Why You Need a Personal Mission Statement

We all have days where we feel like we’re working in an endless circle, not really going anywhere. Feeling stuck like this can be one of the most frustrating feelings. If you have days when you feel out-of-place or unfulfilled, your life may be lacking purpose.

Without a sense of who you are and who you want to be, you can never live a completely full life. The solution to this problem is creating a personal mission statement. Crafting a personal mission statement can be the key to unlocking your full potential.

The Scientific Reason

Writing a personal mission statement and exploring your personal values isn’t just an idea that somebody thought of that sounded good. This practice has scientific-based evidence of making people happier and less stressed.

One study showed that people who participated in a value-affirmation task to identify and affirm their own values showed a better response to stress and higher levels of optimism when compared to those who did not complete the task. This study is one of many that scientifically argues the importance of value-affirmation, which is the beginning step of writing a personal mission statement.

Most people believe that writing down to-do lists and goals makes it more likely that those tasks and goals will get accomplished. The same school of thought applies for writing personal statements. When you understand your values and who you want to be, and write these down into an actionable statement, you’re more likely to become “who you want to be in the world.”

Creating Intention

Part of creating a personal mission statement is deciding for yourself who you want to be and what you want to do. Too often, people seem to fall into the pattern of doing what everyone else is doing. Go to college, get a job, buy a house and start a family. Everyone else is doing it, so why not follow along?

But sometimes, following those social constructs isn’t what really makes us happy. Creating a personal mission statement can be the first step to realizing what will truly make your life feel fulfilling.

Often, the process of sitting down, answering the tough questions and being honest with yourself becomes a moment of enlightenment. There’s a good chance you’ll have some sort of eye-opening experience while crafting your personal mission statement, and you’ll wonder how you knew so little about yourself before.

Once you have a personal mission statement, it becomes the driving force of your life. Since it embodies everything you want to be and do, you can look to it whenever you need to make a hard decision or figure out your next step in life. It becomes a statement of intention. Everything you do in your life will have a reason, and you will know for sure that it’s contributing to your success and happiness.

How to Create One

There are a few ways to go about creating a personal mission statement, but all of them involve you, a pen and paper and your honesty. You can start by answering a series of questions that are meant to help you get to know yourself.

For example, finish the sentence, “I am passionate about…” with everything that makes you light up with energy and enthusiasm.

Then, complete the statement, “I am…” with positive qualities about yourself.

Finish the sentence, “I wish I was more…” with qualities you’d like to improve.

Ask yourself, “What have I accomplished that I am proud of?”

Find out, “Where do I see myself in 10 years?” and, more importantly, “Where do I want to be in 10 years?”

Answer all of these questions openly and honestly. Don’t judge your own answers and don’t shut down any thoughts that pop up while answering them. Let your thoughts flow freely and write down anything that comes to mind.

Finally, create a statement that includes the most important parts of your answers into one statement that gives you purpose and defines you. This is your personal mission statement.

How to Live It

Personal mission statements are important, but they don’t mean a thing if you write it down and then forget about it. Once your statement is written, write it down everywhere. Sticky-note it to your mirror, make it your computer background, write it on your hand. Whatever you have to do to remember your mission statement and think about it throughout the day.

Also, allow your mission statement to change if it needs to. If you find your mission statement isn’t working for you, or if your goals change, don’t be afraid to revisit your statement and alter it as needed. This will help you continue to live your mission statement.

Forming a personal mission statement can make such a difference in your life! If you’re looking to have more focus or become the best version of yourself, a mission statement is what you need. Try crafting your own and share them with us in the comments! And while you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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