Building a Personal Mission Statement

After considering and writing down your Personal Vision Statement you can move on to developing a more specific plan, called a Personal Mission Statement.

A Personal Mission Statement is how you will manifest your Personal Vision in your daily life. Mission and vision statements provide focus to your purpose.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “In the long run men only hit what they aim for.”

Having thought through your vision for your life, you now need to put that into action…that means taking action and living your life “on purpose”.

Without a purpose in life, it’s easy to get sidetracked on your life’s journey. It’s easy to wander and drift, accomplishing little. With a purpose however, everything in life seems to fall into place.

To be ‘on Purpose’ means you’re doing what you love to do, doing what you’re good at and accomplishing what’s important to you.

We have talked about how important it is to have a clear vision of where you want to be and a personal mission statement is putting this into actionable form with deadlines and measurable outcomes.

Mission Statement: A purposeful promise that carries you towards your goals.

Purpose must be focused to produce results. With no focus, there is no mechanism for establishing direction or goals.

As Diana Scharf Hunt said, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

Your statement may be a few words or several pages, but it is not a “to do” list. It reflects your uniqueness and must speak to you powerfully about the person you are and the person you are becoming.

Why should you write a personal mission statement?

Numerous experts on leadership and personal development emphasize how vital it is for you to craft your own personal vision for your life. Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, and others point out that a powerful vision can help you succeed far beyond where you’d be without one. That vision can propel you and inspire those around you to reach their own dreams.

Q: How do I go about creating my Personal Mission Statement?

A: A Mission Statement is defined as having goals and a deadline. This is opposed to the notion that a Mission Statement is just a bunch of flowery, general phrases like, “I will be the best business person I can be.”

What should you include when writing a great personal mission statement?

  • describe your best characteristics and how you express them
  • have specific, measurable outcomes (or goals)
  • have a deadline — for example, December 31st 20XX, or a year from today.

When Stephen Covey talks about ‘mission statement’ in this quote he is referring to the articulation of your life purpose.

“If you don’t set your goals based upon your Mission Statement, you may be climbing the ladder of success only to realize, when you get to the top, you’re on the WRONG BUILDING.” Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Mission Statement Example – Poor (It’s more like a Vision Statement)

“I aspire to start my own business. I want to help others and be a better businesswoman. I will deliver the best food with the highest service levels.”

Mission Statement Example – Better

“I will start my business within 3 months and plan to grow it to $500,000 in revenues within a year. Using this success my staff and I will spread the word to local schools and businesses about eco-friendly food production in order that we reach at least 100 people within the same time frame. My purpose will be to massively add value to our local community in measurable ways that have a real impact on people’s health now and in the future”

What to do with your Mission Statement?

So now we have a mission we can set a range of goals on the road to achieving your outcomes and dreams. Your values are clarified and should be in line with the goals you want to achieve in life so you should find it easier to make decisions and to do the “right thing” because you can simply ask yourself, “Will this help me achieve my mission?”

You can even put your mission statement in an area where your family or even co-workers will see it. For, a mission statement defines who you are and what you stand for. This lets people see how you think and feel, which in turn, will help them respect, think, and act in line with your values too.

It’s wise to look at your mission statement every day too. Let it guide you. Let it help you stay true to the values you stand for as you journey towards goal achievement.

NEXT: Set your life goals now to make sure you know what your business needs to deliver to you!

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One response to “Building a Personal Mission Statement”

  1. Syed Irfan Ajmal Avatar
    Syed Irfan Ajmal

    Thanks for this piece. I am also an entrepreneur and currently reading ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I have a question: while it makes some sense clear deadlines, I found no mention of it in habit 2 chapter of Stephen Covey’s book w.r.t. personal mission statement. Does he talk about it later in the book? Or is it something which is your own suggestion? The thing is I am not sure if the mission statement should have deadlines since its more like a constitution where as goals are derived out of that constitution. Will be glad to have your views on this. Thanks very much


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