How to Develop a Personal Code of Ethics

Applying your own personal code of ethics to your life takes time and patience. Keep at it to make significant improvements in your life.

Ethics is considered to be the philosophical study of morals, values and rules. According to "Developing a Personal Code of Ethics," by M. Alagappan, ethics “tries to define a pattern of behavior that is either desirable or undesirable, and outcomes that are either right or wrong." Developing your two-paragraph code of ethics statement should be drafted with care and taken seriously. Your own code of ethics acts as a moral blueprint for what you believe in and how you relate to the rest of the world.

Get to know yourself. Write down your positive characteristics, and ask a friend or confidant to help you list your best qualities.

Think about your work ethic and how you relate and communicate to others around you. Write down things that you would like to change about yourself. Be specific on the things that you can do to improve personal and professional relationships. Understanding who you are and how you relate to others can make you cognizant of values that are of importance to you as well as the values that you may need to work on.

Develop an ethical statement. Draft a paragraph-long explanation of your top code of ethics that you will commit to living by. Explain in detail how you will go about accomplishing your ethical values.

Think about why you believe in your values. It is important to understand the origin of your values and belief systems because they can make up who you are. Write down any supporting words of wisdom or scriptures next to each of your beliefs, shaped by your own personal truths. Discuss these truths in the second paragraph of your personal code of ethics.

Draft your final personal code of ethics. Look over your rough draft to refine or change any statements. Make a commitment to earnestly apply these codes to your life. Understand that changing yourself for the better takes time and patience, so do not feel overwhelmed or disappointed when you fall short of your personal goals.