Do you know why you want to have a personal mission statement? They aren’t just for successful businesses or companies anymore. Mission statements are a vital part of what it means to live an intentional life.
I feel a mission statement provides us with the target to aim for in what we do, and what we don’t do, every day. If we don’t know where we’re headed, how do we even know which direction to walk? How do we know what to focus on every day? Most importantly, how do we know when we arrive?
Simply put, a mission statement is a tool that you can use to focus on the things that really matter to you. A mission statement becomes the filter through which you sift the everyday choices we all have to make.
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Creating a mission statement isn’t hard, but writing a comprehensive, succinct, and all encompassing mission statement should take a bit of time to work through. Your mission statement will be personal to you, just as my mission statement is personal to me.
Of course your mission statement will change over time as our lives, our roles, and our priorities shift, but once you have a statement written, it can then become the template you use to add, delete, and modify yours as needed.
Your mission statement does need to be realistic and attainable because the last thing any of us need is something else to feel like we’ve fallen short in.
In fact, I love mission statements so much that I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book. In A Realistic Action Plan For the Weary Mom: 15 Days of Hope From The Intentional Mom, I walk you through how to write your own mom mission statement and give you a look at what mine looks like.
Now that I’ve told you a bit about what a mission statement is, let me tell you why you want one!
1. A mission statement serves as a filter
With a clear mission statement, you can more easily determine what to say yes to and what to say no to. I’ve mentioned this book before, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, but it really is the perfect book to mention here. This is the best book I’ve read on knowing what to focus on in our lives…and how to graciously decline the things that simply don’t fit into our lives at any given time.
2. A mission statement will force you to define who you want to be
We all have ideas of how we would like to better ourselves in any way, and this is largely what a mission statement is all about..it will help you define what you feel is the best you.
3. A mission statement will force you to determine where you want to go
Where do you see yourself in a month? Where do you see yourself in six months? Where do you see yourself in a year? Where do you want to go in life – both in the short term and in the long term?
4. A mission statement will equip you to live with intention
Because you can take into account who you want to be and where you want to go, you will make take each step with intention. You will live with “your people” with intention because they are the ones you don’t want to disappoint. You will work towards the future with intentionality and purpose.
5. A mission statement will help you focus on what really matters
I think we can all agree that if time and money were unlimited, we wouldn’t ever have to say no to anything. However, this is just not realistic. Life is full of seasons, which change, but in any given season we need to focus on what really matters to us. If we don’t do this, feelings of being overwhelmed and complete burnout can result. Of course when this happens, we are of little to no value to ourselves or to those around us.
6. A mission statement serves as a tangible roadmap to help keep us on course
Knowing where we want to go means we can determine how we want to get there. Without a mission statement that defines these things for us, we are more apt to aimlessly wander our days away. This leaves us longing to live with intention.
7. A mission statement will force us to face where we often go wrong in accomplishing the things we want to accomplish
So often we set goals, we have ideas, we establish certain ideals, and that is where they stay. At times we may get frustrated that they aren’t happening, but yet we haven’t ever taken these dreams of ours to the next level. Creating a mission statement will help us see why we are falling short of our desires.
8. A mission statement will keep us from making excuses or ignoring that we are not where we want to be
Because our desires will be written out in mission statement form, we can no longer claim that we are just discontent, lacking joy, or feeing unfulfilled. With a mission statement, we know who and where we want to be and will only be standing still or remaining stagnant by choice.
9. A mission statement shows us the difference between who we are and who we want to be
Because we create a mission statement with the end goal in mind, we must clearly look at who we are today. Sometimes this can be hard to face, but in order to move forward, we must accurately examine who we are.
10. A mission statement shows us the difference between where we are and where we want to go
Similar to number nine, this concept means that we are also examining where we currently are in relation to where we want to be. This, too, can be painful, but it is a necessary part of learning, growing, and changing into the people we long to be.
Creating a mission statement is so beneficial and will be worth your time and effort. When we take ourselves, our mission, and our callings seriously, we can live contentedly.