by Lida Johnson
Why a Personal Mission statement?
When most people think “Mission Statement,” they think organizational mission statements. Like Life is Good: “To spread the power of optimism.” Or LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
A Personal Mission statement, simply put, states your purpose in life. Your “Why!” It considers and combines all your values into just a couple of sentences. Having a mission statement serves as a guidepost as you navigate daily choices. It will motivate and help you focus on how to meet your long-term goal(s). It is a daily reminder of everything you would like to be, do, and have, while expressing your vision for where you want to be in the future. It reflects your values, goals, and purpose on how you want to “act” daily – which will guide you in your food, fitness, and wellness choices. Every day. The cost of writing a mission statement is small, but the payoff is huge! Write it down – share it – live it!
Writing your mission statement can take you an hour, a day, or weeks. A mission statement doesn’t have to be forever so don’t worry about getting it “perfect.” Don’t feel you have to “get it” all at once. Just be open to reflection and to change. You can always change your mind. Keep in mind, as you change and your life changes so can your mission statement. I recommend revisiting your mission statement yearly as you work on your goals. And p.s.: you can also make a family mission statement, as well. Have fun.
How do I make a mission statement?
Step 1: Start getting curious about yourself.
Ask yourself some questions. Such as:
• Who am I? (And who have I become?)
• Who do I want to be? Why?
• What do I stand for? Why?
• What is meaningful and important to me?
• How am I going to live that every day?
• Where do I want to go? What fitness, nutrition, and/or health behaviors will get me there?
• How will I know if I’m making progress?
• What do I truly enjoy?
• What does the “best” look like for me?
• If I had total control of my own health, fitness, and/or nutrition path, what would that look like?
Try writing the answers to these questions on Post-it notes or a whiteboard. Sometimes it can help to see them in front of you.
If you like, ask someone you know what they think you stand for or want. That’s often a fascinating conversation.
Step 2: Look for the themes that re-appear.
If you consider all your answers together, what are some of the common ideas that start to emerge?
• Being a parent is important to me.
• My job is important to me.
• Helping other people is important to me.
• I want to excel. I want to be the best.
• I like winning.
• I like learning.
• I like having fun, etc.
A few guidelines:
• 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.
Step 3: See if you can capture the essence.
Finally, see if you can capture the who, what, why, where, and how in a few simple, very clear sentences that relate to your health, fitness, and nutrition.
“I am a mother, wife, and doctor. I care for other people and help them heal. Choosing to keep my body healthy — and sharing my knowledge and experience with others — ensures that I live my values, foster integrity, and serve as an example to my family and clients.
I am dedicated to living my life creatively and joyfully, and to learning new things. I eat well and mindfully because it feels good. I will choose activities that are fun and teach me skills. I will try at least one new sport or activity every six months. I’m driven to be the best. I never met a challenge I didn’t chew up. My nutrition and training fuels my pursuit of excellence.”
We must remind ourselves to be what we want to be every single day.
Even if you don’t have a “perfect” or perfectly clear mission statement, you’ll still have worked towards putting something meaningful into practice.
Lida Johnson is the owner of Head-to-Toe Coaching, where she helps people be their Best Self. Certified Personal Trainer. Certified Nutritionist. Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. Weight Loss Specialist. Behavior Change Specialist. Certified Group Fitness Instructor. Lifetime Learner. www.facebook.com/groups/headtotoecoaching. HeadToToeCoaching@gmail.com. 203.260.2880.