A personal ethics statement is written by an individual to clarify her values or moral principles.


A personal ethics statement includes ideals that are important to a person, such as honesty or integrity. In the statement, a person defines these values and describes what she will and will not do to live by them.


Writing a personal ethics statement can help clarify individual values. When a person knows what is important to her, she is more likely to make decisions based on her true priorities. For example, if a woman realizes that health is important to her, she may begin to live a healthier lifestyle by exercising and eating nutritious food. She may set boundaries to make sure she has time and money to live healthfully.


A personal ethics statement will vary in length. Longer statements do not indicate a greater ethical capacity. Some people can define their ethical values in a few sentences, and others prefer several pages.

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Changes to Ethics

The Life Lesson Network describes writing personal ethics as a "process of articulating our expectations of ourselves." Personal ethics may change over time, and statements should be re-evaluated annually.


A personal ethics statement is not a list of unreasonable ideals that a person must reach to be "good." Ethics are priorities, not demands. It is not necessary to be perfect to be considered ethical.