Crafting your Personal Mission Statement

1 July, 2013

litworld.tumblr.comThe other day I was writing a social media post on company mission statements and got to wonder how many people have a personal mission statement. It sounds so stuffy – personal mission statement – which is why probably not many of us have bothered. So I searched the net, as one does, and was delighted to find helpful, inspiring and generous amounts of information that made it not an onerous, drag-legs-through-muddy-water task, but rather an enjoyable one, done with a light hand and a light heart.

This doesn’t mean my PMS (bad acronym) is going to stay in its current format forever. No, in all seriousness, and in the words of Steven Covey “creating a mission statement is not something you do overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expression, and often many rewrites to produce it in final form. It may take you several weeks or even months before you feel really comfortable with your mission statement, before you feel it is complete and concise expression of your innermost values and directions. Even then, you will want to review it regularly and make minor changes as the years bring additional insights or changing circumstances.”

But there is something to be said for just getting started. And if you’re still with me, then here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What does success look like to you?
  2. What’s different about you?
  3. What inspires you?
  4. What are you really, naturally good at?
  5. What do you want to be known for?
  6. What makes you smile?
  7. What activities make you lose track of time?
  8. What do you spend your disposable income on?
  9. If you had to teach something, what would that be?
  10. What causes do you connect with?

No need to spend loads of time on these questions. Just answer each one until you feel your mojo running out, and then move onto the next. When you’re done, circle all the action words you’ve written down e.g. inspire, lead, accomplish, teach, etc., then underline everyone and everything you believe you can help: people, causes, organisations and so on. Now list how they will benefit from what you do and then find the common denominator between everything you’ve written down e.g. ‘raise community awareness about the environment’.

Remember, a personal mission statement is about two things: what you do, and who you are while you’re doing it, so don’t forget to include this important last bit. Distill your mission statement down into one sentence if you can – or two at the most. Anything longer makes it wooly.

Your mission statement is your guide – it’s the benchmark by which you measure everything else. Enjoy writing it. And living it.


Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.