Guidelines & Rules

Also they seem to be the same at the first glance,

there is a huge difference between guidelines and rules.

Guidelines give you same loose directions what and how to do it.

Like a line on the ground, to follow it you can use it for orientation,

but you don’t have to stick to it exactly.

Rules on the other hand tell you what to do and how to do it.

Exactly. With strict restrictions and borders.

Sometimes you can bend rules, but if you break them they become useless.

While rules seem harder to follow than guidelines they also have the larger benefit.

“I should eat less” is a guideline.

“I will eat less than 1500kcal per day” is a rule. (I don’t believe in calorie counting, but that’s a different story.)

“I’ll try to take the trash out if I go out anyway and have a hand free” is a guideline.

“I will take the trash out every morning when I leave for work” is a rule.

I guess you can see that guidelines and rules can aim to achieve the same thing,

but rules are far more effective.

A rule is either obeyed (100%) or broken (0%).

A guideline can be anything in between. (How close did you stick to it?)

If you stick to a (daily) rule you can earn a dot.

What do you do if you nearly stick to a guideline? Gain 80% of a dot?

Make up a few rules and stick to them. All the time.

It’s better than making up a lot of guidelines and sticking to them to 20-80%.

It’s ok to make an explicit exception to a rule,

but make sure it’s really explicit.

I have this “I don’t lie rule”

the exception being:

“unless someone asks me about ‘a surprise’”.

(Could be:

“Do you have a birthday present for me” – “No.”

(Thinking:”Unless you count that surprise party.”))

Over time I made up my own set of rules,

but I think it’s time to start from scratch and write them all down.

I’ll do that over the next few days and will put them on this site.

Think about your own guidelines and consider making some of them rules.

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