We're already two weeks into the New Year. We've set our goals, have big dreams and we're excited for all the adventures that 2017 will bring our way (well, I bet most of us are). Pretty much every single day in the first week of January I heard people talking about their resolutions and goals. The level of motivation and determination was high. It got me thinking - how can we make this feeling/excitement last now that everyone's back into their daily routines?
We believe that keeping your goals and future vision in front of you where you can see it daily can be the biggest source of motivation. Dreams don't work unless you do, right? :) This is the main reason why we included goal setting and moodboard in the first pages of our Dear Diary. I, personally, don't want to let myself down, so looking over my goals reminds me to take a little action daily that will bring me closer to achieving my goal. And don't ever underestimate the smallest steps :)
Recently, while watching Tony Robbins “I'm not your guru” on Netflix, I heard a phrase “personal mission statement”. It caught my attention and after watching the documentary, I got carried away doing more research on the topic. After reading more about it, I had to create one for myself. I found that a uniquely created statement that represents your values, dreams and mission, is like a promise to yourself to live with a certain mindset. It's a reminder to keep going and not let yourself down.
In this blog post, I'll share why I think it's valuable to create your own personal mission statement, how I create it and how I use it. Plus, we've created a little gift for you so that you can start right away :)
WHY PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT?
Author Stephen Covey talks a lot about this topic and he says that ”a personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision to make.”
Similar to creating your vision board (if you haven't checked it out already, we also have a blog post on how to create a vision board with purpose here), writing a personal mission statement is an amazing mindfulness exercise that helps you clear your thoughts and also get to know yourself better.
Once you've created your very own unique personal mission statement, it works as a reminder of who you are and what beliefs you stand for. It's a personal “motivator” that you've created yourself and it speaks to you personally. It will be the reminder to live according to your values, dreams and purpose. Sometimes it's all we need in order to stop procrastinating and get on with the things we need to accomplish.
HOW TO CREATE IT?
After trying out a few ideas and techniques, I created my own system and questions that helped me create a few sentences that combine and represent my purpose and most important values. These are the 3 steps I follow in order to create my personal mission statement:
1. Discover yourself.
Before writing your personal mission statement, it's important to fully understand yourself. What are your main values? This is essential because it helps creating a statement that's true to you.
Also, think about what you enjoy doing most? What are you passionate about? Whether it's your hobby, spending time with your friends or providing value to others in some way. Take time to think about what truly excites, makes you happy, motivates and empowers you, then write those actions down.
What are your top 3 life goals? This is not something you will achieve in the next year, but rather something you want to achieve in your lifetime. Accomplishing these goals would make you really happy and fulfilled.
2. Future self.
Imagine the person you want to become. Think about the qualities and attitudes you want to have. What do you want others to say about you? This can include your accomplishments and your character. Also, think about the different roles you play (a daughter, a friend, an employee, a father, etc). How would you want to be described in these roles?
3. Positive influence.
We are so lucky to live in a time and place where we're surrounded by so much inspiration, incredibly valuable information and wise teachers that share their experiences through books, videos, podcasts, etc.
All this information can help us understand ourselves better - who do we want to be, what we can relate to, what inspires us, how can we grow.
In this last step, think of a person that inspires you. It can be a family member, a friend, a public figure, a legend, or anyone else you admire. Describe their top qualities, mindset, beliefs and what you think makes them successful/admirable. Write down these qualities and then think how you can bring these attitudes in your life.
Now, here are a few things to keep in mind before writing your personal mission statement:
- Make it short, powerful and encouraging (narrow it down, so that it can become your own personal mantra or moto that you repeat to yourself daily).
- Use confident, not wishful thinking (use “I am…”).
- Include emotions and outcomes of living according to your personal mission statement, make it unique to you.
- It should briefly describe the person you want to be and things you want to focus on/that are valuable to you.
HOW TO USE IT?
It took me a few days to create my personal mission statement. In order to make it unique and powerful, you have to make sure that all the things you include truly represent the way you want to be and what life you want to live. Finalise your personal mission statement when you feel really comfortable about all the answers to the questions above. Most importantly, be true to yourself.
As quoted above, “a personal mission statement becomes the DNA of every other decision to make”. I believe this is why we create personal mission statements. It guides us to live the life we imagine for ourselves, it reminds us of who we want to become and it motivates us to keep going.
You can create this statement as a paragraph (just write down your thoughts and get into as much detail as you wish) or write separate encouraging statements in regards to different areas of your life.
My main advice is to keep it in front of you. Print it out, frame it and put it on your desk. Write it in your diary. Put it on your vision board. Use it as wallpaper on your phone or laptop. Place it whenever you feel it can be most effective.
Remember to practice this mission daily. Whenever you need to make a decision and be aware of the attitudes that come into your mind. Make sure to ask yourself - does this align with my personal mission?
A LITTLE GIFT TO YOU
My personal mission statement helps me focus on the things that matter the most and I believe it will do the same for you.
We've created free printables that include all the sections mentioned in this blog post, so that you can start working on your personal mission statement right away. Remember that you don't necessarily need to fill in all of the fields. See what works best for you, what questions give you a good idea of who you want to be and the things you stand for. Download your printables here.
Thank you so much for reading! Please let us know in the comments if you have ever created a personal mission statement and what are your tips for staying inspired and motivated throughout the year. We love hearing from you :)
With Much Love,
Zane & the Dear Diary team