The Difference Between Goals and Standards

blog business tips for entrepreneurs daily habits motivation Nov 14, 2022
As we head into the holiday season and what is launch season for many entrepreneurs, I thought I would bring up the topic of goals and standards. I can't remember where I heard this being used but as soon as I heard it I was like yes, we all need this reminder.
So as you go into the holiday season or any busy season, think about this: What are your standards? Standards are the expected level of achievement you want to accomplish daily or within a specific period of time. These are not nice to have, these are I absolutely must do this. Some of my standards in this season are:
  • Limit social media screen time to 1 hour a day
  • Walk 7,500 steps
  • Read 10 pages
  • Create one piece of content (going back to create more than I consume)
  • Don't hit snooze
  • Do something fun every day
  • Drink 100 ounces of water

How to Set Your Standards

If I am being honest, when I wrote out my November goals, I set out these standards first. These are my non-negotiables every day. Most people don't talk about standards even though we think about them all the time.
Today I am not going to scroll.
Today I am going to be hydrated.
Today I am going to walk outside.
Today I am going to write that awesome blog post.
These are all standards. And writing them down will help you realize what yours are.

Your attitude determines your altitude

"Succesful people don't just drift off to the top. Getting there requires focused action, personal discipline, and lots of energy every day to make things happen," says American author and entrepreneur Jack Canfield. And he couldn't be more accurate.
You can see that while these take effort, they are not exactly challenging. Yes, in January when it's -20 degrees outside 7,500 steps might be hard but they are all doable. I like to think my daily standards add up to the consistency that starts to create momentum. Kind of like those tiny micro habits that seem like nothing, but over time actually get amazing results.
So, when you go into this next season, what are your standards? Some examples of business ones are:
  • Follow the 80/20 rule (20% of your effort will get you 80% of your results)
  • Create more than you consume
  • Prioritization (aka the Eisenhower grid) Do, Defer, Delegate, or Delete (we could do a whole blog on this standard, but every time you sit down to do a task map it through this grid. Do you have to do it? Can you defer it, can someone else do it, or is it just not important?
I am going to worry about the activities that move the needle the most (80/20 rule). As a business owner, it is always important to create more than you consume, and finally, when you get overwhelmed, prioritize your activities. Do, defer, delegate or delete.
Can you imagine the momentum you can create by just raising your daily standards?
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Layer Your Goals With Your Standards

Now let's layer on some goals. You have at this point mapped out your daily standards, now let's set some goals for what we want to see at the end of this season. Goals are what we are used to hearing. A set activity with a set amount of time to accomplish it.
I'll plug our planner here because at the beginning of every month there is an entire goal-setting exercise. I like to think of goals as achievable, but something that you are not going to achieve in a day. They are going to take some intention and work. Personally, I like to bucket my goals. So each month I have business goals, personal goals, family goals, self-care goals, etc. I pick 1-2 things that I want to achieve in each category. Example:
  • Read a book for fun (This is actually super hard for me)
  • Work 3 days a week
  • Go to yoga 1 x a week

The Difference Between Goals and Standards

Can you see the difference between standards and goals? My self-care goal is to go to yoga 1 x a week, but also my standard is to walk 7,500 steps. See how they work together.
Once you create your standards and your goals for the season you can then incorporate them into your daily plan (p.s. I teach this inside our monthly planning party in our club and mastermind community). Every day, you now have an outline of what you need to do without even thinking. Genius right?
I created this blog post because I feel like as we head into the busy season, setting these guard rails of goals and standards will help us see the results we want even more. And if I am being honest, it is a step most of us skip. It is easier just to work and hope the goal gets met. Bill Copeland states, "The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score."

Using Standards to Live a Purpose-Driven Life

Do you sometimes feel like that? Like you are running on a hamster wheel? This is why. You are going through life without daily standards and without goals.
Setting goals and then working ridiculously hard to achieve them sets you on the path of living a purpose-driven life. "If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
These two SIMPLE steps will create the momentum you need to carry you through. And go into the holiday season ditching the stress. Email me or DM me, what are your standards for this season?
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club! 


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Holly Marie Haynes is a business strategy coach, podcaster, mom of twins, and founder of the Crush the Rush brand. She helps women create simple scaleable offers and systems to grow to multiple 6-figures.

Holly Marie Haynes is a business strategy coach, podcaster, mom of twins, and founder of the Crush the Rush brand. She helps women create simple scaleable offers and systems to grow to multiple 6-figures.

© 2022 Holly Marie Haynes, LLC |