Set Your Personal Standards, And Stick To Them

Written By Pat Wiltse

Writer, optimist, fresh air enthusiast | Founding Editor of

January 16, 2016

Set your standards and stick to them. It’s tough but it’s worth it.

In life we inevitably make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. We understand that mistakes are the building blocks of success, that we must accept mistakes and learn from them. One essential factor in the process of converting your mistakes into success is setting standards along the way.

Standards relate to choice, and choice is everything. To choose is to do, and to do is to live. We set standards based on past decisions and make future decisions based on our standards. Setting good standards is crucial to making good decisions, which is why it’s important to set standards consciously and to not take them for granted.

Life offers no fairness so instead you must impose fairness on life. Set your standards and stick to them. It will make you more grateful for everything you have.

Set Standards for Others

Set standards to move away from negative people.

When somebody wrongs you, consider their motives. Did they do it intentionally or were they simply ignorant? If you confront them honestly about their wrongdoing how will they react? Have they had your best interest in the past? Ask yourself these questions. Test them out. Then decide if you can trust that person again. If you believe that they followed their own self interest maliciously to your detriment, set a standard not to trust that person again. Identify the traits that characterized that person and the situation and alert yourself when these characteristics emerge in your future encounters.

Set standards to keep positive people by your side.

Conversely, set a standard for the quality of person to whom you extend your best self and give your trust to. Somebody who is considerate and never shallow or selfish. People who undermine and hurt others to achieve their goals are rarely more successful in life than those who make an effort to elevate everybody they come in contact with. Learn to identify the latter and set a standard to form relationships with these types of people. When a person meets this standard let them know. Be gracious and use conscious energy to benefit their wellbeing in return. Good friends and allies are an invaluable resource in a self interested world. While these people may be rare, they are worth seeking and holding on to. In romantic relationships this is especially true.

Set Standards for Yourself

Set standards to treat others as you’d like to be treated.

Most importantly, understand that the standards you set for others are only as valuable as those that you set for yourself. Live to avoid hypocrisy, always imagining yourself on the receiving end of your own actions. It is hard to be perfectly self-critical, so learn to use others as a mirror for your judgments. Emulate those who treat you well and add value to your life. When in doubt, mimic their actions. Realize when you are acting in a way that contradicts how you would like to be treated.

Set standards to criticize and congratulate yourself regularly.

Being an active self-critic will prevent you from becoming defensive and egotistical, and will heighten your chances of excelling in life. But, like everything, self-criticism can be practiced in excess. Remember that you are human and humans are imperfect; set finite, realistic standards that you can follow on a daily basis, and allow yourself to feel proud when you do so. This will help you to maintain that invaluable personal resource known as confidence.

Set Standards for Things

Set standards for how you spend your money.

Is money important to you? Or are you more partial to the opportunity that money creates. Whether you are rich or poor, make a point of budgeting your finances towards the things that matter most, so that you may feel proud of yourself and grateful for your purchases. Everybody is unique – whether it’s spending hundreds of dollars buying dinner for your friends or saving a few dollars on a discount pair of jeans, make a point of spending your money in ways that make you happy and that you won’t regret later.

Set standards for what you put in your body. 

Do you like experimenting with drugs? Do you have a weakness for junk food? We all have our vices, but we must remember how hard our bodies work to support our life experience. Health and vitality are limited resources that we should not take for granted. Set a standard to consume things that are good for you, that provide benefit to your mind and body. Be conscious and grateful for the enjoyment you get from things that aren’t good for you, such as alcohol. Make sure that the benefit of your life experience isn’t outweighed by the damage done. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation.”

Set Standards for Whatever You Want

Above are just a few of the standards that are important to me.

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