Do you ever have a hard time making decisions? Do you have a hard time articulating what you stand for and what is most important to you? Are you struggling to find your purpose and make lasting impacts on others and the world around you?
Have you taken the time to write a personal mission statement for you life?
Businesses, schools, organizations, and teams have mission statements, most wouldn't be successful without them. Do you know the impact having clear direction, purpose, and clarity about who you are and what you stand for can have on your life?
When I was in high school I was a member of the color guard in the Davis High Marching band, which is one of the largest high school bands in the country and is known for their excellence. Being a part of the band was not only the highlight of my high school experience, but was also an experience that changed my life. That experience taught me about hard work, the joy of sacrificing for something you wanted greater, the impact of working on a team, and striving for something bigger than yourself.
Every single day at the the beginning of practice all 350 plus of us would stand together and recite the band mission statement. We would say "We are a unified team of winds, percussion and color guard. We believe in synergy - we know that our team is greater than the sum of its parts. We constantly seek perfection, knowing that this requires both individual responsibility and teamwork. We have integrity - we know that our actions impact the entire band...." And it went on.
Like I said, this experience stuck with me, and 3 years ago when I was desperately trying to discover my life purpose I was inspired to write a mission statement. A PERSONAL mission statement, just for me, that would represent who I am, what I stand for, what my values are, and what I aspire to create in my life.
Stephen Covey says, your mission statement is about “defining the personal, moral and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself.”
Once you've discovered your purpose, you have to get it down on paper! If you're still working on figuring out your purpose, no worries, writing a mission statement can help you pull out your values, interests, and desires and get you even closer to defining your purpose. It is a great tool for the process! Creating a personal mission statement forces clarity, helps you define purpose, and serves as the foundation for your life goals. It also helps you identify the underlying reasons for your choices and behaviors and what truly motivates you to make change.
So if you're ready to do this simple exercise that will bring CLARITY, DIRECTION, and FOCUS to your life, then here are 5 steps to get you started.
5 Steps to Writing your Personal Mission Statement
1. What are your Values?
The first step in writing a mission statement is to determine what your top values are. Do you value freedom? Is family the most important thing to you? Is your spirituality your highest priority? Motivation, thoughtfulness, wealth, recreation? This can be tough, that's why we are tackling it first! It's not about thinking of every single thing you care about, because I know you care about SO many things. But.. there will be 4-5 things that really stand out. Think about what experiences have changed your, what are things that other people do that you really admire (or that really annoy you) these are great clues as to what you value.
(If you are having a hard time I have included a list of value words at the end of this post. Go through and circle the words that you value and then narrow it down until you have come up with 3-4 words and clearly define you and what you value most.)
2. Who do you want to be? Determine your Ideal Self.
Okay, now that you have determined what your top 5 values are, who do you want to be? Think about who you ARE and what your UNIQUE personality contributes to that. Now think about who you want to be. Close your eyes and imagine you in your highest power? What are you doing? How do you look? What do you feel like?
I know when I do this exercise I always see myself smiling, standing tall, and walking around embracing every single person I see. This is my vision of my ideal self. I aspire to connect with those around me and love them unconditionally. There are many times in my daily life I do not encapsulate this, but it is my vision of my ideal self and is what I have in my mission statement. What is yours?
3. What impact do you desire to make? What legacy do you want to leave?
Next step, similar but different than your ideal self, what legacy do you want to leave in the world? What do you want your obituary to say? What do you want you future children and grandchildren to say about you? This will help you to clarify your purpose and life goals.
4. Define a purpose and goals.
Now that you have outlined your values, ideal self, and impact plan, DEFINE A PURPOSE. How do you want to spend every day? How do you want to live? What do you want to accomplish? What ACTIONS do you need to take to accomplish this? Who do you need to be to accomplish this?
5. Write it and refine it.
Lastly, write it and know that you can (and will) refine it. This exercise is not about being perfect or absolute or 100% sure. This is a practice in exploring who you are, what you stand for, and what you desire. It CAN change and it WILL change. That's the beauty about our lives. We get to evolve and change as we learn and grow. But if you never write it because you're waiting for it to be perfect you lose the chance to start living now.
Here is an example of mine... like I said I wrote this 2 1/2 years ago and it has sat on my desk ever since. I read it every day and know the impact that it has had as I've made decisions and made progress in my life, relationships, and career.
Clarissa's Personal Manifesto
I stand for courage and my passion is positive change.
I embody faith, patience, hope, gratitude, and joy.
I am curious about the world around me.
I believe in being audacious, having spirit, and showing heart.
I strive to trust the process and focus on the now.
I aspire to invest in meaningful work that builds individuals.
I notice how beautiful and sweet the world is and allow my light and courage to inspire and liberate others.
My purpose is to hold space where individuals are inspired to become their best authentic selves.
So go ahead and get started now! What are you waiting for?
If you have questions or want to share your personal manifesto with me and the others place them in the comments below!! I can't wait to hear from you!