how to: getting dreamy (and making things happen) with mission statements

So, you're ready to write a mission statement.

Now what?

You start drafting. I want to emphasize here that the first step is simply putting words on a page. Lots and lots of words. This is not an exercise in building a final product. It's an exercise in letting loose and in seeing what your heart wants when you're not closely editing its opinions all the time. 

A blank page can be overwhelming, so I invite you to use questions or fill-in-the-blanks to mine for ideas. The resulting writing may remind you of what you already know is important or it might even reveal desires you weren't completely aware of. 

Some questions to consider are:

  • How would I like to be remembered?
  • What will I be pleased to have accomplished?
  • What did I dream of doing when I was little?

Some fill-in-the-blanks to potentially elaborate on are:

  • I keep coming back to my desire to __________.
  • When I am really jealous of someone, it's because they  __________.
  • If I knew no one would ever find out, I would absolutely __________.

Feel free to google alternative prompts or create your own. The whole goal here is to simply free write about what you want to do and be in the world. Fill a page.

Then, and only then, will you begin the actual work of writing your mission statement. There are many ways this can look, but I like to keep mine pretty simple.

A traditional choice is: "I am a __________ who __________ because __________." 

Or: "I will (act a certain way in the world), because (a reason why this behavior resonates with my most essential self." 

Or even something super simple, more mantra-like, such as "love the chaos." or "just breathe." One I've personally used is "stand tall," which also unfolds into "stand tall in your values, stand tall in your choices, stand tall in your beliefs." Cheesy? Yes, yes it is. It's also absolutely effective (and it improved my posture by about a million percent).

The whole point of writing a mission statement is that it will be your own. Even if you use a fill-in-the-blank, what you decide to include in your mission statement is a reflection of you: who you are & where you're going (and possibly even where you've been). 

Choose words and phrases that lend you power and call to mind you why you're doing what you're doing. This way, when things get hard, you will have a very clear reminder about why you're on this path. 

Ready? Go forth and write.