What is a Personal Mission Statement?
A personal mission statement a similar to a personal constitution. Your mission statement should define your purpose in life. It should inspire you to take action and reach your potential.
A personal mission statement can help give you clarity and focus and live a more balanced life. It will help you define your long-term goals and know when you are going in the right direction.
If you don’t take the time to think about who you are and what you want in life, then you don’t really fulfill yourself and you don’t live your best life. We only have one precious life and if we don’t plan, time will pass and we will not live our life to the fullest. If you don’t know where you are going then you probably won’t get there. However, when you have a mission statement that describes what you truly desire to achieve in life, then you begin each day or task with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination. You will not only use it to plan your time so that you focus on the things that really matter to you but you will also use it as a basis for making major life decisions. When you live your life with direction and purpose, then can you reach your potential and live a happy and fulfilling life.
Viktor Frankl, was the founder of Logotherapy, a form of psychological analysis, analyzing the importance of purpose, of meaning in life. According to Logotherapy, many mental and emotional illnesses are really symptoms of an underlying sense of meaninglessness or emptiness. This emptiness can be eliminated by helping someone to find his mission in life.
Once you find your mission in life, you will find direction in your life. Once you know where you want to go, you can set long- and short-term goals. Once you have set your goals you will know how to use your time effectively.
Habit 2, in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is to “Begin with the End in Mind”. Dr. Stephen Covey explained that there is no better way to implement this than to develop a personal mission statement. Your personal mission statement should focus on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based (your core values).
Since each person is unique, their personal mission statement should reflect that uniqueness.
It takes a while to write your personal mission statement and even when it is complete you will keep making changes until you are totally satisfied.
How to write a Personal Mission Statement
Stephen Covey explains that a mission statement is not something you write overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, to create your own personal mission statement. Even once you have completed it, you might want to review it regularly and make minor changes as your priorities and circumstances change. Once you have written your personal mission statement and you are satisfied with it, it will become your own personal constitution. It will express your vision and values and it will guide you in life.
To write your personal mission statement you have to dive deep to clarify and understand your priorities and beliefs and to align your behavior with your beliefs. You will stop letting life drive you. Instead, you will have a mission and you will lead your life according to this mission.
Stephen Covey explains that in order to write a personal mission statement, we must begin at the very center of our Circle of Influence. Your circle of influence is the things that are important to you and that you can do something about. When you focus on your circle of influence then you are using your energy and attention where it counts since you have power over these things and therefore have the potential to make changes.
Identify the various areas of your life
We each have a number of different roles in our lives – different areas in which we have responsibility. Your role could be as an individual, a partner, a parent, and a business owner, etc. Each of these roles is important.
One of the problems in life is that some people don’t take all their roles into account. As a result, they don’t have the balance that they need in life. For example, they might work too much and neglect their family or personal health. Your mission statement will be much more balanced if you break it down into the specific role areas of your life and the goals you want to accomplish in each area.
- What is your professional role? For example, you might be a salesperson, or a manager, or a product developer.
- What are your personal roles? For example, husband, wife, father, mother, neighbor, friend.
- Do you have community roles? For example, the political area, public service, or volunteer organizations.
List the two or three important results you feel you should accomplish in each area to move ahead
Ask yourself what is to you in each of these roles. What would you like to achieve?
Dr. Stephen R. Covey asks an interesting question to help you know what to include in your statement. Imagine you are at your 80th birthday party. What would you like the speaker to say about you, your life, your character, and your contribution? Which achievements would you want them to remember? What impact would you have liked to have made in their lives? What are the values that should guide you?
Do this exercise to help you set goals for each of your roles.
How long should a mission statement be
It should be relatively short and concise. Every line should have a purpose with no unnecessary details.
Personal Mission Statement generator
- Click on the button above to open the personal mission statement generator.
- Type the answers to the questions on the first and second page.
- Your personal mission statement will appear on the third page.
- Print it or save it.
Personal Mission Statement examples
- Be there for my family and friends when they need me
- Stay positive
- Plan ahead
- Keep setting goals and work to reach them
- Exercise regularly and eat well most of the time
- Listen before you talk
- Spend less than I earn and save or invest the rest
- Find the perfect balance between career and family
- Seek financial independence
- Always put my kids first
- Make my home a place where my family feels loved and cared for
- Help my kids develop their unique talents
Here is an example of a personal mission statement written in terms of the important roles one has in life.
- My mission is to enjoy my family and take care of their needs and to become a better version of myself and reach my potential.
- These roles take priority in achieving my mission:
- Wife — my partner and soul mate and I work together to raise our family and care for our children.
- Mother — I teach my children right from wrong and provide them with the tools to become independent productive citizens.
- Daughter — I am there for my parents whenever they need me.
- Neighbor – I try to help others whenever I can.
- Individual — I try to learn something new every day and strive to reach my potential.
Keep Your Mission Statement Updated
As time passes, you will reach some of your goals, and others might not be as relevant since your priorities and circumstances might change. When things change, be flexible and change your personal mission statement accordingly. It should always reflect your current goals, dreams, and aspirations. If they change then change your mission statement.
You might also find better ways to define your purpose in life and it might take a few rewrites until you get it just right. Keep tweaking it until you create the perfect mission statement that describes your unique personality, goals, and achievements.
How to Use Your Personal Mission Statement
Use it to Set Goals
Once you have created your personal mission statement, you can then think about the Long Term Goals that support the principles described in your Mission Statement.
These goals should represent areas you want to focus on in the near future.
Your goals should reflect your deepest values, your unique talent, and your sense of mission and they grow out of your chosen roles in life.
An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than activity. It should be specific in that it should define exactly where you want to be and how to get there. You should know exactly when you have reached your goal.
Your goals should provide meaning and purpose to your daily activities. Each day, you should ensure that you focus on the things that will enable you to fulfill your personal mission statement.
Whenever you set long and short-term goals, ensure that they are aligned with your mission statement.
Use it to Make Major Life Decisions
When you are faced with major life decisions and unsure as to how to react, your personal mission statement can guide you in the right direction.
Use it to Set Priorities
Our time is limited and there will be times where you have to say no to certain things to make time for other things that are a priority but how do you know what to prioritize? This is where your personal mission statement comes in handy. For example, if someone asks you to do something and you really don’t have the time. Read your mission statement and see if it is in alignment with it. If it isn’t, politely apologize and explain that you will not have the time. If it is, then schedule it and make time for it by spending less time doing something else that is not aligned with your mission statement. Priority management is much easier when you have decided what your priorities are ahead of time.
Use it to Plan Your Time
A lot of our time is spent on things that do not align with our goals. When we have a personal mission statement we can rely on it to prioritize our time on the things that we have determined to be of importance to us.
When you prepare your daily and weekly planner and add your to-do list check each commitment and task and ensure that they align with your statement.
Analyze Your Daily Habits
Analyze your daily habits and ask yourself if they will bring you closer to the life you defined in your mission statement. For example, if you mentioned being fit and healthy in your mission statement but don’t include exercising in your daily routine then you will want to reevaluate your daily habits. Print our free habit tracker and set goals for habits that are aligned with your mission statement.