up with whatever is acceptable to you and little more.

Here are some ideas on how to raise your standards and enrich your life:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Your most important standards deal with your own conduct.

Are you willing to tolerate being late again?


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 the expectations of your behaviour.

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?

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.

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.

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 25 lbs.

When you change who you are, many of your results will change, too.

8. 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.

Point out your progress to yourself and feel excited.

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 at 65 instead of retiring.

Make a list and understand the pain you face if you don’t stay on track.

Take Away

Tony Robbins said that raising his standards was the most important factor in turning his life around.

Ultimately, 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.

Have high standards and your life will rise to meet them.

I hope you take the challenge and rise to the occasion.

live and love fully my friend 1

About the author 

The Relationship Guy

Gideon Hanekom is the founder of, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) which focuses on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor almost 10 years ago. He also completed graduate studies in Psychology and is currently pursuing postgraduate Psychology studies at Massey University. He has been married to his wife for over seventeen years and is the dad of two children. His articles have been published on and The Good Men Project.

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