I have created a set of laws I must follow to enforce self-discipline. One law is I will not steal candy from children. It sounds sort of weird to say "I broke my own law", and sounds sort of mathematical/unfitting to say "I broke my own rule".

Is there a more appropriate synonym for a self-created law? Furthermore, what would be an appropriate phrase to describe the set of laws I have created for self-discipline? A Code of Conduct? A doctrine?

The cooler the phrase the better, as it'll make the laws easier to follow.

  • 1
    That you had to specify not to steal candy from children as opposed to not stealing in general disturbs me . . . ;-)
    – David M
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 3:43
  • 1
    Some people call the rules they set for themselves "resolutions," since they're things they are resolved to do; Might that fit your purposes?
    – user867
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 4:15

4 Answers 4


You can describe this in multiple ways, which one is coolest is up to you:

Core Code of Conduct
Core Principles
Personal By-laws
Way of Life
Strict Sense of Self-Discipline
Sense of Self

  • Strict sense of self-discipline sounds a bit too much. A sense of self-discipline, may it be good or more, would do the trick :) Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 8:14

"Set of principles" would fit nicely, no?

Principle (n) a rule or belief governing one's personal behavior.


I failed to keep to my own standards.


I wanted to recommend the phrase personal manifesto, described thus in the article "How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto" from the website The Art of Manliness:

The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions.

But all sources I could find said a manifesto is a written declaration of personal values. (The linked article also uses manifesto to mean this.)

In searching for a more general word I found credo, defined by Merriam Webster to be

an idea or set of beliefs that guides the actions of a person or group

Because manifesto and credo are commonly recognized for their corporate (namely, political and religious) uses, it may be best to use modifiers like personal or my to suggest that these beliefs are ones you've made by yourself and for yourself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.