What do you want from your life? Whatever it is, it may look very different from what your neighbor, your sister, your best friend or your colleague at work wants from their life.
In Personal Mission Statements: How to Love Your Life in the New Year (Part 1), I asked you to start thinking about what is important to you, what you value, what you want from this life. It’s easy to get caught up in somebody else’s vision—whether it’s the life your parents dreamed for you, the one the other moms in your town seem to want or what advertising or social media shows you that you are supposed to want—if you don’t create your own vision.
Your personal mission statement is that vision. It helps you make choices based on your values. Think of it as your personal compass.
Read Personal Mission Statements: How to Love Your Life in the New Year, Part 1 and create your list of what went well in 2018 and areas for growth in 2019.
Making a Personal Mission Statement Your North Star
The idea of personal mission statements is not new. In 1989, Stephen Covey wrote the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Writing a personal mission statement is a key element of Habit 2: Start with the End in Mind.
I read this book when I was searching for what to do after leaving a career in corporate law and then taking time to be a full time mom and community volunteer. The idea of starting a career again was daunting, especially as I also wanted to be there for my family.
Writing my own personal mission statement gave me the courage to switch careers and stop feeling guilty about not living the life others expected of me. That mission statement also acts as my own North Star when I ask myself how I want to live, work, respond in any given moment. Recognizing that “using love and kindness as a guide” is a key part of who I am and want to be in this world, gave me the ability to fully embrace being both an engaged mom and having a career that is stimulating and provides me with personal growth.
What’s your story? What’s meaningful to you?
As I mentioned, your personal mission statement helps you make choices based on your values. It is all about you and how you want to show up, live and make choices. That may sound selfish, but living a life of purpose and meaning on your terms means you show up as your best self. That’s great for you and everyone you interact with.
The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Personal Mission Statement
Asking questions and freewriting answers can help you get clearer on what you think. Read the question and without judgement write what comes to mind. Don’t think about the “right” answer or what others might think. Just let yourself pour out your thoughts onto the paper. Try these questions:
- How do I want to show up for family, friends, community, work and the world?
- How do I want to be remembered by the people who are important to me?
- What are my core values?
- What are my goals?
- What are my priorities?
- How do I want to feel as I walk through the world?
- How do I want others to feel when I interact with them?
- What physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components of my life are important to me?
How do I envision leading a life based on the answers to these questions? What is my Ideal Day?
You can also use vision boarding, design thinking, expressive writing in conjunction with the values exploration—or any combination that works for you. The important thing is to be authentic and not worry about anyone else but yourself. This is your road map.
Through the process of creating and actually writing down your Personal Mission Statement, you become clear on what is meaningful to you. You have a guide to help you during transitions and challenges as well as times of growth and happiness. And when you use your Personal Mission Statement as a living breathing document, you may find that reaching goals becomes easier and more satisfying.
Want more help writing your Personal Mission Statement?
Get my free step-by-step guide: Create a Family Motto. The guide is about writing a Family Mission Statement but works for a Personal Mission Statements as well. AND after you are done with you Mission Statement you can guide your family to create a shared vision. Create yours now using my step-by-step guide.