Why You Need to Write a Mission Statement

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Today, I urge you to write a mission statement. Actually, I am making an argument that you need both, a mission statement and a vision statement. If you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, a part-time moonlighter, have a “regular” job, or even if you’re unemployed — okay, EVERYONE — you can benefit from taking some time to craft these two statements. Let me explain. Traditionally, a mission statement is a tool a business or organization uses as part of the business planning process to outline the purpose of their existence. A vision statement does the same, but the focus is on identifying the values held by the organization that drive actions. As an individual, you already have goals, a purpose for doing what you do and values that lead you through life, but formalizing these items into tangible black and white statements can accomplish a number of things. Here are just a few of the ways a mission statement and a vision statement can polish your presentation and help you achieve more, personally and professionally.

Synthesize Who You Are

Mission and vision statements include the most important information about you, what you do and the values that guide you in your life and work. Well-crafted statements that outline these details can not only be used as part of your business or career planning, but they can also be the foundation of your elevator pitch, a recurring theme in your marketing activities and a guide for you as you make decisions.

Give You Focus

While mission and vision statements aren’t entirely goal-driven, both can be a tool used in your goal planning process. Since these statements take vital information about you and boil it down into just a few sentences, you can return to them over time and reiterate your purpose and refocus on what you set out to accomplish when you get pulled off track. Plus, having clarity on why you are doing what you do can give you a purpose and motivation to keep going.

Ease the Decision-Making Process

In some situations, solid mission and vision statements can zero you in on the right decision for you. It’s not always quite that easy, but even with more difficult decisions, your statements can act as a reminder about what’s important to you, and at a minimum, direct you to questions you need to ask yourself before making a choice.

Hold You Accountable

Just as your mission and vision statements can help you make decisions that honor your goals and purpose, they can also hold you accountable when you go in the wrong direction. When you look back at your statements and realize you went off-track, you may decide to take some time to figure out what went wrong, or perhaps you will realize it’s time to update your statements to reflect a new direction in your life and work. It’s important to remember that both a mission statement and a vision statement are tools that should grow and change as your work, life and goals change. Once you have them written, return to them regularly to measure their accuracy and meaning. If you have a standard process for setting and checking in on your goals, it would make sense to analyze your mission and vision statements at the same time to keep all of your planning and actions connected and in sync.

Resources

To get started, review these resources for writing a mission statement and a vision statement: Image credit: 4seasons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Personal Mission Statements

What is the importance of a personal mission statement?

A personal mission statement is a powerful tool that provides clarity and direction for your life. It serves as a compass, guiding you towards your goals and aspirations. It helps you understand your core values, beliefs, and purpose, enabling you to make decisions that align with these. A well-crafted personal mission statement can inspire you to achieve your potential and live a fulfilling life.

How do I write a compelling personal mission statement?

Writing a compelling personal mission statement involves introspection and self-discovery. Start by identifying your core values, passions, and strengths. Reflect on your life goals and what you want to achieve. Then, combine these elements into a concise, clear statement that resonates with you. Remember, your mission statement should be personal, positive, and purposeful.

What elements should be included in a personal mission statement?

A personal mission statement should include your core values, your life goals, and how you plan to achieve them. It should reflect your unique personality and aspirations. It should be concise, clear, and inspiring. It should serve as a guide for your actions and decisions, helping you stay true to your path.

Can a personal mission statement change over time?

Yes, a personal mission statement can and should evolve as you grow and change. As you gain new experiences, your perspectives and goals may shift. Therefore, it’s important to revisit and revise your mission statement periodically to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with your current aspirations.

How can a personal mission statement help in career development?

A personal mission statement can guide your career decisions and help you achieve professional success. It can help you identify career paths that align with your values and goals. It can also serve as a source of motivation, inspiring you to overcome challenges and achieve your career aspirations.

How long should a personal mission statement be?

A personal mission statement should be concise and to the point. Typically, it ranges from one sentence to a short paragraph. The key is to communicate your core values and goals clearly and succinctly.

Can a personal mission statement help improve personal relationships?

Yes, a personal mission statement can help improve personal relationships. By clarifying your values and goals, it can help you build relationships that align with these. It can also guide your interactions and help you navigate conflicts in a manner that aligns with your core values.

How does a personal mission statement differ from a company mission statement?

While both personal and company mission statements serve as guiding principles, they differ in their focus. A personal mission statement reflects an individual’s core values and life goals. In contrast, a company mission statement outlines the organization’s purpose, its target audience, and how it plans to serve them.

How often should I revisit my personal mission statement?

It’s advisable to revisit your personal mission statement at least once a year. However, significant life events or changes in perspective may warrant a sooner review. The goal is to ensure your mission statement remains relevant and aligned with your current values and aspirations.

Can a personal mission statement help in personal growth?

Absolutely! A personal mission statement can be a powerful tool for personal growth. It encourages self-reflection and introspection, helping you understand your values, passions, and goals. It can inspire you to take action, overcome challenges, and achieve your potential. It can also serve as a reminder of your purpose, keeping you focused and motivated.

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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