Writing down your new years’ resolutions is easy. After all, it’s not that hard to create a wish list. But for many of us, these easily-written resolutions are never fully pursued or achieved. Is that true for you? Then it might be time to craft your personal mission statement. Nope, mission statements aren’t just for companies and organizations. Creating your own personal mission statement can help you figure out your purpose in life.
While resolutions and goals spur you on “what to do”, a personal mission statement helps you understand why. According to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a personal mission statement is a way of “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it.” He further states that “effective people are guided by their own missions and manage their lives according to principles. Ineffective people follow other people’s agendas and manage their lives around pressing matters.”
Crafting a personal mission statement is an easy, yet profound exercise. However, it’s important to note that the personal mission statement you create isn’t set in stone- it will probably change over time as your life changes and you learn more about yourself. Use the following tips to help you create a unique personal mission statement.
Who Are You?
An understanding of your personality will guide you to create a mission statement that help you live up to your potential. Write down the personality traits that describe you. For example, are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you highly empathetic and compassionate or more of a guarded and tough-minded person? If you are unsure about your personality, you can ask a friend to describe you. Alternatively, make use of professional online personality tests.
What Is Important to You?
This is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself when writing a mission statement. To make it easier to answer, organise your life into key areas such as family, career, education, religion, relationships, business and so on. Then think about your core values or principles in life and write them down. These can include things like being true to yourself, being a good leader, serving God and humanity to the best of your ability, or being a good parent.
What Are Your Interests and Passions?
Now that you know what is important to you, it’s time to think about your interests and passions. What do you find to be meaningful and rewarding? This includes pursuits such as music, painting, writing poetry, caring for the needy, and travelling. Most people pursue their interests and passions through their 9-5 jobs. However, you might realise that your passions and interests are different from your job. Don’t worry, you can still pursue your passions and interests as hobbies.
What Are You Good At?
Now it’s time to consider what your strengths are and what you are good at. Remember, being good at something doesn’t mean you value or are interested in the activity. With awareness of your core values, personality, and passions you can engage your unique talents to live a more effective and fulfilling life. If you have trouble coming up with a list of things, you’re good at, ask trusted family, friends or colleagues what they see in you.
Write Your Statement
By taking the steps above, you now have more clarity on your life’s purpose. Taking into consideration everything you’ve learned about yourself, answer the following questions. What do I want out of life? What do I want my life to stand for? What am I uniquely put on earth to achieve? What do I believe my purpose or mission is in life? Write down a paragraph answering these questions and then fine tune it to one or up to three sentences.
That is your mission statement.