How to Write Your Personal Mission Statement

All successful businesses have some sort of mission statement to guide their direction. But…why would you ever want to develop a personal one for yourself? What’s the big deal?  How might it add value to your life?

A personal mission statement is essential for your success. It creates boundaries that prompt you to focus on what really matters to you. It will allow you to live purposefully within the context of a meaningful framework.

To develop a meaningful statement, work through the following three steps.

Step One: Start by answering these questions. Be sure to write them down and revisit them often.

     (1)  What is important? What/whom do you value? How is your life connected to those things?

     (2)  Where do I want to go? You can answer this many different ways. Your answer may involve a spiritual, mental, or physical destination. It might describe your career arc.

     (3)  What does “the best” look like for me? Describe your best possible result. This isn’t the time to be realistic. This is the time to dream.

     (4)  How do I want to act? How do you want people to describe you? Think of a few words you would want to come to mind when people think about you.

      (5)  What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? Imagine you’re 100 years in the future. What does the impact you’ve left look like? How will your legacy still touch the lives of others in the future?

Step Two: Take time to formulate a personal mission statement that resonates with who you are.

Use these guidelines to draft your personal mission statement.

Keep it short. You want this to be something you can sum up in a single sentence. Remember, this is about focusing your life on what matters most! Boundaries will help you keep that focus.

Don’t forget about others. Yes, this is a personal mission statement, but it should be just as much about the people you want to impact as it is about yourself. Make sure that shows.

 Share it with the most important people in your life. Get feedback from your spouse, your mentors, and any other important people in your life. They can provide you with invaluable insight.

 It’s OK to make changes. As you grow and continue learning, your mission might evolve. That’s natural. As long as you’re staying true to the mission you know you were put here to accomplish, you can’t go wrong.

Personal Mission Statement Examples:

“To inspire positive change through teaching and coaching.”

 “To encourage, engage, and equip others to believe in the possibilities.”

“To positively impact the life of every person I meet.”

Step Three: Post your personal mission statement where you can see it every day. It will serve as a daily reminder of your purpose in life.

Source: Andy Andrews, New York Times Bestselling Author (The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Own Personal Mission Statement)

Andy Andrews’ Personal Mission Statement: “To help others live the lives they would if they only knew how.”

Dr. Patricia Flanigan’s Personal Mission Statement: “To encourage others to discover new pathways for successful living.”

Presented by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living

Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A.  in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University.  Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging.  As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.