“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~Maya Angelou
Do you have your own personal mission statement? How about a professional one? What IS your mission, exactly?
Personal mission statements guide you towards your goals. If you sometimes feel like you’re floundering, chart your course by putting your purpose into writing. Try these suggestions for applying personal mission statements to your professional and personal life.
Understanding the Basics of Personal Mission Statements
1. Perform an inventory. Your personal mission statement encompasses who you are and what you want out of life. Consider your core values and beliefs. Review your past accomplishments. Look for common themes that suggest your strengths and priorities. Ask yourself what you want your legacy to be.
2. Seek inspiration. One of the major benefits of mission statements is the motivation they provide. When you toil away at a tedious task or run into an obstacle, you can remind yourself of why you’re making the effort.
3. Write it down. Putting your thoughts down on paper makes them more concrete in your mind. It’s easier to see how you’re doing and hold yourself accountable.
4. Keep it brief. While there may be a lot of thought behind your mission statement, keep the final product short and powerful. That way you can pinpoint the values that matter most to you and measure your success.
5. Gather feedback. Welcome input from others as you create your mission statement and carry it out. Your friends and coworkers may notice factors that you tend to overlook.
6. Evaluate your progress. Mission statements evolve over time. Your goals may change when you switch careers or turn 40. Advances in technology sometimes automate the tasks that used to take up your time, giving you a chance to pursue a new passion.
Using Mission Statements in Your Professional Life
1. Rewrite your job description. Take a fresh look at your position. Your personal mission statement may suggest new tasks that you want to take on and old ones that you want to phase out. Maybe you’ll continue your current duties but approach them with greater meaning and commitment.
2. Talk with your supervisor. Let your manager know that you’re trying to align your work more closely with the company mission statement. They may appreciate your initiative and offer helpful ideas.
3. Coach yourself. While support from your supervisor is valuable, you can also train and drill yourself. Construct a plan of action for integrating your mission statement into your daily routine.
4. Assess your fit. Addressing fundamental issues may raise bigger questions about your future. You may decide that you’re in tune with your company or you may decide to move on.
Using Mission Statements in Your Personal Life
1. Enhance your health. Fulfilling your mission depends on keeping your body strong. Cherishing your health can keep you on track with managing your weight, eating nutritious foods, exercising daily, and sleeping eight hours each night.
2. Strengthen your parenting. If you have children, it’s natural to think about what you’re passing on to them with each decision you make. Focus on raising your sons and daughters to be kind and responsible.
3. Deepen your relationships. Your mission statement affects other relationships too. You may find that your marriage and friendships help you to develop the qualities you treasure.
4. Practice your spirituality. If faith is the cornerstone of your life, your mission statement can help you to translate your beliefs into practical actions. Designate a percentage of your time for volunteer work with your church or sign up for classes with a spiritual guide whose teachings touch your heart.
Clarify your purpose by developing and updating your personal mission statement. Understanding your individual definition of success brings you closer to reaching your goals.