I can’t take credit for the concept of “rules of engagement”. A good friend of mine and my family coined this phrase.
So what do I mean by rules of engagement, first of all? They are the rules we set for ourselves to cope with life in the best, healthiest way possible with our current circumstances.
Why is it important to have rules?
Well, if you are anything like me, you are a perfectionist who has an ego to contend with that loves to beat you up for your decisions. When you have rules it helps alieviate some of that nonsense. It also helps you see what is realistic for your current circumstance, avoids decision fatigue, and defines what success looks like in your life as it is right now. You can also lay out terms for when you give yourself grace and when you are making an excuse ahead of time so there won’t be any in the moment “I don’t feel like it” stuff going on.
A good book called the Kindness Method lays out a framework that can be applied to many different life goals. Answering these questions helps you develop some “rules of engagement”:
What is your goal?
When will you reevaluate this goal? Set a date.
How will you know you are succeeding?
What are some possible obstacles that will occur and what is your plan for overcoming them? (If…then…)
What are unavoidable circumstances, events, interruptions, emergencies, etc. that could cause a lapse to occur?
What will you do to make sure the lapse doesn’t become a new bad habit?
How will you celebrate your wins?
Stay tuned for another post about my postpartum rules of engagement!