31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity - Family Mission Statement

When you hear mission statement, what do you think?  Do you automatically know what your family’s mission is?  Is it stressful to think about because you aren’t sure where to begin?  It can be.  Trying to figure out your mission in life almost seems too large to nail down, but once you have, it will become a litmus test for all of your decisions. 

What is your mission?

Writing a mission statement can be a daunting task.  How can you possibly come up with a few sentences to cover your entire family’s life and what you stand for?  It will take a lot of self-reflection, knowing your goals, what you want out of life, all of those things are important when you write out your mission statement.

A word quickly about what a mission statement is, and what it is not.  A mission statement is a way for you personally, or your family, to make big decisions, to figure out what is next in your life, whether or not your calendar is full of activities, and what those specific activities are.  A mission statement is not, however, a set of goals.  It should be timeless, and general enough that it fits all aspects of your life. 

“Every decision we make is ultimately governed by some kind of interest or goal or objective or value or principle, whether we know it or not. A Family Mission Statement is an effort to bring to an explicit level what your goals and values are so that people are on the same page.” Stephen R. Covey

How do you come up with a mission statement?

The key is to sit down with your family and talk about what your family wants to be, what your family stands for.  If you have older kids, invite them to participate.  If your kids are small, or you don’t have kids, just work on this with your spouse.  If you are single, you can make this a personal mission statement.

Some questions to help get you started:

What is important to you individually and as a family?
What are the priorities of you and your family?
What are your strengths?  Weaknesses?
What talents do the members of your family have?
How can you serve one another?
What type of atmosphere do you want to foster in your home?
What are some of your big, long range goals?
How do you want your home to be viewed by others?
What is your life purpose?

Now, some of these are very difficult to answer, but if you sit and start brainstorming, you will see that answers will start to come out.  They can be crazy and off the wall.  You will eventually sit and comb through those answers, you want to let all the members of your family freely answer.  Look at the big picture here.  It might be scary to put some of your real feelings down on paper; it can be a vulnerable time.  But, it is worth it, trust me!

Once you have all of your answers you will go back and look through them all.  This is probably best to do with your spouse.  Look and see if there is a theme.  What common thread is in your answers?  Are there any big differences?  Talk through those differences to see if there is common ground to be found, or if perhaps it isn’t as important to you as you originally thought. 

When a few themes have been established, come up with some adjectives to describe these themes.  At this point you are able to write your mission statement.  There is no “right” way to do this.  It can be bullet points, a few sentences, describing your mission is whatever makes sense to you, and will help you to measure decisions against.

For example this is our family mission statement:

Put God First.  Live simply.  Be good stewards of God’s creation and the time we are given.  Promote peace in our home.  Encourage creativity and learning.  Always show our love for one another.

This was written back in February of 2012, and it still holds true today.  When I look at this statement, I know that it is important to not fill every bit of our calendar with activities, no matter how much the FOMO (fear of missing out) gets to me.  I also know that in our homeschooling I need to make sure that I am fostering that love of learning and creativity that we all hold dear (instead of focusing on getting through every.single.subject). 

Do you have a family mission statement?  Please share it below!

Find the entire 31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity series here.

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