Formally, and according to an amalgamation of definitions from various online dictionaries and Wikipedia, a policy is a deliberate system of principles adopted or proposed by a government, business or individual to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes.
Furthermore, a policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol.
Oh, we can break this down so very many ways, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Suffice it to say that from an individual perspective, a policy is a rule you have with yourself that is non-negotiable, regardless of circumstances.
Examples of personal policies: I never kick puppies, I always stop at lemonade stands, I don’t leave the house without brushing my teeth, etc.
Policies are born of values, and they drive actions, which yield results. The results usually provide feedback on if the policy is helpful for personal growth.
Personal policies can exist in any category of our lives — relationships, hobbies, personal time…so sit and consider some policies you might have.
For instance, I have a policy of never, ever passing by a lemonade stand. I have made U-turns in the street to go give a kid a buck for some Country Time his mom paid for…because I value entrepreneurship and encourage it.
I am so committed to this personal policy I even stopped at a lemonade stand during a marathon. Yup – more than once! Also, they actually didn’t have lemonade, just Gatorade and water, and they were so thrilled I stopped for them they just gave it to me for free. Such nice people…
My most successful clients over the years have had clearly defined personal academic policies to which they adhered, no matter what. (Mostly the “no matter what” clause is invoked during situations of inclement weather, feeling kind of unwell, being tired, or the all-time classic – hungover.)
Such policies have included:
(Please do not read any kind of value judgment into these examples. There are successful students who have missed classes, and vice versa. I’m just spitballing from memory.)
What sets the long-term successful students apart from those who sort of stumble through is often a strong set of policies regarding the role that academics plays in their lives.
Just giving it some thought charts a course of intent in which you take control of your academic destiny.
Stop for five, quick, brainstormy minutes and make a list of things you ALWAYS or NEVER do when it comes to your classes and academics. If you SOMETIMES turn your homework in late, then you are viewing homework as a negotiable part of your grade, so this is not considered a policy.
Can you identify any SOMETIMES activities that could move towards ALWAYS or NEVER – i.e. become a policy – that would be beneficial towards improved performance? Give it some thought and reflection – those with a plan are 97% more likely to succeed than those without one.
I just made that up. But it makes sense.
That’s another policy of mine – I make up statistics to sound smart and well-read.
Just kidding. Well, I’m kidding about 87 percent of the time.