Your Personal Mission Statement

Have you ever been on a board or worked for a non-profit or perhaps a new company? And they make you sit in a room around a table with crappy snacks and bad coffee so that you can come up with a mission statement? I have. And I can’t believe I am going to ask you to do basically the same thing.

Every one needs a mission statement. You can call it an elevator pitch if you want. Before you give me the teen-age eye roll, stick with me for a bit. A mission statement is nothing more than a motto. It’s not exactly the reason for which you live your life, it’s the how you live your life. And from what I can tell, many of us are making it up as we go along and hitting walls and wondering why we aren’t getting the important stuff done. It makes sense. No one taught me alongside of history class or typing class (hey it was the 80’s) or algebra (I so wish I could say calculus) how to run my life or plan my life or better yet, set up my life as a well supported mission. That’s what a mission statement does; it supports you when you don’t know which way to go. It guides you when you need a map. And perhaps most important of all, it’s your true north.

I love me a good mission statement. It’s like your BFF, favorite sister and imaginary friend all in one. Minus the drama, the sharing of clothes and the fall outs that can break your heart. So let’s all go through this real easy like.

Step 1: Figure out what’s important to you.

Step 2: Once you’ve figured that out, try to craft it into a few sentences. Be careful. Don’t make it too hard and if it’s in a negative form, start over.

Step 3: Once you have it, see if it rolls off the tongue. If it doesn’t or if you realize that you’re full of human waste, start over.

Step 4: Now that you really have it, use it.

I know. It’s only four steps. And if your life or what you want out of it changes this is what I want you to do; change it. It’s that simple. This is your party, your mission statement, your life. I know it sounds simple because it sort of is. Want to have a life that supports healthy eating? Do it. Want to have a life that allows for more time with your friends? Do it. Want to wake up earlier so that you can have time to collect your thoughts (and your sanity) before you wake the kids? Do it. Just make a mission statement that says “This is my life. This is how it’s going to roll and I hope you can get on board. If not, move to the side of the road because I’m driving this bus” or something to that effect.

Here’s the other option. Just see how your life turns out. Wait for someone to give you permission. And my personal favorite, wait to feel like you deserve it. And then 4 1/2 years goes by, you’re that much closer to 42 or 55 and you wonder where the hell your life went. You were meaning to do something. You just got busy. But hey, at least you were meaning to but that counts for like…not much.