One of the most powerful methods to help us cultivate our purpose is to create and live by a personal mission statement. Such statements capture what you want to do and be – what qualities you want to develop, what you want to accomplish, and what contributions you want to make. Clarity on these issues is critical because it affects everything! From the goals you set, the decisions you make, the paradigms you hold, and the way you spend your time. It becomes a personal constitution; the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our life.
You long for something more. You want purpose and direction; someone to point you in the right direction, to assure you that you’re doing the right thing. That’s where your personal mission statement comes in. It’s a way to formalize (in writing) your goals and your values. A way to express, not only who you are, but also who you want to become. Your statement becomes your roadmap to life that alerts you when you’re veering off course and provides boundaries to keep yourself unified in everything you do!
Your statement is a way to formalize (in writing) your goals and your values. When you take some time to write your own, it’ll help you to learn more about yourself, express yourself more clearly, and shape your way of life. If you keep it fresh in your mind on a daily basis, it will help to guide your decision making in every aspect of your life.
Last month, I created my very own personal mission statement. It was such a powerful exercise for me that I just had to share my process with you in hopes that you will create your own personal mission statement for this self-love challenge!
6 Steps to Writing Your Personal Mission Statement
Analyze Your Personality
Without a solid understanding of your basic personality traits, you’ll be frustrated and ineffective in your attempt to live up to your potential. Writer at Success, Christopher Friensen, says, “Personality is a complex concept, but a well-researched and practical path to comprehending it is by understanding what I call the ‘5 Basic Personality Tendencies,’ each a continuum from high to low:”
He says to get clear on your negative emotions, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and motivation/self-control.
“We all fall somewhere along a continuum of each of these personality tendencies. To be truly effective in finding your clarity and purpose, you need congruence between your tendencies and your purpose. If not, you’ll be constantly moving against your own grain.”
You must have a strong sense of being before you can embark on your personal mission; otherwise, you may try to sound like someone else.
Identify Your Talents
Conduct your own SWAT analysis by listing all of the things you’re good at. If you find it difficult to conduct your own talent inventory, ask others around you to tell you what they think are your greatest strengths. Another way to find your talents is to examine your past accomplishments. Think of something you’re particularly proud of—a stellar presentation you made, a major donor you secured for a fundraiser, or a party you organized that people are still talking about two years later. Next, examine the skill sets that made you successful in that instance. Creating a mission that aligns with your natural talents means success will likely come easier.
What Are You Passionate About
Start by creating a series of simple sentences – and try not to hold judgment over your answers. Susan Steinbrecher, writer at Huffington Post, says, “If you allow free form thought to overtake critical thinking that is when the magic happens through self-discovery.”
She suggests writing out a list of the things you love to do. For example, my list included:
- writing & playing music
- being in nature
Finding joy in your life means knowing what you’re passions are. If you have trouble coming up with your list of passions, think about the best experiences you’ve had, what you do when you’re procrastinating, or what you daydream about.
Visualize Your Ideal Self
Define the type of person you want to become, not just what you want to have or achieve. This ideal should reflect your core values and your definition of living with integrity. Consider all areas of your life and who you want to be in each of those roles.
I find it helpful to write down the phrase, “As an ideal spouse (or friend, parent, etc.), I want to . . . .” Then fill in the end of the sentence with as many outcomes as you wish to become. For example, you might write: As an ideal spouse, I want to:
- Express my love daily in words, affection, and action.
- Be supportive and attentive to the needs of my friends and family.
- Work through conflict calmly and in the spirit of compromise.
- Be fully present and emotionally intimate.
This exercise may take some time, but it is well worth the effort beyond its usefulness for your mission statement. It helps you clarify your personal operating system and reminds you of what you are capable of becoming.
What do you need to have in a day to make it joyful? Make a list of all the things you need in your day to make it joyful. Perhaps it’s as simple as spending time outdoors every day or seeing your kids off to school. “It’s not picturing yourself on a beach with a pina colada, but what you need to make your life meaningful to you,” says Rimm.
Determine Your Purpose
Write down a purpose for the four fundamental elements of who you are: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In each of these areas, what is the most important way you want to express yourself. This may seem confusing, but it’s really simple. We tend to go about our lives without considering our purpose for our essential being and how we want to direct that purpose.
So with this exercise, see yourself as CEO of each of these four areas. As CEO of your physical life, your purpose might be to treat your body as sacred by practicing fitness, healthy eating, daily affection, and pleasurable physical experiences. Your purpose for your mental life might be to become a life-long learner by expanding your skills, problem solving, and challenging yourself.
Define Specific Goals
Based on everything you outlined above, what are some related goals you want to achieve in your life? Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time bound.
As you look at the people who inspired you, the ideal self you’ve defined, the legacy you want to leave, the purpose you have for the elements of your life, and the aptitudes you want to enjoy, what are the outcomes you want to achieve for your life?
You might want to create goals for various areas of your life — from your relationships to your hobbies.
The greater the mission, the more simply it can be stated! Your mission needs to include your enthusiasms for life. It is an internal process and needs to come from the core of who we are. There are no right or wrong answers; defining your mission statement is just a way to put your purpose or calling into words.
Your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.
As we go deeply within ourselves, as we understand and realign our basic paradigms to bring them harmony with correct principles, we create both an effective, empowering center and a clear lens through which we can see the world. We can then focus that lens on how we, as unique individuals, relate to that world.
Write out your personal mission statement and put your’s in the comments below!
+Have you ever written a personal mission statement? What steps did you take? I’d love to hear your process for my future statements.
Much love and good luck