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Raise The Floor

Let me know if this sounds familiar:

You set new goals…and then you fall back.

Happy New Year!…then you fall back.

You watch an inspirational YouTube video…then you fall back.

A mind-blowing TED talk…and then you fall back.

People are always setting new goals, but it’s a rare person that truly sticks to the goals they’ve set. We have a pattern of reaching for the sky, and then just as quickly falling back in the dirt. We want to create a new and better us, but so quickly settle back into our old stuff. Our default always seems to take us back to ‘normal’.

But what if we stopped focusing on goals to motivate us? What if there’s a better source for self-improvement?

If every time you try to touch the ceiling you come back down to the floor, why keep focusing on the ceiling…why not raise your floor instead?

Imagine this: let’s say you make $50,000/year at your job. You’ve built your life and situation around that level of income. Then something happens with your company, and just like that your job is down the tubes. You have a few months of savings, but know you quickly need to find new employment. But the only job you find is for $25,000/year. Dutifully, you take the position, but you have to downgrade everything about your lifestyle: the neighborhood you live in, the number of times you can go out, the vehicle you drive, and the number of choices you have on a day to day basis. Almost everything about how you like to live your life has to change.

How uncomfortable would you be? Would you feel MOTIVATED to change? Would you find a way to change your situation to get back to the life you’ve grown accustomed to living?

I actually lived this type of scenario as I was graduating from college. My first corporate job fresh out of school was at a diamond wholesale office, doing inside sales for 7.50/hr plus commission. But during college, I had started an arts program and was being paid $15/hour to run it. I hated feeling like my financial worth was cut in half. And I hated the limited lifestyle options that came with the salary slash.

Do you think at that moment I felt MOTIVATED to started doing more?

I wasn’t just motivated, I had a definite major purpose. I worked hard and began taking on more responsibility at the office. I enthusiastically pursued sales opportunities and found ways to add value to the company wherever I could. Within a few months, I was back to making the salary I was used to.


Most people keep trying to set goals, but won’t fight to achieve them and default back to their M.O. But the minute they fall below their standard of "normal", they'll do everything in their power to get it back.

If every time you try to touch the ceiling you come back down to the floor, why keep focusing on the ceiling…why not raise your floor instead?

When you want to change, it’s not always about setting new goals - it’s about raising your standards. Your destiny is built on your daily decisions, so if you don’t change your normal, you’ll always struggle to move on to bigger things.

Let’s take the arena of romance: how can you have a great relationship if somewhere along the way you don't change your standards? When you’re first dating, you might be seeing a handful of people (or at least you might be keeping your options open).

But when you decided to commit and not go out with other people…that’s a big deal! You can’t take bigger steps in your relationship until you raise the floor by committing to the person you’re with! Can you imagine trying to accomplish your #relationshipgoals if you haven’t stopped dating other people?? “I want to have a better marriage…and I’ll start working on that after my date with my girlfriend on Friday.” What the…?!

What if you have a goal of being an all-star athlete, but you skip practices and only workout when you’re being yelled at. Don’t throw a diva fit when you’re not a starter…you shouldn’t be shocked. Your floor is not productive. At some point your standard has to raise; if you create the habit of getting to practice early, going for that extra workout, and doing what needs to be done BEFORE it’s required of you…then you start to have a shot.

Everyone wants to make more money and get promoted at work, but if you keep showing up barely on time and still looking like you just rolled out of bed, you’re probably not a prime candidate for a raise. It’s 8 o’clock on the dot and you’re still tucking in your shirt as you walk in. You might tell yourself, “At least I’m there on time!” But if that’s your floor, you’ll never get promoted! It’s tough to touch the ceiling if the floor is twenty feet below it, and always changing to boot!


In your current pursuit...ask someone who's walked the path before you about some of the “success basics” that need to happen in order to excel. It’s very likely that all of these “basics” will be new and challenging at first, but don't view them as new goals…make them your new floor as fast as possible.

When these core activities become a floor you can stand on, that's when you can start to take ground.

When you feel uncomfortable not doing the basics…you’re on your way.

When you feel unsettled not meeting your standards…you’re getting close.

When your success habits become the norm, it’s only a matter of time.

Goals are important...they direct your plans and focus your actions. But goals aren’t an action plan, and we rarely view our goals as things we refuse to lose. Don't just set goals, create a new standard for yourself.

Set new floors and reach heights you never thought were possible.

#marknathan #MillennialStrong #raisethefloor #MarkNathanBlog #entrepreneur #millennials #goals

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