How do we get better? We raise our standards within ourselves. How? Just as a runner decides they want to run a faster mile. First they make the decision WHY they want to. Then the tough part, the runner has to beat the time they ran the day before, pushing through the pain to go a step further to break that time. The runner's uncomfortable because they're changing, they're tolerating more pain and adapting to what they must become in order to achieve this time. It's the same in your business. It's possible that your attention to detail could have improved in your reports, or your presentations could have been more poise, accuracy, and fluent. No matter what you intend to raise your standards in you'll have to know what your best work has been to give yourself a target. Then consistently aim at that level of work every single time until it becomes your average. Once you know what you're capable of doing right now, you can build a consistent standard within yourself around that capability. So here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to build a better business, get a promotion, getting fit, or just simply raising your personal standards:
1) Decide why you want to: We need to have a reason why we are making the decision to improve what we do, and we are to hold that reason with us until we reach the level we're looking to achieve. Sometimes we have trouble making that decision and we do not put the best effort into our work because something happens. For example, we do not like our boss or our coach, so our efforts lapse. What suffers for that? Our standards, we compromise our abilities because we feel we did not get a fair shot. But who actually suffers from those situations? We do, we let the work we do suffer because we do not want to waste our best effort, or give the best effort to someone we do not care for. Some of us go to work thinking, "I should not be doing this" or "I should be further along than this", and we're probably right. But can you say you've given your best effort regardless of the circumances around you, or did you compromise because of things out of your control. What can you control? You can control your decisions, and you can choose to raise your standards.
2) Create accountability, measurability: Finding a way to measure what we do and practice is essential to know where we are and where we came from. Do not get discouraged if you have trouble reaching your personal best for a second time right away. Just keep moving forward doing what you can to consistently improve. Once you reach your personal best a 2nd time, you'll find ways to consistently reach it going forward to make it your new standard. One day, you'll freakishly break out of your new standard and set a new high for yourself. Then your new challenge will be to find a way to make your new personal best your future standard.
3) Get leakage: Most people I speak with do not fully understand the concept of leverage. Building leakage, or something that will require you to accomplish a certain task will ensure success. Think of your mortgage or rent. What would happen if you did not make that payment on time? There would be a penalty for not doing so. Also, a fighter trains to compete and beat their opponent. If they do not train up to a certain level they will not be able to compete with their opponent. Taking the time to write out the rent check, or finding the reason to train at such an intense level with consistent motivation is the leakage, it's the consequences or rewards. The easy part is saying you need leverage, and the hard part is finding leverage that will help you realize the punishment or reward related to your goal, and take consistent action toward it.
Congratulations! I'm sure by now you know what you want to take to a new level in your life. Do you want to keep going? It's going to be tough, but you know how to do it. Go raise you standards, get better, and climb to a new level. Realize what you've accomplished, because anything gained no matter how small is a new place to build from and is something to be proud of.