Companies commonly define their goals with mission and vision statements, but people? Families? Yes!
There are just a couple of more weeks left in 2018. Amid the bustle of shopping and holiday gatherings and end-of-the-year wrap up, I’m sharing this post to get you thinking about your personal mission statement and to help you rock 2019.
You don’t have to do a thing until after the holidays—except take 5 minutes to read this. Then while you shop, cook, entertain, celebrate… your subconscious will be working thinking about your vision and values.*
How Personal Mission Statements Help
Whether you already have a personal mission statement or haven’t given one a thought, this is the perfect time of year to start thinking about one. The thinking and writing exercises I’m sharing have changed my life and how I approach what I do, how I do it and, most important, WHY I do it.
Creating a mission statement helps you identify your core values and set an intention of how you want to live and thrive. It’s different from setting New Year’s resolutions.
Resolutions are about What and How. For example, the resolution Exercise more would be the “what,” and Get to the gym 4 days a week might be the “how.” But because there’s rarely a connection to “why,” it is hard to sustain our well-intended resolutions when normal life rushes in.
When you can connect your what and how to your “why,” you tap into something deeper – your core values – and that will keep you on track.
Instead of just a resolution to spend more time exercising, Jack Groppel, co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, suggests asking ”What happens if [I] don’t change? Why is [spending more time exercising] important to [me]?”
The answer will be different for each person, but it could be something like, “When I spend more time exercising I am HEALTHIER, I sleep better and and most of all I am KINDER and more patient with my family and friends.” That would be my WHY. Your why might be different.
In this example, my WHY focuses on the values of Health and Kindness. Because these are indeed important values to me, they motivate me to make time to exercise.
Mission statements express the why of what you want to accomplish and give you direction. And, when you create your mission statement you design a vision of what you stand for and what is important to you.
3 Steps to Get Started on Your Mission Statement
- Look at the data.
- Get curious.
- Ask questions.
I always find the last few weeks of the year to be a great time to reflect. The big holiday bustle is over, and, as the year wraps up, I find myself looking backward to the year ending and forward to the new one coming.
Take time to celebrate what went well. So often we just cross things off the “to do” list and move on. We rarely give ourselves the time to pause and acknowledge what we’ve accomplished.
Sitting down and actually chronicling the things that went well, things that you are proud of, that you learned, that you’re grateful for, is uplifting and inspiring. It may take a few hours to make the list, but I guarantee you will create a great gift for yourself. And the list helps you see patterns of what you enjoy, what lights you up, what gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. And this in turn helps you name what you value.
Look at the Data
Look back at your calendar, week by week to trigger memories of what you were doing. As you do so, the positive moments show themselves. Do you see patterns? Do you see groups of things that appear over and over?
How about things that could have gone better? Look at these, not to beat yourself up, but to help you find areas for growth. Are there areas where you might want to do better, learn or grow? Are there values that you hold dear that can help you make progress in these areas or achieve your goals?
Ask yourself questions like:
- What was my favorite memory from the past year?
- What was the hardest thing for me this year?
- What’s one thing I learned this year?
- How have I changed this year?
- What do I want more of for myself in the new year?
There are no right answers to the questions. The value comes in the reflection on them. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to show you how to use this reflection to create your personal mission statement.
What questions do you have or what most intrigues you about writing a personal mission statement? I’d love to hear from you. And, I’m here to help. Just email me and we can set up a time for a free consultation to explore how I can help you explore what you value and your WHY, and how to write YOUR mission statement.
P.S.*What I Mean By Values
I’ve mentioned values multiple times in this blog. The word values can have a charged meaning in some circles. But what I mean by values is what you care about and how you define yourself, what’s most important to you. To get in touch with your values, check out this writing exercise.
Don’t have a family motto? Create yours now using my step-by-step guide.