Lower the Standards



We are two weeks into our 12 week course Create Peace, and I’m seeing a reoccurring pattern that is extremely common with the women I coach.

I find myself encouraging them to lower the standards.

This doesn’t seem like what you would expect from a coaching conversation and yet it happens constantly.

What I have noticed is that the women I work with have this innate drive to improve, but the expectations often don’t match the reality.

In a recent coaching conversation, a mom shared with me that she is already waking up at 4:15am to get some quiet time alone before the family starts waking up. In an effort to improve one of her spokes, she was looking for more time in the day and said “I’m struggling with the fact that I can’t wake up any earlier than I already am.”

Woah. Stop right there. Let’s flip the script.

A full night’s rest is an extremely high priority that I always encourage people to rearrange their lives around. Let’s not adjust there.

I shared with her that I look at my priorities and habits alongside each other constantly. I also measure them against the season of life I’m in and what’s realistic.

Currently, I’m in a season where I am not carving out time for a traditional workout, and I refuse to feel any shame about it. My kids are early risers so they wake me up in the mornings and it’s go-go until everyone is at work and school. I pick them up and we go straight into dinner and bedtime routines. By 8:00pm I have my quiet time before I crash. I choose to use that time for writing, coaching, quality time with my husband, social time with friends, self-care, or the 1,000 tasks weighing on my mind.

However, health is still a priority to me. So what that spoke looks like right now is I got a standing desk at work. I jump on the trampoline with my kids to get my heart rate up. We go on walks in the neighborhood and I try to add in some jogging to have a little cardio. I am regularly lifting my 35 pound toddler.

In addition, I pay very close attention to what I’m eating and am maintaining my health through good food choices, which is 80% of it anyway. I do not budge on prioritizing my water intake and my sleep.

I know eventually my seasons will shift and I won’t have a two year old who always wants to crawl on me. One day, I will return to my love of a structured yoga practice and running triathlons. One day I will be in fantastic shape. I will enjoy the rewards and feeling that come with a fit body. In the meantime, I am releasing the shame around these thunder thighs.


But right now, in this season, balancing these priorities, I am not trying to be superwoman. For some women, their workout is a non-negotiable and that’s fantastic. My health is a non-negotiable, but I’ve just had to find ways to stay healthy that look a little different right now.

To bring it back around to the 4:15 a.m. mom, after we talked it through, what she needed wasn’t more hours in the day. What she needed was to tweak the hours she has to be most efficient. She went from setting a habit goal around how early she rises to looking at her habits around social media and setting goals to prevent her from getting sucked into the scroll.

Another client had to lower the standards by releasing the idea that she had to complete this 12 week course in 12 weeks. It remains online indefinitely, so she is now looking to get through the material over the next 6 months instead because life is throwing her some curve balls.

I regularly find myself helping people slow down, take a deep breath and adjust their expectations.

May we all find the grace with our lives and our circumstances to set expectations that match the capacity we have to do and give in our current reality.


Grace and peace my friends,


Sophia Hyde


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