In the first half of this article I discussed a process for reviewing your previous year. This practice helps you to be more mindful of cycles in your life and allows you to make better choices. You empower yourself through this practice and create an upward curve in your life trajectory. Sounds exciting right?
Your next practice is to consider who you were, who you are now, and who you want to be in the coming year. This is what my pastor had us do after we Reviewed our previous year.
- Write down a few words that describe you. Words that embrace your talents and your desires. Words that describe who you are, what you do, what you want to contribute to the world. Keep writing until you run out of words.
- Begin to narrow down your list of words. Get it down to a Top 5. Which words really define you?
- Dig deeper. Try to get down to two words or One Word that really makes you feel great. A word that inspires and challenges you.
- Take some time to describe the characteristics of that word. What does it do? How does it feel? How does this word contribute to your work life, family life, social life or spiritual life? How would this word behave in a challenging circumstance? If this word were to write a resume, what would be it’s greatest strengths and accomplishments?
- Now, use the statements you just wrote down to create a mission statement. It can be a page in length, but the most effective mission statement is probably just a few sentences long. Don’t worry about getting it perfect right now…this is a work in progress. Revise and refine your mission statement as the year progresses.
You’re getting there! Your mission statement is simply a way for you to capture your essence and communicate your purpose. Many of us don’t think about what our life purpose is. Fewer still actually write it down.
If you need something a little easier to get yourself going…try the Franklin Covey Personal Mission Statement Builder. If you are still unsure about where to start with your mission statement, I would like to suggest two self-discovery tests:
FREE. Based on the MBTI
Choose the option that suits your interests. Costs range from 9.99 to 89.99
Those two tests will provide you with great insight about yourself. You’ll be thankful for this opportunity to discover yourself.
Next, you’ll discover your values: Those guiding beliefs that will form your daily habits and ensure the success of your mission.
I chose Four Values. My pastor, I think, has four or five. Whatever guiding principles you think will help you to stay on track when the going gets tough. In your mission statement, you focused on your strengths. For your values you might want to choose areas of your life where you struggle. For example, if you have a hard time saying no and often find yourself over-burdened with a bunch of tedious stuff, then you may want to choose a guiding value that will help you determine what is a “need to do” versus a “nice to do” task.
One of my values is “Leave it neat.” I have always struggled with follow-up and want to focus on finishing this year…no loose ends, no unanswered questions, no half-done projects.
Okay…one more article to finish the series! Ready? Click here to get there!