What is a Mission Statement?
A Mission Statement is a formal set of values of a company, organization or individual. It acts as a guide for conduct and interaction with others. It sets boundaries to live by and within. It defines purpose and meaning.
Why do I need a Mission Statement?
If you were to ask someone what their family’s core values are, you would probably get a lot of blank stares in response. Who purposely sets out to consider their family values anymore? Don’t feel bad! You’re not alone. I came up in a home with two working parents that were doing their best just to make ends meet. Our family discussions consisted of more utility talk than virtues and values. Read my post America is On Fire and We are #allinthistogether for a more in depth argument why I believe taking time to formulate a set of Family Values and even drafting a Mission Statement to display in your home is of absolutely necessity.
How Will a Mission Statement Change my Family?
Weather you are a seasoned wife and mom of a small army, a single mom of a few rugrats, a married couple without children, or even a single living alone, everyone needs some guiding principles to keep them inside the ditches. We need to have a plan that we can refer to when we reach major intersections of life that will remind us how we want to show up and how we want to be remembered.
*Key to success: YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN THE MISSION! It has to be so important to you that it feels like life or death. The values you include in your statement should represent the way you want to show up in this world and the legacy you hope to leave behind.
- Write down a list of values, virtues, and character traits that might be found on a mission statement. For example: courage, perseverance, honesty, commitment, compassion, respect. Keep writing until you run out of words. Brainstorm circumstances that you and your family members have experienced where these values were lacking. This will help you identify the habits and character traits that need to be worked on and included in your list. Remember values and virtues are practiced to become habits.
- Carefully consider all that you have written down and highlight the top 3 that you believe are the most important. You are not deleting any of them, but you are narrowing the focus to your family’s CORE VALUES.
- Once you have your top 3, begin to define each one in detail.
For example: COURAGE – standing on truth even if you have to stand alone; pressing in despite the presence of fear; setting goals high enough that they require courage to go after them. You will find that many of the other values and traits you listed will end up falling under your top 3 chosen core values.
- Include scripture and quotes to your virtues and values to give them authority.
- Begin drafting up your Family Mission Statement. AFTER you have a solid draft, invite the whole household to participate in discussing the Mission Statement. Ask age appropriate questions to include the thoughts of each family member (give small children ‘either/or’ choices such as “which do you think is more important: honesty or sharing?”). Ideally you want everyone to play a part in creating the mission statement, but if you have teenage boys, that may be more of a challenge than you are up for. Just make sure to send the message that the Statement is very important to you and you intend to follow it and expect everyone else to as well.
- Have a Mission Statement Adoption Ceremony. Read it aloud. Reaffirm what the statement is for and how it will be used. And remember, it doesn’t matter how old we are, we are never too old to begin good habits!! Please note: Mission Statements will change as family structures change. Revisit your Statement annually to edit as necessary.
If you’re anything like me, the beautiful language that you used in your Mission Statement is probably not part of the normal every day speech in your home…except when you’re reading the Bible or a good classic. Look for opportunities to praise your children or spouse for behaving in a way that represents the values in your Mission Statement. In the same vein, use the same terminology when you have to correct your children. But beware, the more these values are discussed, the more the children will become aware and begin pointing them out to YOU! Take that as Victory when that happens.
Join us over on the Facebook page to continue discussing this topic and more. Share ideas, suggestions or a story of how your Mission Statement is changing your home.