Higher Standards

January 3, 2011

It’s the first Monday of a new year, and like most Januarys (Januaries?), I’m reinvigorated, highly motivated, and ready to take on huge goals. I’m sure you are too. But what you are about to read is not about resolutions, goals, or changes necessarily. This is about standards; in our lives and in our businesses.

Before we get started, close your eyes, roll your shoulders forwards, then backwards, then slowly roll your head around in a circle a few times. Take your time with these motions. Those faint pops and cracks? That’s the sound of 2010 going away. It feels good, doesn’t it? Relax and settle in… the sprint vs. marathon cliché is more relavant today than it will be all year.

It’s time to hold ourselves to higher standards. It’s time to bring back integrity, innovation, higher levels of communication, and patience. It’s time to set the bar higher, paying greater attention to detail, so that we can move forward rather than float through another year.

Not enough time? Make time. Not enough money? Create a budget. Clients getting to you? Refine your process. Vendors or partners getting you down? Find new ones. It’s now or never. If something feels like an anchor, it probably is. There are plenty of fish in the sea. And if you’re already doing these things, increase the quality of your efforts. Enhance your precision.

It’s time to think less and do more. Some might say that thoughtless action leads to recklessness, but if our actions are well-planned in advance, then we don’t have to think much about them when it’s time to act. We just execute. Because even a little thought leads to over-thinking. And over-thinking leads to procrastination. And that’s when we get stuck. So stop rushing, stop pressing, and stop. Think about the quality of what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and how you’re communicating it. Critique your life, critique your business. Underwrite everything.

Forget resolutions this year. It’s time we hold ourselves to higher standards.

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