Just as companies have mission statements, I have discovered that it is invaluable to have a set of personal value statements. I call these my "personal policies" - they are simple reflections of who I am that remind me to be true to myself.
Sound silly? Well, it isn't.
To me, personal policies are a precursor to goals. You cannot know where you are going without establishing what is important to you first. And we all know that a life without goals is a life that will go unfulfilled!
A certain degree of discretion is required at times, because life ebbs and flows and inevitably requires adaptations. So I think it is fair to say that my policies are guidelines, not absolutes, and I afford myself the flexibility to modify provided I am staying true to myself. This is not to say that failure to maintain integrity to myself is ever taken lightly - I am quite cognizant why I have policies in the first place!
For example, "do not work Sunday evenings" would typically be a personal policy....but under deadlines, I am from time to time forced to do so because NOT doing so would cause me to fail to maintain my integrity towards my career responsibilities.
It also goes without saying that my policies have changed over time, and they will continue to evolve. As I grow older I have gained a greater respect for different priorities than I had, say ten or twenty years ago. However, the most important thing to me is that I maintain policies to enable me to live my life by design, rather than by default. It is easy to get caught up and lose yourself....personal policies keep me grounded and focused.
Here are some of mine!
- Eat something green and leafy every day.
- Don't dream. Do it now.
- Live with integrity. And should integrity fail....restore it.
- Have a dog in my life cuz dogs are good people.
- Finish everything and anything I start.
- Avoid gluten whenever possible.
- Whatever the weather, run. No excuses.
- Never put in less than 100%.
- Drink soda water at cocktail parties.
- Wear sunscreen always.
- Treat people the way I want to be treated.
- Never regret. Learn.