Writing a Mission Statement

Writing a Mission Statement

Last week, as I was going through a few papers on my desk, I found a personal mission statement I had written some time ago.

The idea behind writing a mission statement is to have a written record of the values that are the driving force for your life.   You can have a personal mission statement for your life or a family mission statement for your family.

I learned to do this back in college–as an assignment in an English course. Over the last 30 or so years I have had a mission statement and I have rewritten my mission statement as life changes have dictated a new direction. Each time, it has helped me zero in on those things in life that are most important and that help shape some of my major decisions.

It is fairly easy to write a personal mission statement–you just have to keep a few things in mind and you have to be honest with yourself.

Here is how to do it:

  1.  Ask yourself what is important to you.  That means you have to really define what values you think are the most important and that reflect who you are and you have to know who the people that are most important to your life are.
  2. Identify how you want to make a difference in the world–to your family, your community, through work, volunteerism or through spiritual endeavors.
  3. Make a list of personal goals, your talents and your weaknesses.
  4. Take all these ideas and sit down and write your statement.

An example of how to take your information and write a personal statement would be to fill out the following sentence stems:

The core values that are important to me are _________________, ___________________ and ___________________.  These values are especially important in my relationships with _____________________________________________________________________________________.

At the end of my life, I hope I have accomplished ____________________________, by using my talents/gifts of ____________________________.   Additional goals I would like to reach are ___________________________________ and I hope to reach those by ___________________________ in my _____(career, volunteer work, etc)____________________________.

Let your ideas flow.  There are no right or wrong answers or ideas–and remember a personal mission statement is personal. No one else ever has to see it.  But if you set it aside for a while and come back to it I think you will find it quite interesting, if you are honest with yourself, how your life truly falls into a pattern that follows the core values you identified and that leave a legacy for those that are important to you.

Also, a mission statement does not have to be set in stone. You can rewrite it or modify it in anyway that you feel is most advantageous to you.

I have always found it to be a good exercise to come back to, especially during life’s challenging moments–that we all encounter.  It is a good navigating tool for our goals and the paths we want to travel to reach them.

Spend a little time this weekend and write a personal mission statement for yourself and then pat yourself on the back for knowing what is important to you–that is the first step to building the life you want successfully!

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