tonya's diary

what i'm thinking about

One of my favorite things to do is raise my standards.

For my health and wellness choices
For the places I frequent
For the kinds of conversations I’m available for
For the business results I achieve
For the quality of my relationships

Raising my standards gives me a sense of pride, because as hard as it sometimes is, I know that I’m leaving something behind that no longer serves me. Forever.

There’s nothing like it.

I remember deciding that I was no longer a woman who craved sugar. It was different than the times before when I was a woman trying to resist sugar. Big difference.

I claimed a new standard, and therefore a new identity.

We think we need strategies and a game plan and all the things in place.

But really, all we need is —

To make a decision and mean it.

Every time we raise our standards represents a new beginning.

Welcome to The Sky High Issue (as in where your standards deserve to be.)

This week’s podcast is a tribute to sky high standards:

5 Standards to Upgrade Immediately

If you participated in The Worthy Woman workshop and decided to join us in School of Self-Image, know this: our work has just begun —

And I can promise you - the best is yet to come.

Let’s Go,

P.S. Did you skip The Worthy Woman challenge we just finished? Get on the waitlist for School of Self-Image right here, so you’re the first to know when we open the doors again!

The Thought Edit

A New Thought to Restyle Your Mind

Raising your standards will require that you raise your red velvet rope.

Your red velvet rope is the boundary that you have around your life about what is allowed or not.

When you raise a standard, it often requires conversations with loved ones about what behavior is no longer acceptable.

For example, when I first started working as a coach, I gave my phone number to private clients (I know, crazy, right?). I told them to call me if they had an urgent matter.

FYI: even thought it may feel like it, being upset that you overate is not urgent.

A few of my clients abused the courtesy, leading me to feel resentful and frustrated. But, because of my people pleasing tendencies, I didn’t say anything until …

A client called me at 2AM!


Red velvet rope lifted.

I made it a policy in my business to not give out my personal number to clients. All coaching would be done during coaching hours that was scheduled. I had the conversation with my current clients at the time.

Here’s how the conversation went:

“I am no longer offering coaching on my personal phone. All coaching will be scheduled in advance, and we’ll meet on my office line. If you call my cell phone, I won’t answer. This new policy allows me to offer you my full attention and to honor my own needs. Please let me know of you have any questions.”

One person quit (the one that called me at 2AM). The other clients completely understood and even expressed their respect for this decision.

They were my ideal clients.

When you raise your standards, expect to implement boundaries with those you love, and expect some people to leave.

Are you willing to love yourself at the risk of disappointing others?

There are three parts to setting a boundary:

  1. Clearly communicate a request without blame or judgment. This is what you are choosing for YOU.
  2. Tell the person what you will do if the boundary is not respected. Important Note: This is not the time for empty threats. Offer a clear consequence or action you will definitely take if the boundary is not respected.
  3. Express gratitude when the boundary is respected. Follow through on the consequence if the boundary is not respected.

This is a drama-free approach to setting and keeping boundaries, and as you raise your standards, you will have to have lots of these conversations, so be sure to earmark this email for future use.


Ideas for Elevating from Our Members

Empowering Women
with Thais Lima Glenn

“In 2021, I met another life coach who was applying for the same job as me. I really wanted the job, and I know that my old self would have been so jealous and put myself down - comparing myself to her.

But not this new self! My standards are way higher than that.

I casually told her that if she needed help with her application, I’d be happy to help since I was a little further along in the interview process.

Well, she contacted me, and we spoke for two hours!

My husband couldn’t believe I was helping a woman I had just met to apply for the same job that I wanted –

But I’m just so grateful that I have learned from Tonya that there’s no such thing as competition. I trust that if a job is mine, they’ll offer it to me. I love feeling confident in my own skin and trusting that the very best will happen to me if I keep being true to myself!”

A Taste of Style

Making the Everyday Extraordinary

Raising Your Style Standards

Style makes a statement. We know this but I find it’s an area where our standards can fall out of alignment with who we’re becoming.

Where do you need to raise your style standards?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Letting go of outfits that no longer fit properly
  • Throwing away broken items
  • Tailoring a pair of pants that are just a few inches too long
  • Upgrading your lingerie collection
  • Refusing to wear “ugly clothes” around the house
  • Investing in a beautiful coat for the winter season
  • Choosing brands that align with your values

The best way to measure an outfit against your style standards is to ask yourself this question,

“Does this represent the woman I’m becoming?”

P.S. Not a fan of truffle oil? Try Porcini mushroom oil or rosemary-infused olive oil. Delicious!


Habits for Creating the Impossible

Focus on What You’re Gaining

As you raise your standards, it’s natural to feel like you’re giving something up or leaving something behind.

You may feel sad or even go through a little mourning period.

Silly example: When I was 75 pounds over my natural weight, I loved to eat Cheetos. The salt. The crunch. The flavor! Cheetos comforted me through a painful divorce.

(The weight wasn’t really about the Cheetos. In fact, it’s never about the food. It was about the other stuff.)

When I decided to create a healthier version of myself, I knew the Cheetos had to go, and that made me sad.

But here’s this week’s Haute Habit:

Focus on what you’re gaining.

There is a whole world of salty, crunchy, tasty snacks that are nutritious and help me maintain my health, my sanity, and my fitness level. I look forward to all these delicious treats today, and I only think about Cheetos when I tell the stories from my past.

(So yes, it’s totally possible!)

As we turn our gaze away from the past and toward what we’re gaining, we realize that we’re actually missing out on a world of true pleasures. Let those faux pleasures go.

In the Bag

Tools for REinvention

A Little Light Reading for the Stylish at Heart

Style is something you can learn. You simply need to know the rules, so you can break them in true style.

The first rule of style is you must know who you are.

(FYI: this is why I love style so much. It’s the ultimate journey of self-discovery.)

Here’s one of my favorite books of all-time on the topic of discovering your personal style.

The Toast

Your Invitation to Connect & Celebrate

Take a Shopping Trip with a Stylish Confidant

I’ve heard clients and friends say, “I go out shopping and spend all day, only to come home with nothing or very little!”

(That would be frustrating for me. So this tip is the antidote.)

If you’re currently in the process of elevating your style, one of the best ways to get more accomplished on a shopping trip is to bring a stylish friend along.

(Bonus points if the person is a real personal stylist by trade.)

Then, before you go, be sure to have a plan. Instead of roaming the stores randomly, make a list of the types of pieces you need in advance, like:

  • Basic layers
  • A great jean
  • A statement jacket
  • Accessories

Check the shops you plan to visit to be sure they offer the types of items you need.

Have your stylish confidant give you feedback on your choices as you go, which will cut down on the decision-making time between purchases.

And be sure to have fun! After all, if we’re not having fun, what are we doing with our lives?

Here’s to sky high standards.


These getaways speak to peace of mind, wellness, and delighting your senses in unexpected ways, some of the best investments for living a more luxurious life.

Want to see more ways I invest to elevate my self-image?

Don’t miss this week’s brand new episode of the School of Self-Image podcast.

5 Investments That Changed My Self-Image

// TheEDIT

A weekly digital magazine by the School of Self-Image