Personal Standards: Lists, 60 Examples & How to Define Them

Table of Contents
How to Define and Use Your Personal Standards + Examples

Having clearly defined personal standards for social behavior, personality expression, and overall life aspirations is crucial for experiencing a deep sense of fulfillment. By taking a comprehensive strengths assessment like the HIGH5 test, you can gain invaluable self-knowledge to set authentic standards that allow you to lean into your unique talents. Standards grounded in your innate strengths are not only essential for reaching meaningful goals but also for attaining a high quality of life and cultivating strong, resonant relationships.

If you want to have a healthy and happy life, standards will be essential. In this article, we will address how to define and apply your personal standards.

What Are Personal Standards?

Standards are used in numerous ways. Standards are reflected in how you act to yourself and others. They help individuals outline which behaviors are acceptable, and which are not.

They are also essential for having a strong self-identity and understanding your goals.

In general, your standard is simply a list of activities, thoughts, and behaviors that you accept as helpful. Your expectations help develop the standards you have.

Additionally, the circumstances you find yourself in also play a role. Values and goals are tied to your personal standards as well. The standards you set for yourself provide an outline for your entire life.

Why Personal Standards are Important & List of Benefits

If you want to understand yourself, develop a clear list of standards. They will reveal immense amounts of knowledge about your values, ideas of success, and goals.

Those with high personal standards tend to have better relationships and achieve their goals more often.

Understanding which behaviors uphold your standards and which do not is crucial for identifying areas for growth and positive change. Taking a comprehensive strengths assessment like the HIGH5 test can provide invaluable insights into your unique talents and potential blindspots, empowering you to align your actions with your personal standards more effectively. However, self-awareness is just one of the many benefits of embracing a strengths-based approach – it can also boost your self-esteem, goal achievement, decision-making abilities, and overall well-being.

10 Benefits of Personal Standards

  1. Raise your self-esteem and be respected by others.
  2. Boost in personal health (mental, emotional, social, and physical).
  3. More likely to achieve your goals. Increased belief in your ability to achieve tough tasks.
  4. A simplified approach to decision-making.
  5. Gain the ability to clearly evaluate behaviors as helpful or hurtful.
  6. A better understanding of your identity and the identity of others.
  7. Increased ability to control yourself.
  8. A clearer vision of the long term and what you truly want to accomplish.
  9. More likely to keep yourself and others accountable.
  10. Increased career and entrepreneurial skills.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

After taking the HIGH5 test, review your top strengths and consider how you can apply them more intentionally to uphold your personal standards across different life domains. For example, if one of your strengths is “Achiever,” you could set a standard to consistently work towards specific goals that are meaningful to you.

Where Do My Standards Come From?

Standards come from more than one location. They are related to your goals, values, purpose, motivation, virtues, and vices.

Each of these elements contributes to your standards being unique. No other individual has the same standards as you.

Do not feel the pressure to conform to someone else’s ideals if they do not align with yours.


Your mission is a key driver of behaviors. Each act you take either contributes to your overall goals, or it does not.

When you try to set your standards, consider how they may affect your overall purpose. If you set high standards that align with your purpose, you may find your goals easier to achieve.

If you set your standards too low, however, they may cause you to lose sight of your mission. Before drafting your standards, consider making your purpose clear.

Core Values

Everyone has values, whether you are aware of them or not. Core values help you understand which behaviors are helpful, and which are harmful.

Consider what your values are. It could be empathy, leadership, honesty, responsibility, or some other value.

Then, when making your standards, consider whether a behavior upholds these values. If you value integrity, offering constructive criticism could be your standard.

Over or undervaluing their work would be below standard behavior.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Reflect on your core values and how they intersect with your unique strengths profile from the HIGH5 assessment. Then, design personal standards that allow you to live in alignment with both – leveraging your talents in service of what truly matters to you.

Reason Why

Your “reason why” is intimately tied to your purpose or mission in life. By taking the time to understand why you pursue certain goals and what you truly want to accomplish, you can uncover your intrinsic motivations and the strengths that drive you. The HIGH5 strengths assessment is designed to provide this deeper self-knowledge, helping you identify your core talents and how to leverage them authentically in pursuit of your “reason why.” With this clarity, you can then set personal standards that are aligned with your values and vision for a fulfilling life.

Who do you want to leave an impact on, and why? Once you understand this, create a list of behaviors that lead to making this impact.

Ask the individuals you want to leave an impact on: what can I help you with? Then, add these acts to your standards.


Vices are the exact opposite of virtues. These are the actions that you do not want to perform. When you understand your vices, you can better understand your standards as well.

For instance, you could understand that unhealthy eating is your vice. Then, when you try to set a health standard, list an action that is the opposite of a bad habit.

This could be consistently having one of three healthy breakfasts. Or, you could try limiting your cheat meals to one time weekly.

60 Examples of Personal Standards

Standards can be applied to multiple avenues in your life. They can benefit your relationships, financial life, well-being, intelligence, career success, and so much more.

The nature of standards is that they can be applied in more than one way. Below are a few examples of standards you can set.


  1. Save up for a child’s college fund within 6 years.
  2. Save 20% of your income towards retirement or investing.
  3. Pay off your college debt within the next 3 years.
  4. Limit your luxury expenses to $100 a month.
  5. Attend one networking event monthly.
  6. Invest 25% of your income in real estate.
  7. Graduate college debt-free by having a job.
  8. Boost your productivity to boost your wealth.
  9. Save up for a business.
  10. Put aside money and time each month to meet with startup owners so you can invest and learn.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

If “Strategist” is one of your top strengths according to the HIGH5 test, you could set a personal standard to regularly explore new investment opportunities that align with your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance.


  1. Limit your cheat meals to once a week.
  2. Commit to tracking your calories and steps.
  3. Run 3 miles each morning.
  4. Meal prep healthy meals every Sunday.
  5. Only go grocery shopping with a list and when you are not hungry.
  6. Wake up at 6 am every morning.
  7. Brush, floss, and use mouthwash every morning after eating.
  8. Eat one of a few healthy breakfasts every morning at home.
  9. Create your own sugar-free coffee (instead of going to a coffee shop).
  10. Drink at least 2 liters each day.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Those with the “Time Keeper” strength, according to the HIGH5 test, tend to excel at following structured routines. You could set a personal health standard to meal prep for the entire week, capitalizing on this talent for consistency and planning.


  1. Spend time with people you love (at least an hour a day).
  2. Call your parents at a set time daily.
  3. Check-in on your spouse when they are traveling.
  4. Have at least one date night each week.
  5. Every week, buy your spouse a gift, such as candy or flowers.
  6. Have a video call with your family members.
  7. Invite your old friends to a night out every month.
  8. Spend time talking face-to-face with your spouse every day.
  9. Invite coworkers to a night out each month so you can learn about them.
  10. Leave a small note in your significant other’s lunch daily.


  1. Read at least 30 books every year.
  2. Listen to one new science podcast every week.
  3. Attend science or informational events in the community.
  4. Meet up with individuals who are experienced in their field through networking.
  5. Visit at least one low-income country annually to learn about your privilege and their culture.
  6. Help your children with their homework every night.
  7. Try doing yoga with peaceful music in the evening (which could lead to new neural connections).
  8. Go back to school to earn your degree within a set time frame.
  9. Perform one activity outside of your comfort zone weekly.
  10. Fact-check each of the opinions you hold before solidifying them.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Leverage your “Philomath” strength by setting a personal standard to regularly assess your progress towards your goals and identify opportunities for growth. The HIGH5 assessment can provide fresh perspectives for adjusting your approach.


  1. Maintain a zero-drama policy.
  2. Commit to meeting with friends in growth-friendly zones, not bars or clubs.
  3. Ensure your personal hygiene is well-represented.
  4. Ask others about their opinions when making decisions.
  5. When spending time with people, ensure you like them.
  6. Before making a friend, ensure they have the same values.
  7. Invite individuals you would like to have as friends to your home each month.
  8. Try bonding with coworkers outside of work, such as over a meal, to discuss individual growth and goals. Proceed relationship building if they have goals that align with yours.
  9. Reevaluate your relationships whenever someone lies to you.
  10. Remain in consistent contact with the friends you care about.


  1. Perform one fun activity every week.
  2. Cook a new recipe every day.
  3. Commit to learning a new sport.
  4. Listen to music every day on the way to work.
  5. Perform one self-care act for yourself every day.
  6. Avoid distracting okay, such as social media, if you are not fulfilled by it.
  7. Buy yourself clothing if you truly want it.
  8. Save up for a vacation you wish to go on.
  9. Schedule an hour a day to watch your favorite show.
  10. Bond with your spouse or coworkers by eating out weekly.

How to Measure and Review Personal Standards

When you are trying to address how well you are following your standards, look at your behavior. Firstly, create a list of the personal standards that must be adhered to.

Then, create a list of the major actions you took throughout the day.

When you look at these actions, ask yourself if they align with your standards. Particularly, look for acts that are the exact opposite of the standards you set for yourself.

Note how many acts are in alignment, are questionable, and which are completely contradictory to your standards.

When reviewing your standards, consider your actions once again. Ask yourself: are your compliant actions increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?

This will help you determine how well you are adhering to your standards.

Bonus Tip: How Do You Promote Standards of Excellence?

As a leader, you must inspire your team to have high standards. To do this, you must show a true interest in your team’s standards.

Whenever a team member shows they consistently have high standards, show this individual as an example to the team. Reward this individual.

Give them special acknowledgment and a raise, if possible.

In addition, you must clearly outline these standards yourself. Display your own high standards. This could inspire your employees to use similar standards.

When you need to recruit a new employee, ensure the interviewer asks specific questions about standards. Ask the candidate about their standards and how they use them.

Those who can prove they have high standards should be top-tier candidates.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

As a leader, take the HIGH5 team assessment to understand the collective strengths profile of your organization. You can then design initiatives that allow individuals and teams to apply their unique talents in pursuit of excellence.

Personal Standards FAQ

What are personal standards for happiness?

Every individual has their own standards because there are many differences between people. The same is true with their happiness standards.

However, many individuals share similar standards. Some commit to having a date night weekly to keep themselves happy. Others will ensure the people they are friends with are truly friends. They try to limit drama.

Additional standards that help develop happiness include yearly travel, self-care time, listening to music daily, reading books weekly, and trying out new sports consistently.

What are personal standards at work?

Personal standards can also be applied at work. If you are a leader, one way to show personal standards is by asking for constructive criticism. You can also commit to the decisions you make as a leader.

As an employee, standard application is also crucial. You can eliminate distractions and commit to spending multiple hours only working.

Another common employee standard is arriving early to work each morning and finishing work on time.

What are personal standards of justice?

One’s feelings and ideas related to justice are rooted in standards. One standard that is applied to justice is the notion that everyone should be treated equally.

Justice standards also include: always asking for someone else’s opinion, reviewing your actions before making a choice, or asking for an expert’s opinion before judging someone.

Additionally, not judging individuals based on arbitrary parameters is an example of a justice standard.

What are personal standards of excellence?

Standards of excellence refer to standards that show the best in you. Excellence is pursuing your own passions and fulfilling your needs. In addition, it also relates to ethical and emotional fulfillment.

Personal standards of excellence include committing to having a growth mindset, being transparent and honest with everyone, keeping your vision clear, working as many hours as possible to achieve a goal, and other actions.

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