Leadership Tip

What is Your Policy for the New Year?

What is Your Policy for the New Year?As we approach the end of the year,
many of us make resolutions
for the new year.
We want to lose weight,
get to the gym regularly,
quit _____ habit or be more patient.

Most of our intentions
are broken by February or March
if we’re lucky and they last that long.
Instead, in order to support you
in keeping your commitments,
I want to encourage you to
make “personal policies.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote
about this practice recently.
I have used it for years and it works.

Personal policies are a set of rules
you establish that guide
your decisions and actions.
They are valuable in a couple of ways
and on different levels.

  1. They help you to say no because you have an established guideline.
    Ex: “I don’t make appointments on vacation because that is family time.”
  2. They help you to reflect, clarify your priorities and assist in on the spot requests.
    You will be less likely to say yes to something you’ll later regret
    when you have an established policy.

To set your policies:

      a. Define a priority (my health and exercising).
      b. Next, define the stressor that interferes with it.
          (evening work meetings).
      c. Set a personal policy and let others know.
                  “I don’t take meetings after 6pm.”

To make your policies effective,
wording is important.
Use “I don’t” instead of “I can’t.”
Studies show that when asked to set goals,
those who said, “I don’t,” sustained their goals longer
than those who said, “I can’t.”
When we say, “I don’t,” it connotes greater conviction
and makes it harder for others to push back.

Using your personal identity can also help
your self-control and motivation.
“I’m someone who doesn’t skip the gym,”
becomes part of who you are and how you see yourself.

While policies can sound cumbersome or bureaucratic,
they can actually simplify your efforts and support you
in achieving your goals.

I’d love to hear your personal policies.
Please email and share them with me.

I wish you health, joy and laughter in the new year!