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7 Steps to Writing a Personal Mission Statement

Updated on May 19, 2016

Writing a personal mission statement can help you get some clarity on the age-old conundrum “why am I here?”  It’s written to inspire you and bring out, as Stephen Covey says “the deepest and best within you.”

Your personal mission statement can be as long or as short as you like.  Although it’s there to remind you of your future goals and give you a benchmark to measure your performance, it also reminds you of the person you are and want to be.  So write it in the present tense, as if those goals were imminent.  Writing it in the future tense will make goals and achievements seem far off and unachievable.  Keep your statement somewhere accessible.

Steps to writing your mission statement.

  1. Take a large sheet of paper and begin.
  2. Define all the roles you play in all the aspects of your life. Mother/father, sister/brother, daughter/son, worker, colleague, friend, scout master, hockey coach etc.
  3. Now consider your core values and abilities such as intelligent, dutiful, honest, outgoing, positive, compassionate, passionate, contemplative, spiritual, family-oriented, hard working etc. All the stuff that’s important to you.
  4. Then outline all your priorities and goals in life. Start with the things that are important to you now and add those you want to consider for the future. For example – family, spouse, IT analyst, company man, promotion, community member, neighbour, get the junior hockey team into winning competitions, etc.
  5. Alongside this, think of the contributions you want to make to:
  • Your family
  • Your neighbourhood
  • The world in general
  • Your work situation
  • Your friends.

Goals and contributions can be short, medium and long term.

6. Now the fun begins as this is where you pull together all that you want to achieve with the person you are and the person you need to be to achieve your mission in life. Take your time with this as you probably won't be able to get everything out of your head and onto paper in one sitting.

7. Your mission statement should then answer 3 questions: 1) What is my life about (purpose)? 2) What do I stand for (values)? and 3) What do I need to do to fulfil my purpose and values?

Examples include:

“I am loving, kind and trustworthy. I care about those less fortunate that I am and I keep my promises. I motivate and inspire people in my classes, and help them to reach their accounting potential. I believe success comes from my attitude which is positive and forward looking. I am open to new ideas and I take on challenges. I don’t shy away from taking responsibility for the things I do.”

Or

To live with faith and courage to strive to be the best me that I can be. To know that I can do anything I set my mind to. To communicate and share my knowledge and experience so that other people are inspired, educated and entertained. To be a good and supportive friend, family and community member. To look for new and creative challenges that will stretch me and enrich my life.”

Your mission statement could help get you into the job of your dreams and the closer you feel that it’s yours and will inspire you, the better it can guide your career and your life.

Stephen Covey puts it more eloquently; he says it “is the fulfillment of your own unique gifts. It’s the expression of your unique capacity to contribute. It addresses and integrates the 4 fundamental human needs and capacities in the physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. It deals with all the significant roles in your life. It represents a lifetime balance of personal, family, work and community-whatever roles you feel are yours to fill. It is written to inspire you – not to impress anyone else. It communicates to you and inspires you on the most essential level.”

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    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      Great write up.Marked useful and bookmarked!

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