HOW I WROTE MY MISSION
I spent some time last week really going inward and understanding what my personal mission statement really is. This is a difficult task. It's one that takes time and thought. As a serious person, I welcomed that.
I have talked about how to create a mission statement in a previous post, and because I just went through this process myself, I wanted to write about how it went for me.
First you need to understand what a mission statement is and why it's important to have one, and then you can create your own. At the end I give you my mission and I share my story of why I'm so passionate about it.
What is a mission statement
A mission statement is your why. It is your purpose. It is the reason you get out of bed in the morning. It is the reason why you do things the way you do them. It is your nature, your personality, your moral.
On developing your personal mission statement, Stephen Covey says, "It focuses on what you want to be and do. It is your plan for success. It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals into focus, and moves your ideas into the real world. Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life."
Your mission statement can be short or long. It is personal, meaning, it should reflect you. It should motivate you when you read it.
Why you need a mission statement
As a stay at home mom it can seem like you don't need to have a mission statement. But friends, it is so helpful to have a mission statement. Just because you're a mom and maybe you don't have big goals, you still have goals. You have a vision of what you want to be like as a mom. You have things that you want to do with your family. You have a vision of what success looks like for yourself as a mom, a wife, and your own self.
This is your life story. We don't know how long we will be here. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. For anyone. Any breath could be your last. On the flip side, you could also be given a life of many years after raising your children. Being with my grandma recently has caused me to reflect on this. The time we spend raising our children is really such a short time.
If tomorrow never comes for me I want to show up for them to the best of my ability today. At the same time, if I have an additional 50 years to live after my children are able to care for themselves, I need something to do with my time. Your mission statement will give you the plan you need for your life as it is now and what could be then.
Besides, have you ever felt restless? Not necessarily bored (we all know there are a million things to do as a mom), but a feeling that you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing? Like maybe you're supposed to be doing more, on a larger scale. Maybe it's just my ambition, but I feel this a lot. I understand that everyone isn't ambitious and that is fine. If you are ambitious, a mission statement will be your guide.
How to create your personal mission statement
Creating a mission statement is a serious thing. Honor yourself and treat it accordingly. Give yourself time alone to go inward. When I say go inward, I don't mean that you need to sit and meditate. Rather, ask yourself interesting questions and really get to know what you like and don't like.
And then go a step further and understand why you like what you like and you don't like what you don't like. If you like guided questions, download the Personal Discovery Workbook in the Resource Library and use that.
If you feel you don't have time for workbooks, tune in to your thoughts. Think about the following questions.
- Do you feel happy in your life right now? Why or why not?
- What do you keep moving toward?
- What interests you the most/what skills do you wish you had? Why?
- What do others come to you for advice or help with? These are your strengths.
- What do you currently have in your life that you absolutely love? Why?
If you can, write and think on it for a few days. In the beginning my writing was bits and pieces of what I really liked. I had words like writing, reading, learning, photography, helping, happiness, coffee, perfecting, planning, teaching, observing, thinking...
That morphed into sentences like I wish I had a bigger house so I would have company more often. I want to open a store and help all my customers have happier days. I want to host workshops and teach moms how to plan or do calligraphy or watercolor or something really fun. I love talking one-on-one with other moms. I love motivating others. I love helping others find their inner happiness.
Then go back over your notes and asked yourself, If this is who you are, what do you want to be and what do you want to do? What is your plan for success? How can you live all of these aspects of you to the best of your ability everyday? The answer for me was really quite simple.
My mission is to help moms live better lives by bringing them into awareness of who they are and what they want, and then teaching them how to make an effective plan so they can live their ideal life. I will do this through continuous learning, serving, being positive, expressing kindness, living in balance, being curious, and taking care of my personal wellbeing. In a nutshell, I want to help people to create more abundance and live life at their level 10.
I believe I'm on my way there. Having a mission shows you what goals you need to set. Big scary goals. But before we get into goals, I want to talk about why I'm passionate about helping moms because your mission should be something you are passionate about. It should excite you.
As a child growing up, I loved to play school. I would play alone if nobody else was interested in playing, and I was totally fine with that. I loved papers. I loved desks. I loved supplies. I still love all that stuff.
As a dating teen I tended to end up with guys that I wanted to 'fix'. I felt confused and overwhelmed with life. My future was so open and completely up to me. I remember wishing someone would just tell me to go to school for x so I wouldn't have to make any decisions. All I wanted to do was to get married and have kids, but you can't exactly go to school for that.
I felt like I didn't know anything. I felt inadequate for life. I didn't know what I liked or what I was good at. I felt no ambition (shocking, I know!) and was envious people who had dreams that they were fulfilling from when they were really little. I lacked direction. I was apathetic.
I worked at coffee shops and preschools and just floated through life. I left Wyoming and lived in Detroit for a while, and then I moved to Minneapolis. By that time I was dating my husband, and I was on top of the world. I remember thinking, This is it! I'm finally going to get married and have my own family. I was finally going to be happy.
But happiness doesn't come from things. Shortly after my second baby I fell back into depression. I blamed it on the economy and my husband working out of town. I had so many excuses to be unhappy. It was the kids. It was the bank account. It was the weather.
The medication I was taking pretty much flat-lined me. I eventually got so sick of not ever feeling happy that I decided to quit taking my medicine. I did this on my own, without my doctors orders. I do not recommend this. Thank God I made it through okay. But only, I wasn't okay. Not totally.
I had also suffered from severe anxiety, to the point of anorexia. When I was medication free and feeling happy I kept having the belly aches that I had always associated with anxiety. I really felt I had overcome my anxiety with my depression. I was so determined to be happy and feel good.
Along the way I was introduced to Eat Right 4 Your Type, and I went gluten free and corn free. With in two weeks I felt absolutely amazing. Never in my life had I ever felt so good. It caused me to wonder if I had been living gluten and corn free, how much suffering could I have avoided? I couldn't believe how much feeling good physically had such a profound affect on my life.
All the sudden I wanted to be around my kids. I had fun with them. I was so happy and they could feel that. When I am in such a good feeling mood, my kids are happier too. Feeling good motivated me to get up and do things. And when I'm up doing things, my kids kind of do their own things too. I was like, What? How is it that they quit hanging on me just because I'm happy? Kids are so intuitive.
I wanted everyone to feel this good. And I wanted everyone to know that their happiness depends on their thoughts and not on their circumstances. That's around the time that I started Coffee with Mar (my blog before This Buffalo Life). The thing I learned is that you can't give someone happiness. You can't give someone a mission, a purpose. They have to discover it for themselves.
I didn't get it for a long time, and I even had that quote on my fridge! (below) And that is why I am so passionate about helping moms. No matter what your circumstances are, no matte how much money you have or don't have, how many kids you have, where you live, or what you drive, your happiness comes from within. You create it. You choose it.
I want to help you choose it. Because I've been there. And I know it's no fun. And I know it is a hard choice and I know what it feels like to want to be happy so badly and just not being able to choose happiness. I understand that medicine is helpful, but your diet is too. If you want to design your life and create a mission statement so you have something to live for, you have to go inward and find your peace and your happiness first.
I am very passionate about my mission. I hope you make time to create yours. If you don't have a mission you are not living at your full potential. You might be wandering around without direction, sometimes going the wrong way or getting bumped off your path, just taking life as it happens.
Your mission is like your guide. It creates a plan for your life. It gives you direction. It motivates you to put in the work, to go the distance, to show up. When you have a mission you feel peace. Your life is more relaxed while simultaneously moving forward in the direction you want to go.
For me, the decision to live by my mission statement was an easy one.
So now it's your turn
Download the Personal Discovery Workbook in the Resource Library. Really take some time to get to know yourself.
Then sign up for the Personal Mission Challenge.