I have done some research on personal policies since deciding to share their power in my life. It turns out I think I do it slightly differently than most people - but that’s okay - it definitely is very similar! I think I first heard about them on an Elsie gets crafty podcast episode but I believe Sarah Knight talks about them in her book. For Sarah, it sounds very much linked to mental health and guarding yourself by making personal policies on what you are or are not comfortable doing.
I am really interested in using them with that intention - although I probably already do in my own kind of way.
For me, fundamentally personal policies act as a decision-making tool and provide me with clear boundaries in which I work best. I think the best way to describe how I use them is to give an example, here is my personal policy for buying new clothes:
Shopping Personal Policy
I find decision making so draining of my time and energy so by making preplanned decisions and plans I waste no energy or time in the moment. I also find, personally, I am most creative under constraints. It makes you work harder for what you actually want. I think also it takes away so much guilt, the example I always remember is Elise Joy said she only does emails on a Thursday and she has shared that policy, so she feels no guilt about not doing emails every other day of the week.
I think the term can make them sound very formal but in actually fact you probably already have them without realising. Always eat dinner together as a family? Personal policy. Never buy a reusable bag? Personal policy. Never get sucked into gossip? Personal policy.
You might think, why do I have to name them as a policy, it’s just my beliefs. And that’s true you don’t have to, however, for me acknowledging them in this way gives them more authority and power. And remember they can change! It’s more about understanding yourself and what makes you tick, leaning into this and allowing it to have a more concrete impact on your well being.
It takes away fuss and frees up more time for you to enjoy the lovely things in life.