Composing Your Personal Mission Statement

Over the past few weeks, I have provided you with a few exercises to help you frame who you are and what success means to you.  Now that you have taken the time to understand your origin story, core values, and personality, creating a Personal Mission Statement is the next step that brings all of those pieces together to define your Intentional Identity.
 
As I mentioned in my previous posts, you won’t be successful until you know who you are.  Because, when it comes to success, one of the key components is a clear definition of what success look like to you.  Without defining what success is to you, you will never know if you have reached it, or whether you are even on the right track.  And, while success is more than understanding who you are, this understanding is the foundation.
 
After the exercises of the past few weeks, you now have a solid foundation to build your future.  A future that follows the path of success as you have defined it, and helps you to recognize your accomplishments along the way.  This definition is documented as your personal mission statement.  A personal mission statement is that phrase that continually provides you with direction and confirmation for the decisions you need to make, and the actions you need to take.  
 
Let’s get started and begin composing your personal mission statement.  But first, collect your notes and artifacts from the previous exercises.  Keep your origin story, your list of core values, and your personality traits close at hand, to help you craft the right statement that accurately and authentically represents who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to achieve.  
 
Using a basic template, we will draft a personal mission statement that will help to direct your vision for the future and the tasks at hand.  The template is this, “I am a ______, _____, ______, who wants to bring _____, _____, ______, to the ______, by _____.”  Follow these four steps, to fill in the blanks…but don’t get hung up on the template.  This is a starting point to get your brain working in the right direction.  Let it flow, redesign the statement so that it fits you.   You will know your re finished when you have a complete statement that represents who you are and what you hope to accomplish.
 
Step1: Who
Using the materials from the the previous exercises, summarize in about 3 words, who you are.  Likely these will be a combination of what you’ve been through, what you value, and how you act.  As you’re writing this, consider adding a perspective of who you are on your way to becoming.  It’s possible that there are words that describe you, but not to the full extent of who you want to become.  That’s okay.   We will address those identity gaps in a future post, but for today, use the 3 words that both describe you in a current state, and at your best future self. Try to find the exact words that answer the question, 'tell me three words that define you’. 
 
Step 2: What
Make a statement about what you want to contribute.  Again, refresh your answers from previous exercises, specifically here you will want to focus on your Core Values.  What you want to accomplish or give to the world will be inexplicably linked to what you value.  Of course, you will want to create, and deliver, more of what you value.  While the template shows three blanks here, this could be a singular focus or more.  What is/are the most important things that you want to contribute to your target group?  What can you contribute that no-one else can?  
 
Step 3: The Other Who
Depending on your particular mission, you may want to make a contribution to the world, community, demographic segment or some other group.  If you desire to impact a certain group, this is where you would indicate that.  Think about this before you just jump into saying ‘everyone’.  Is there one group that is most important to you, or that you think you can uniquely impact?  For example, a teacher may say her students, a politician may say her constituents.  Who is it for you?
 
Step 4: How
This final step may be the most challenging because we don’t always know what our future will hold, but don’t let this stop you.  In this step, think about how you will impact your target group.  I want you to think less about your short term tasks that you will do, and more about a macro force that you will bring.  Think about how your skills, your personality and your core values come together to give you a blueprint to follow right into success as you’ve defined it.  Will you deliver your contribution through inspiring, teaching, leading, or some other methodology?
 
I would be remise if I walked you through this exercise but had not already done the same for myself.  For me, the statement directs where I spend my energy and resources, and keeps me focused on my long term plans.  
 
I am a creative and intelligent business leader focused on providing resources that empower women to authentically achieve the success they desire.
 
Ultimately, this exercise is designed to give you a succinct and thoughtful statement that will become your guidepost for future decisions, actions, and development.  Once you’ve drafted it, and feel confident that it is a roadmap to achieve success, as you’ve defined it, now is the time to cement it into all that you do.  Use it as a compass when you are making a tough decision, let it guide you by asking the question, “Will this decision help me meet my personal mission or will it distract me?”  By using it in this way, you may encounter some difficult choices, but you will begin to see that the choices that follow your mission will provide you with the fulfillment and rewarding outcomes you have been seeking.  You will have defined your intentional identity that will allow you to execute your path to success…on your terms.
 
I've prepared a worksheet to help you work through this exercise. Feel free to share your mission statement below, or via email to jennifer@jennthoma.com.  
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