Rules worth following

Growing up, every time my family drove past the Forrest General Store we stopped for ice cream. This happened roughly 3-4 times a year.

It was a tradition and a rule. One that was undisputed and didn’t require negotiation every time we made the trip.

This echoes what the brilliant Shane Parrish encourages us to do. That is, to create automatic rules around things that help us be the best version of ourselves. And while you might raise an eyebrow that ice cream helped us be the best version of ourselves (how dare you) it’s the not-up-for-negotiation part of this mental model that holds so much importance.

In Parrish’s own words: “automatic rules turn your desired behavior into your default behaviour“.

And so, the question: What are the desired behaviors you are seeking to cultivate? And how might you create rules around those to enable you to cultivate them?

Here are 14 rules I just made up to get you going:

  1. No meeting Mondays
  2. Only check email three times per day
  3. Eat lunch outside
  4. Work out every day
  5. No phone’s in the bedroom
  6. Eat 800 grams of fruit and vegetables per day
  7. Send 1 reach out every day
  8. Walk to work
  9. Always take the stairs
  10. No alcohol during the week
  11. No slides in meetings
  12. Go into the office 3 days per week
  13. Turn your camera on in video calls
  14. Count to three the next time you ask someone a question

PS. Jen Waldman and I also talked about this on our podcast.