What exactly is a meaningful life and why should I care? I am guessing that each one of us wants to lead a happy life. It turns out that one of the best way to achieve happiness is to live with meaning.

But what is meaningful to you may not be what is meaningful to others. We are each unique. One great way to identify what leading a meaningful life means to you is writing a Personal Mission Statement.

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.

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.

A personal mission statement forces you to clarify what is important to you and helps you support your life goals. Is health an important value? If you articulate that value in your mission statement, it might inspire you to go for a walk or do some yoga rather than surf the web when you have a spare 30 minutes.

A personal mission statement acts a a guide in making life decisions both big and small. For example, if you articulate the value of caring in your mission statement, maybe that encourages you to help out an elderly neighbor on a weekly basis or work harder to earn more so you can support a cause you care about.​

How Do You Write a Personal Mission Statement?

Start by answering 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? My goals? My priorities? Think about each of the categories above and also the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components of your life.
  • ​How do I envision leading a life based on the answers to these questions?

You can use use vision boarding, design thinking, expressive writing or the values exploration that I describe in Why You Need a Family Motto, 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, 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.

Excited about the idea of creating a more meaningful life? Download my free guide, 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love to start designing your best life—a life with more energy, engagement, and clarity.