A Personal Mission Statement is an individual statement that declares who you want to be, what you want to achieve, as well as the values and principles upon which your life is based. It is a concise, easy to remember statement that guides your actions and behaviors.
Why is this important?
I think Dave Ramsey said it best:
It’s important because it helps you focus on how to meet your long-term goals. It serves as a guidepost for where you want to go in life. That’s because a personal mission statement keeps you from wandering off track.
It essentially describes how you want to live your life. Therefore, it should be aligned with your core values, beliefs, principals, ideals and passions.
How to write a Personal Mission Statement
There is no one right way to write a Personal Mission Statement. It only needs to speak to you.
I have put together a series of questions for you to answer as you create your Personal Mission Statement. If you don’t like the following questions, there are many other guides available online to help guide you through the process. I like this one.
I just found this set of questions to work best for me.
When you’ve finished, you’ll have a basic mission statement with which you can begin setting specific financial and life goals.
So let's get started
Time Required: 30-60 minutes
Write down the answers to the following 4 questions. Be truthful. You would only be lying to yourself.
1. What are my lifetime goals?
Imagine you’re financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future.
How would you live your life? Would you change anything?
Feel free to close your eyes and dream. Describe a life that is complete and richly yours.
Once you are finished, take note of the three goals that seem most important to you.
2. How would I like to spend the next five years?
Imagine that you visit your doctor, who tells you you only have about 5 years to live. You won’t feel sick and your death will come suddenly with no notice.
What will you do in the time you have remaining? Will you change your life? Don’t list what you will do or should do, but what you would like to do. As before, note the three goals that most appeal to you.
* Note: This question does not assume unlimited funds.
3. How would I like to live if I knew I'd be dead within one month?
You get a call from your doctor. He has made a mistake. You don’t have 5 years to live, you have just 1-month. Just as before, you won’t feel sick and your death will come suddenly with no notice. There is no cure. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality.
What did you miss? How would you want to spend the time you have left? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do?
And for the final time, make a note of the three goals that matter most to you.
4. Your Personal Mission Statement
Now refer back to the goals above that stood out to you. Does one stand out from the others? Can you see a common thread that connects some (or all) of the goals? Using your list of goals as a starting point, draft a Mission Statement (scroll to the bottom of the page for examples). Your Mission Statement might be anywhere from a few words to a few sentences. Take as much time as you need to make this the best, most compelling paragraph you possibly can.
When you’ve finished, set aside your Mission Statement and go about your day. Don’t forget about your mission, but keep it in the back of your mind.
After you've had time to stew on things
Sit down and review what you’ve written. How does your Mission Statement make you feel? Can you improve upon it? You want your vision to create a sense of purpose that drives you day-in and day-out, through good times and bad. Keep in mind that as we get older, we have more life experiences and acquire new skills. If your mission statement doesn’t change, you risk not being relevant any more.
Personal Mission Statements from 5 famous CEOs
OPRAH WINFREY, FOUNDER OF OWN, THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER OF THE VIRGIN GROUP
“To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.”
DENISE MORRISON, CEO OF CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY
“To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.”
JOEL MANBY, CEO OF HERSCHEND FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
“I define personal success as being consistent to my own personal mission statement: to love God and love others.”
AMANDA STEINBERG, FOUNDER OF DAILYWORTH.COM
“To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.”
While you write a personal mission statement for yourself, there is power in sharing it. The more you share, the more support you get to achieve your mission. Frame it and put it up on your wall where you can see it. Let this help guide you down the path of prosperity and happiness.
Since I did say that a mission statement should be shared, this is mine:
DEREK L MORENO, BLOGGING OVER COFFEE
“To experience the world and leave a loving and lasting impact on the lives of those I meet along the way.”
Have you written a Personal Mission Statement?
Leave a comment and let me know!