What’s it all about? Your Mission Statement

mission-statementAll of us have very different ideas about success. What’s important, however, is that you spend time defining YOUR version of success. Otherwise, how will you understand what you should be working toward, and how will you know if your decisions are helping you move toward your dreams?

Mission statements are useful for bringing sharp focus to your goals, and for helping you to quickly identify which opportunities you should pursue.  A mission statement defines your purpose.  It’s what you ultimately want to achieve out of life and is expressed in a specific and measurable way.

Shaping your mission statement helps you keep it at the front of your mind, and helps you focus your energy and resources upon it. Without this focus, you can be distracted, or you can spread your effort too thinly across multiple competing goals.

“A personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision we make.” Stephen Covey

How to begin?
Take a blank piece of A4 paper and your favourite pen. Get seated somewhere comfortable, where you won’t be disturbed and write down some questions.  We like these ones:

  • I am at my best when…?
  • What do I really love to do at work?
  • If I had a year off, how would I spend it?
  • What do I really love to do in my personal life?
  • What keeps me up at night?
  • Which 3 people do I most admire in life and what inspires and motivates me about them?
  • My natural talents and gifts are?
  • If I had unlimited time and resources, and knew I could not fail, what would I choose to do?
  • What is most important to me?
  • What do I hope people say about me on my 80th birthday?
  • Who are the most important people in my life and why?
  • If I had my life over, I would…?

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.” Carl Jung

 Allow your mind to wander around these questions & scrawl down anything that comes to mind. It really helps if you can be open-minded about this and not censor yourself.  No-one else has to see this, so feel free to be completely honest!

Another great thing to add to this is a selection of quotes or sayings that evoke strong feelings within you. Or, if you’re a visual person, pictures of things that inspire you.  From doing this, you can start to see patterns of what is really important to you.

When you’re happy with what you have on your piece/pieces of paper start picking key phrases/words that seem to keep coming up.  Weave them together to make a first draft of your personal mission statement. There are no rules: simply put words together & see what appears in front of you.

Next, go make a cup of tea or coffee and take some time away from your work.  This is important as it allows you time to reflect.  Then go back to it and put your finishing touches to your Mission Statement.  Remember it should ideally be no more than a sentence long, positively affirmed.  Here are some examples: 

“My life’s journey is to love myself, & to inspire others to love themselves too.”

“My passion is to help others realise their potential.”

“My mission in life is to be the best I can possibly be.”

 Now you have your Mission Statement make it big, and appealing to look at.  Use pictures and different colours if that inspires you.  Next, pin it up somewhere you can see it, by your desk, on your fridge, wherever you’re likely to see it and often.  Make sure you spend time reflecting on it every day.