A mission statement is an action statement that reflects your vision. It clarifies (1) what you want to do, (2) who you do it for, and (3) how you do what you do. It is a broad declaration of your purpose that distinguishes you from others. It is an expression of how you hope to realize your dream.
Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, insisted that vision and mission statements are “more powerful more significant, more influential, than the baggage of the past, or even the accumulated noise of the present. “ Strong vision and mission statements ground us with purpose and provide us with clear direction.
What would you like to include in your vision and mission statement? Use these suggestions to Create Personal Vision and Mission Statements.
Vision Statement – Questions to Consider
A vision statement empowers you and focuses your efforts in ways that propel you forward in the direction of your dream. It raises your standard of excellence, provides meaning to every task you want to accomplish, strengths your commitment, and encourages to keep moving forward towards your goals.
James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of Envisioning Your Future: Imagining Ideal Scenarios, encourage you to consider the following questions if you want to write a strong vision statement:
- Does your vision statement provide a powerful picture of what you you want to experience in 3 to 5 years?
- Does your vision statement include a description of your future?
- Does it represent a dream about what you think is possible?
- Does it provide a larger sense of purpose?
- Does it clarify your focus?
- Does it create enthusiasm and inspire you?
- Does it connect to your core values?
- Is it rooted in your strengths, unique capabilities, resources, and assets?
What words express your strengths, core values, and dream? How can they be included in your vision statement?
Identify Specific Goals
By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you can plan where you have to concentrate your efforts. If you feel frustrated or anxious as you think about defining your goals, you may, as Amy Lynn Andrews, author of Tell Your Time, observed, feel “stuck” in one of the following areas:
- You do not know how to define your goals.
- You do not have a plan to pursue your goals.
- You have goals, but do not believe you have the resources to reach your goals.
- You have goals, but do not believe you have the time to reach your goals.
- You have goals, but do not believe you have support from families and friends.
A dream does not transform into a reality until you create a plan with tangible goals. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, insisted that the act of writing goals puts things into motion. “Your mind accepts the challenge and will consciously and unconsciously work to achieve the goal,” added Covey. “The momentum picks up if you tell someone your goal. The act of stating your goal creates a sense of accountability for its completion.”
George Doran first used the term, SMART goal, in a 1981 issue of Management Review. He explained that a SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. The act of writing your goals packs your dream with power and sets the dream-to-action process onto a course headed towards success.
Consider the following questions as you construct SMART goals:
- Specific – What do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to accomplish it? What are the benefits? Who isinvolved? Where will it belocated?
- Measurable – How much is needed? How much will it cost?How will you know when it is accomplished? What tools will you use to easure progress? What targets will you establish as you progress towards your goal?
- Attainable – How can your goal be accomplished? Is it action-oriented? What knowledge and skills are needed to reach this goal?
- Relevant – Does your goal seem worthwhile? Is it realistic? Is this the right time? Is there a need for this goal?
- Time-bound – When will this happen? How often? Is there a time frame for you to reach your goal? What will you do within the next six months to reach your goal? Six weeks? Today?
Use these tips if you want to know How to Write SMART Personal Goals.
Additional tips to consider as you write your goals:
- State each goal as a positive statement. Express your goals with positive words.
- Be precise. Set specific goals; include dates, times, and measurable amounts so that you can track your progress. Rather than stating “Don’t be afraid to apply for a new job,” state “I will apply for three new jobs this week.”
- Set priorities. Prioritizing tasks helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals and focuses your attention to the most important tasks. It is helpful to have a purpose statement when considering goals. When your goals do not align with your purpose, consider modifying your purpose statement or reworking your goals. (Learn more about How to Write a Purpose Statement).
- Set objective performance goals. As you write your goals, use action verbs that can be observed and measured as opposed to abstract and subjective goals. Rather than stating “Lose weight,” state “I will walk for 30 minutes five days each week and eliminate snacks from my diet.”
- Arrange time in your schedule to pursue your passions. Breaking down the dream into specific goals that fit into a regular schedule takes work and effort. You must consider how much time you have within a twenty-four hour period that you can devote to tasks that will help you meet your goals. Rather than stating “Start drawing,” state “I will enroll in a weekly art class and practice drawing 15 minutes each day.”
If you wait for the “right time” to begin the work, your goals will never find a place into your routine. You must allow time to regularly review your goals and plan them into your schedule. As you plan, you may find that you will need to (1) reduce time from other activities to allow more time for your goals, (2) figure out how much time is needed to complete particular tasks, (3) find someone else to do some of the tasks, or (4) do not do certain tasks at all.
Free downloads from my goal-setting book, Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide, are available in the Trailblazer Store (or select “Free Downloads” from the “Store” drop-down menu). I wrote this book at a time when I wanted to pursue my dream and create new goals, but no tools were available. Check out the preview and reviews from awesome fans on Amazon.
Richard G. Scott said, “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” Commitment to a process is crucial to the development of a successful action plan. Start somewhere. Begin today.
Describe one of your goals. What can you do today that will take you one step closer to achieving your goal?