Rules are important, aren’t they? They are essentially what holds society together. There are certain rules for what we can or can’t do. Of course, we don’t all follow the rules all the time because that would be impossible BUT there are those of us who are sticklers for the rules. Hi there, it’s me.
I love rules. I crave direction. Basically, I have to know that what I’m doing is correct and rules help with that. You tend to find people (mostly serial killers) who absolutely hate any sort of rules opposed on them whether they are rules set by parents/carers or general rules of societal institutions.
And you may be thinking, get to the point Katie and don’t worry, I’m almost there.
If you’re a little bit like me and you crave structure and direction then this is where personal policies can come in really handy. More often than not, I am a yes-(wo)man. A people pleaser. A brown noser. Pick your poison. I like making other people happy and sometimes that means I miss out on my own happiness. I spoke about a similar kinda thing in a previous blog post about saying “¡hasta la vista!” to toxic people.
What are personal policies?
Personal policies are my way of getting past wanting to please everyone else and starting looking at my own needs. Essentially, personal policies are little boundaries or rules. They help you stay true to yourself and feel more in control during day-to-day life. They also play a big role in making it so that we do more of what we love and do less of what we don’t.
This doesn’t count for everything. Personal policies clearly don’t give you immunity from working or studying. What they do, however, is make it so that you can make it so that your time is spent more comfortably.
These little boundaries that you set for yourself can really simplify your life quite a bit. They give you an idea of what is too far for you. Some people might be thinking “What on earth is this girl chatting about?” and I GET THAT but this is a strategy that I reckon we could all benefit from.
Using these little policies can help you with your personal growth journey by helping you set clear personal boundaries. It is also saving you time because you know your priorities. Decision fatigue is a real thing. Making choices tires us out. Knowing your decision before you even need to make it is a hella powerful position to be in.
So say that you can never make up your mind whether or not to have that third drink that might tip you over the edge on a night out. A personal policy that is “I don’t drink more than two drinks on a social occasion” may save you from the inevitable embarrassing texts to your ex and splitting head in the morning.
You may already have personal policies without even realising it. If you are vegan, you have a personal policy not to consume foods from animals. If you are tee-total, you have a personal policy not to drink alcohol. Most of our decisions come from what our personal policies are so when we tap into them and start creating new ones more consciously then that’s when the real power comes.
Why are they essential?
They give us a clearer idea of who we are as a person and what we stand for. It can be really difficult to say no or to stand up for what you want in life but, it’s necessary. Sometimes you do have to put yourself first and just bite the bullet.
They give us the power to say ‘no’
I have a personal policy which is pretty universal and that is, if it’s not a yes right away then it’s a no. If I get invited to a party with booze that starts after 7 pm and I don’t jump at the chance of going (which I wouldn’t) then I’m politely going to decline. It’s not my scene, I don’t drink and if I’m honest, I like to be curled up in bed by 9 pm scrolling through Pinterest so I’m not going to get excited. So rather than awkwardly saying “Hmm maybe” or “I’ll see what I’m up to”, I will politely say “I’m really sorry but I’m not going to be able to come”. If they get funny with you when you decline then they’re probably not the kind of people you want in your life anyway.
They give us more confidence in our choices
They help give us confidence in our decisions. If you’re anything like me and you constantly second guess yourself then having these little guidelines can really be of help. I’ll use the example of being invited to that party again. I know that I’m going to be miserable there because I’m introverted and in general, it’s not ‘my thing’ so I’m confident in saying no because I just know it’s not for me. Once you’ve done it a few times it gets easier and easier.
They help us conserve our energy for things that we enjoy doing
Personal policies let us save our energy for the things we’d love to do instead of wasting it on things that we don’t want to do. So you’ve declined the invite to the party but you’ve offered the person who invited you to go to a cafe and have a chat tomorrow instead. You have saved that energy you would’ve wasted on the party you didn’t want to go to and put it into still seeing that friend but in a setting that suits you both.
What are my personal policies?
I have quite a few little personal policies that I stick to. Since making these I feel much more empowered in my decisions and I feel like I can actually say ‘no’ without feeling guilty for a century. I tend to use them as little mantras so that’s why they are written how they are. Here are a few that I personally stick to.
I only drink two drinks at social events. I’ll happily admit that I’m a light-weight so more than two drinks and I start getting a little giddy. Also, I don’t actually enjoy drinking so I don’t feel the need to be drunk if I do go out. Two is my personal ‘goldilocks’ zone.
I don’t go to zoos. This is a bit random but I don’t like to see the animals cooped up like they are in zoos. It makes me feel very uncomfortable so I just choose not to go.
I say no to events that I don’t want to attend. For years I’ve been the person who says ‘yes’ to things that I really don’t want to do. Now, if I don’t want to go, I say ‘no’. Simple.
I don’t eat meat. I’ve recently made the transition to being vegetarian in order to eventually go vegan. If I’m going out for food then I just chose the veggie option instead.
If you’ve read this and you’re interested in making some personal policies but you’re like “Katie..where would I even start?” I’ve made you a little worksheet that can help you get started. You can either print it off or simply use it as a prompt. You can find the worksheet over here ✿
“A boundary shows where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom” – Henry Cloud.
Until next time,