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Have You Considered Creating a Personal Mission Statement?

Have You Considered Creating a Personal Mission Statement?
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BY MYRA FAYE TURNER

September is annually designated as Self-Improvement Month. This is an ideal time to reflect on your life and brainstorm areas you may want to change. Many of us typically set goals (especially as we write our New Year’s Resolutions) but there’s something else you should consider —writing a personal mission statement.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of the mission statement. Businesses and organizations typically write mission statements that serve as a guide to how they will operate. A personal mission statement is similar in that it can serve as a catalyst for keeping you on track as you strive to reach your goals or improve your life.

Unlike most resolutions, mission statements are more character and value-based. Typically, you’re touching on what character traits you want to improve on rather than say, losing weight or getting more exercise. A personal mission statement gives you a sense of purpose and helps guide you as you navigate your daily routines. Writing one takes time and introspection, but it’s not very difficult.

Start by thinking of a character trait you want to improve. For example, suppose you want to work on having a sunnier disposition and a better outlook on life.

Your mission statement might read:

I will always keep a positive attitude no matter what the situation. I will strive to always look on the bright side because I realize the situation is usually not as devastating as it appears.

The first thing you notice in the example is the statement is short and sweet. You don’t have to write a dissertation. Edit your statement until it is concise. When constructing your mission statement, only use positive declarations; don’t focus on what you don’t want. A good way to format your mission statement is:

I will (action) by (explain how)

For example, I will embrace diversity (by…)

Your mission statement should remain foremost in your thoughts as you go about your daily routines, much in the same way that a company or organization should. For example, if a company’s mission is to always provide good customer service, every interaction with a customer should assure that this rings true. If your personal mission statement is to remain positive, as in the example above, every action you take should be in line with this philosophy.

Once you have your mission statement completed, don’t simply put it away and never think about it again. One way to help make sure you keep your mission front and center in your mind’s eye is by creating a vision board.

How to Prepare a Vision Board

Creating a vision board is a great way to help you keep track of your new life mission. I create vision boards often as a way for me to visually see, at a glance, what goals I’m working on. I first learned of vision boards after reading about the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction holds that the things we think about most will manifest in our lives. So seeing a board everyday littered with reminders is a great way to stay the course. For example, I made a board at the beginning of the year because I wanted to achieve a goal of finally publishing a book of poems I have been working on. By constantly seeing this idea I was able to publish my collection in July (yeah me!). A vision board would work in the same manner for your mission statement.

Once you have created your mission statement, you can create a board as a reminder of what you are trying to achieve. They are easy to create. First, gather your materials: poster board, images that represent your goals/visions, stickers, inspirational messages, glue/tape, images of you (happy), etc. Next, creatively affix the images, etc. to the board. Finally, place the board in a prominent place so that you can see it often. I use the tri-fold poster board because there’s more room and it’s easier to display because they stand up on their own.

Returning to our example, if your mission is to be happy, you can fill your board with happy images, sayings, etc. Be sure to include your mission statement. Okay, this all sounds well and good but suppose you’re having problems creating your mission statement? Some people turn to others for help by working with a life coach.

Should You Hire a Life Coach?

Some people turn to a life coach to help them navigate their life’s journey. Should you? Many swear that working with a life coach helped them to achieve miraculous results. If you decide to work with a life coach, be aware that coaches are self-certifying. This means anyone can claim they are a life coach without undergoing any stringent training or certification. If you decide to go this route, make sure you do your due diligence in vetting a potential coach. There are qualified coaches that can help you grow and attain your goals but you don’t want to fork over a bunch of money to an unqualified hack. Speaking of money—hiring a life coach is costly so keep that in mind, also. You could pay $100-300 an hour. So you need to definitely weigh the pros and cons of going it alone or hiring help.

Now, it’s your turn. Take the tips I’ve given you and go write your own personal mission statement.

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