This post guides you on how to write your mission statement.
I recommend you create your mission statement after completing these two activities:
- identify your values (you can use this Worksheet on Values) and
- articulate your vision (see this post for details, including a worksheet).
Why write your mission statement?
A mission statement helps you stay aligned with your values and vision.This is about living with integrity. I’m not sure about you, but I feel off whenever I’m out of integrity. For that reason, alignment between my values, the person I am/am becoming (vision), and the actions I will take today and in the future (mission) is super important!
What is a mission statement?
The mission statement is described variously, depending on what you read (isn’t that always the case?!).
It was described to me as consisting of a few short statements that capture “ways you are going to get to your vision”. While the vision statement focusses on the future, the mission statements focus on today and what you DO. This includes:
- actions you take
- thoughts you practice, and
- beliefs you embody to be the person you want to be/become.
As I shared in a previous post, my vision statement is “being the difference for my communities”. My mission statement–the way I’m going to get to my vision–is:
• Being a presence for my family
• Having the courage to take on new challenges
• Making choices that increase my well-being
I think of the mission as consisting of a few core statements that capture how I live my life today (even if I don’t always get these ‘right’ or hit the target).
Vision and mission–what’s the difference?
If you’re still confused about the difference between your vision and mission statements, this might be helpful:
A vision statement answers the question “How do you see yourself in the future?”. It inspires you to set goals and accomplish certain things
The mission statement, on the other hand, answers the question “how do you want to live your life now?” This statement guides your daily actions and behaviours.
8 steps to successfully crafting your statement
- Set aside some time to create your statement. You can do this as a solo activity or with a friend or coach or in a small group.
- Pull out your values and your vision statement so they are visible and read them over.
- Brainstorm some actions you want and need to take on a regular basis to move you in the direction of your vision. Keep these actions broad. This is not about a to-do list; it’s about ways of being and thinking that span across your life. You may want to put these ideas on sticky notes so you can move them around and group them, or you can use a simple list or a mind map tool (I like mindmeister).
- Group or organize ideas, as relevant. Feel free to edit and revise!
- Highlight the top 3-5 ideas.
- Sit with these for a while. Keep them out and visible. Read them over during your day for a few days or a week.
- Make any changes that feel right or keep the statements as they are.
- Decide that this is your mission statement and save it somewhere (or multiple places) where you can easily access and view it.