Don’t Lower My Expectations… Raise Your Game!

22 Oct

Recently, I read a Facebook post from an old friend, Tom Bielawski.  That post is captured in the title of this blog post.  Tom further clarified, explaining that he was “just in that kinda mood today – keep up the pace or step aside.”  Tom’s comments got me thinking about Don Shula’s quote, “Strive for perfection.  Settle for excellence.”

What are you doing to raise your game?  Are you satisfied with your current level of performance or are you working to improve?  Do you truly want to be the best you can be and, if so, what are you doing (and willing to do) to accomplish that?  Here are some tips to help you improve your performance:

Establish a Baseline

It’s important to understand your starting point.  With regard to the skill(s) you want to improve, where are you today?  You’ve got to be able to objectively assess your current level of performance if you want to create a plan to improve it.

Remember, It’s You vs. You

You’ve got to work within the context of your abilities and potential.  Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with others (trust me, there are lots of other people who will do that for you).  Your goal should be to make “today you” better than “yesterday you;” and “tomorrow you” better than “today you.”

What’s Your Goal?

Goal setting is important.  Write down your goals, and revisit them often.  What does success look like?  For that matter, what does improvement look like?

Have a Plan

You’ll need to develop a map to help you get from point A (today’s reality) to point B (tomorrow’s goal).  One of the strategies I like, that relates to both the goal setting and performance planning processes, is SMART.  Both your goal and your plan should have SMART objectives built-in.

  • Specific – avoid being general or vague.
  • Measurable – your action steps and goal(s) should be quantifiable.
  • Actionable – your plan and goal should involve doing.
  • Realistic – challenge yourself, while considering your abilities and potential.
  • Timebound – set time parameters and deadlines.

Checks and Balances

It can be helpful to build “checkpoints” into your plan.  You’ll want to re-evaluate from time to time, to ensure that your action steps are consistent with your goal(s).  I like the “chunk it down” strategy.  Some goals, even though realistic, can seem immediately overwhelming.  Breaking down your goals into manageable steps can be more motivating and help you stick to your plan.

Get Help

It can be helpful to enlist the help of an expert, at least to get you started.


Your thoughts?

3 Responses to “Don’t Lower My Expectations… Raise Your Game!”

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