Raising the bar in 2012

“Raise the bar for yourself”
- Oprah Winfrey

How do you define quality for yourself? We can all pretty much define quality in terms of products and services, but what about quality on a more personal level. What does quality mean in your personal relationships? Quality as a mom, dad, husband, wife, etc.. Quality in the work that you are paid a salary to perform? Is it exterior or interior factors that shape and determine your sense of quality?

This morning, while watching a segment on the OWN Network, Oprah commented that she admired an individual featured on the show because, “he raises the bar for himself.” The statement reverberated with me, because I’ve always believed that we must set the bar for ourselves and gradually elevate that bar.

Don’t wait for your supervisor, manager, director, hubby, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, teacher, or anyone else to tell you that “it’s time.”

Professionally I have found success in raising the bar for myself, even in a few isolated cases where the elevation isn’t acknowledged by my superiors. So what! I feel or felt good about what I did and that’s all that matters. Quite often, it (raising the bar) isn’t always expected or perceived to be a priority in the workplace, or even articulated as a need by so called leaders. Yet it can make all the difference in job performance and job satisfaction.

The same goes in our personal life. I often ask myself, what I can do to improve the quality of my life and the quality of my family’s life. If I look around and see that something is the same and has been the same for any length of time, I question it. “Is this working?” Even if what the “it” is in fact working, I have to ask myself how I can improve upon it and go from there.

Take for example, my diet. Anyone who knows me, know that I am conscious about my diet. I make sure to include fruit, vegetables, and to prepare a balanced meal for my family. Yes, like any normal person, I have my moments of weakness and over indulgence of my personal faintness for dark chocolate. Mmm… just writing about is tempting.

A few months ago, I assessed my diet and decided to make some changes. The changes made, were subtle, but the results were surprising and mind-boggling. I’m glad that I was open to change.

The principle of doing our best in everything we  do is the underlying theme in raising the bar for oneself. This theme has and continues to be a critical message for my children, as well as, serving as a constant reminder for myself.

For the New Year, I will continue to raise the bar myself and have set new goals in three areas of my personal life. All won’t be easy, but good usually requires a little more effort, so I’m ready for the challenge!

Best wishes to you for a peaceful, happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!