Personal mission statement—new year, improved you

January 10, 2012

I recently read an article discussing how all women should have a personal mission statement–something that you affirm about yourself and strive to make part of your experience.  Many of us are used to mission statements through our places of employment.  Some of these are great, but many are kind of the “stock” type of mission statement (…we strive to provide our customers with the greatest experience…blah blah blah).  A well thought-out, personal mission statement is even more important to your life in order to guide yourself and find fulfillment.   You may even have one whether it has been expressed in writing or not!

This site  had some good sample mission statements.  While I was researching this, I was surprised that many of the top sites actually are professional sites that charge you for developing your mission statement.  However, you can easily do this yourself just by setting aside some time to think about how you want to live your life and what you are going to do to get you there.

I don’t have a fully formed mission statement yet, but here are some elements that are important to me in living my life to its potential:

  • My family (husband and child/parents/siblings & their families) is very important to me.  Making sure that I am taking the time to cultivate and maintain these relationships in order to make THEIR lives happier and fuller is something I want to be able to fit into my goals.
  • My friends also figure into the above.  My friends offer all the fun and a shoulder to lean on when you don’t want to burden others with your fears.  They always make me feel I can do anything and I cherish them like I do family
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, by taking time to both work the body outside (running, yoga) and being careful about what I am putting inside (less Doritos, more balance).  I want to foster this in my son and husband, too!
  • One of my strengths is my work ethic.  When I work at something, I really put my all into it.  I want to do it well, and will work to improve.  I want to be able to continue this in my next position and make a difference in the lives of the people around me.  I want to be able to contribute to an intellectually stimulating environment while having fun!
  • One of my challenges is trying to do things without fear of failure.  I would like to take more chances, both personally and professionally, and to know that failure is not bad, but often the only way to learn.  I therefore want to be more open to new challenges and jump in with enthusiasm without it making me too stressed.
  • I want to always continue to learn, both personally and professionally.  I don’t ever want to stagnate, and I want to be able to find the strength to seek out these opportunities and challenges.

I am sure there is more I could say, but the above is NOT a mission statement.  This is just the first step in thinking about values and how I want to define myself and actions, thus developing my pathway to accomplishment and fulfillment. 

I feel that the personal mission statement should absolutely dovetail with any professional mission statement or goals that you have.  As  Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, notes:

 “It will be a compass – a strong source of guidance amid the stormy seas and pressing, pulling currents of your life.”

I like that idea!  Something that helps keep you true to yourself, your values, and your goals.  Sometimes choices will need to be made, and your personal mission statement can keep you on track with your professional life as well. 

Although it may take months–I am going to try to put this idea into practice and see where it takes me.

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