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How to Create a Personal Mission and Vision Statement for the Year
Setting goals and making resolutions; out with the old, in with the new—some of us get downright busy charting our ambitions for a fresh year. But have you thought about writing your own personal vision and mission statement? We asked Project Manager Coach Susanne Madsen how to create a powerful and sustainable mission and vision statement to take us into the New Year.
What is a vision and mission statement?
A vision and mission statement is a paragraph that encapsulates everything you would like to be, do, and have in your career.
It defines what success and excellence look like to you. It expresses your vision for where you want to be in the future and it reflects your values, goals, and purpose and how you want to operate.
Can you give an example of one?
Of course—here’s one:
“My vision is to be an honest, empathetic and impactful project leader and to be recognized internationally within my industry. I am committed to growing as a leader and delivering value-added projects to the end users. My mission is to create and lead a dream team where everyone is playing to their strengths.”
Everyone’s will look and sound completely different. It’s important that it encapsulates your values and aspirations, and that it makes you feel really good and inspired when you read it aloud.
How does a vision statement differ from a mission statement?
Vision and mission statements are very similar but they have their differences. Let’s take a deeper look:
- A vision statement describes what you want to achieve in the future .
- The vision statement answers the question “Where do I want to be?”
- It defines the optimal desired future state—the mental picture—of what you want to achieve over time, say in five, ten or more years.
- It inspires you to give your best and shapes your understanding of why you are doing what you do.
Example: “My vision is a world where everyone is contributing with their full potential; where each person uses their intrinsic genius and leadership to deliver outstanding value-added projects.”
- A mission statement describes what you want now and how you will achieve your long term aspiration.
- A mission statement does not define a long term future state but is more concerned with the present state. It answers the questions of: “What do I do?”, “How do I do it?”, “Who do I do it for?”, “What makes me different”, and “What is the benefit?”
- It talks about the present leading to the future, and how you will get to where you want to be.
Example: “My mission is to help project managers transform into impactful project leaders.”
In order to get the most value from this exercise I suggest you combine the two into a vision and mission statement. Define the overall essence of what you want to achieve and then look at what you are doing to achieve it.
What makes a good vision and mission statement?
- A good vision and mission statement is concise and inspirational.
- It’s easy to memorize and repeat.
- It should be clear, engaging, and realistic, and describe a bright future.
- It should state your intentions, summarize your values, and demonstrate your commitment to living up to these values.
Ideally, the vision and mission statement should also be aligned with the values, culture and possibilities of the organization you currently work for. If your personal values and aspirations are being matched by your employer’s, it will be much easier to progress and fulfill your dreams.
However, if your goals are far beyond what the firm can offer, you will need to be honest and assess if the job is still a good match for you. With a strong vision and mission statement, it’s easier for you to evaluate in which industry and company you should invest your time and energy.
So, how do I go about writing it? What are the steps?
When composing your own statement, find a quiet place where you feel at ease and where you will not be interrupted. Then follow the below steps and guiding questions.
Step 1: Answer the following questions as honestly as you can.
- What personal qualities do you most want to emphasize in yourself?
- How can you use and display these qualities in a working environment?
- What are the most important values you want to express at work?
Step 2: Visualize yourself five years from now.
- Imagine that you are managing and leading the project of your dreams. Envision that everything is exactly the way you want it to be: the type of project you are running, the industry it is in, its size and complexity, the people involved, and your own capabilities as a project manager and leader. Imagine that you are every bit as successful as you want to be. Feel it and see it.
- Keep imagining yourself in the future, and be as specific as possible in your observations. Where exactly are you? Who is your client? What are you doing? Who are you interfacing with? What does the project look like? How big is it? How are you feeling? Why do you want to be exactly where you are? What is the bigger impact you are having?
- Draw a picture of yourself and your surroundings five years from now. Draw the elements you see, feel, and hear. Use as many colors as you want and be as detailed as possible.
Step 3: Sum up your vision and mission.
- Write to the following questions: How can you sum up your vision and mission as a project manager? What are the things you ultimately want to achieve? Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What is the impact you would like to have and how would you like to be perceived?
- What will need to happen in order for you to feel proud of your progress as a project manager in five years’ time?
Now, take everything—the envisioning, writing, drawing, dreaming—and use the language and imagery to write your own vision and mission statement. Give yourself as many drafts as you need to refine it. Remember it should express the values that you would like to live and work by, and that above all you must feel excited and inspired by it when you read it aloud.
Review your vision and mission statement.
As your view of yourself and the future changes, it is important that you review, update and refine your vision and mission statement at least once every six months. If you feel really inspired, you may even want to expand it with more detail and turn it into a personal development plan. So get scribbling and imagine how nice it will be to start out in January with a clear roadmap for where you want to go and how to get there!
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4.8 Developing Your Personal Mission and Vision
- Determine what mission and vision mean for you.
- Develop some guidelines for developing your mission and vision.
Mission and vision are concepts that can be applied to you, personally, well beyond their broader relevance to the P-O-L-C framework. Personal mission and vision communicate the direction in which you are headed, as well as providing some explanation for why you are choosing one direction or set of objectives over others. Thinking about and writing down mission and vision statements for your life can help provide you with a compass as you work toward your own goals and objectives.
Your mission and vision reflect your personal and professional purpose and direction.
Shawn Harquail – Kayak Tour of Mangroves, Lucayan National Park. – CC BY-NC 2.0.
Your Mission and Vision
Note that the development of a personal mission and vision, and then a strategy for achieving them, are exactly the opposite of what most people follow. Most people do not plan further ahead than their next job or activity (if they plan their career at all). They take a job because it looks attractive, and then they see what they can do with it. We advocate looking as far into the future as you can and deciding where you want to end up and what steps will lead you there. In that way, your life and your career fit into some intelligent plan, and you are in control of your own life.
The first step in planning a career is obviously a long-term goal. Where do you want to end up, ultimately? Do you really want to be a CEO or president of the United States, now that you know what it costs to be either one? There are a couple basic parts to this process.
First, set out a bold vision—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great , describes this as a BHAG a big, hairy, audacious goal.
Five guiding criteria for good BHAGs is that they:
- Are set with understanding, not bravado.
- Fit squarely in the three circles of (a) what you are deeply passionate about (including your core values and purpose), (b) what drives your economic logic, and (c) what differentiates you (what you can be the best in the world at).
- Have a long time frame—10 to 30 years.
- Are clear, compelling, and easy to grasp.
- Directly reflect your core values and core purpose.
Second, sketch out your personal values, or “Guiding Philosophy”—a set of core values and principles like your own Declaration of Independence.
Once the vision is set, you have to develop some long-term goal (or goals), then intermediate-term goals, and so on. If you want to be President, what jobs will you have to take first to get there and when do you have to get these jobs? Where should you live? What training do you need? What political connections do you need? Then you have to set up an orderly plan for obtaining the connections and training that you need and getting into these steppingstone jobs.
Finally, you need to establish short-term goals to fit clearly into a coherent plan for your entire career. Your next job (if you are now a fairly young person) should be picked not only for its salary or for its opportunities for advancement but for its chances to provide you with the training and connections you need to reach your long-term goals. The job that is superficially attractive to you because it has a high salary, offers the opportunity for immediate advancement, or is located in a desirable place may be a mistake from the standpoint of your long-term career.
Former business school professor, entrepreneur (founder of www.quintcareers.com), and colleague Randall S. Hansen, PhD, has done a masterful job of assembling resources that aim to help your career, including an excellent five-step plan for creating personal mission statements. With his generous permission, he has allowed us to reproduce his five-step plan—adapted by us to encompass both mission and vision—in this section.
The Five-Step Plan
A large percentage of companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have corporate mission and vision statements (Quint Careers, 2008). Mission and vision statements are designed to provide direction and thrust to an organization, an enduring statement of purpose. A mission and vision statement act as an invisible hand that guides the people in the organization. A mission and vision statement explains the organization’s reason for being and answers the question, “What business are we in?”
A personal mission and vision statement is a bit different from a company mission statement, but the fundamental principles are the same. Writing a personal mission and vision statement offers the opportunity to establish what’s important and perhaps make a decision to stick to it before we even start a career. Or it enables us to chart a new course when we’re at a career crossroads. Steven Covey (in First Things First ) refers to developing a mission and vision statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it (Covey, 1994).”
A personal mission and vision statement helps job seekers identify their core values and beliefs. Michael Goodman (in The Potato Chip Difference: How to Apply Leading Edge Marketing Strategies to Landing the Job You Want ) states that a personal mission statement is “an articulation of what you’re all about and what success looks like to you (Goodman, 2001).” A personal mission and vision statement also allows job seekers to identify companies that have similar values and beliefs and helps them better assess the costs and benefits of any new career opportunity.
The biggest problem most job seekers face is not in wanting to have a personal mission and vision statement but actually writing it. So, to help you get started on your personal mission and vision statement, here is a five-step mission/vision-building process. Take as much time on each step as you need, and remember to dig deeply to develop a mission and vision statement that is both authentic and honest. To help you better see the process, Professor Hansen included an example of one friend’s process in developing her mission and vision statements.
Sample Personal Mission Statement Development
Past success :
- developed new product features for stagnant product
- part of team that developed new positioning statement for product
- helped child’s school with fundraiser that was wildly successful
- increased turnout for the opening of a new local theater company
Themes: Successes all relate to creative problem solving and execution of a solution.
Core values :
- Hard working
- Problem solving
- Decision maker
Most important values:
Most important value:
Identify Contributions :
- the world in general: develop products and services that help people achieve what they want in life. To have a lasting effect on the way people live their lives.
- my family: to be a leader in terms of personal outlook, compassion for others, and maintaining an ethical code; to be a good mother and a loving wife; to leave the world a better place for my children and their children.
- my employer or future employers: to lead by example and demonstrate how innovative and problem-solving products can be both successful in terms of solving a problem and successful in terms of profitability and revenue generation for the organization.
- my friends: to always have a hand held out for my friends; for them to know they can always come to me with any problem.
- my community: to use my talents in such a way as to give back to my community.
Identify Goals :
Short term: To continue my career with a progressive employer that allows me to use my skills, talent, and values to achieve success for the firm.
Long term: To develop other outlets for my talents and develop a longer-term plan for diversifying my life and achieving both professional and personal success.
Mission Statement :
To live life completely, honestly, and compassionately, with a healthy dose of realism mixed with the imagination and dreams that all things are possible if one sets their mind to finding an answer.
Vision Statement :
To be the CEO of a firm that I start, that provides educational exercise experiences to K–6 schools. My company will improve children’s health and fitness, and create a lasting positive impact on their lives, and that of their children.
Step 1: Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. These successes could be at work, in your community, or at home. Write them down. Try to identify whether there is a common theme—or themes—to these examples. Write them down.
Step 2: Identify Core Values. Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. The list can be as long as you need. Once your list is complete, see whether you can narrow your values to five or six most important values. Finally, see whether you can choose the one value that is most important to you. We’ve added “Generating Ideas for Your Mission and Vision” to help jog your memory and brainstorm about what you do well and really like to do.
Step 3: Identify Contributions. Make a list of the ways you could make a difference. In an ideal situation, how could you contribute best to:
- the world in general
- your family
- your employer or future employers
- your friends
- your community
Generating Ideas for Your Mission and Vision
A useful mission and vision statement should include two pieces: what you wish to accomplish and contribute and who you want to be, the character strengths and qualities you wish to develop. While this sounds simple, those pieces of information are not always obvious. Try these tools for generating valuable information about yourself.
- Describe your ideal day. This is not about being practical. It is designed to include as many sides of you and your enthusiasms as possible: creative, competent, artistic, introverted, extraverted, athletic, playful, nurturing, contemplative, and so on.
- Imagine yourself 132 years old and surrounded by your descendants or those descendants of your friends. You are in a warm and relaxed atmosphere (such as around a fireplace). What would you say to them about what is important in life? This exercise is designed to access the values and principles that guide your life.
- Imagine that it is your 70th birthday (or another milestone in your life). You have been asked by national print media to write a press release about your achievements. Consider what you would want your family, friends, coworkers in your profession and in your community to say about you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives? How do you want to be remembered? This is designed to inventory your actions and accomplishments in all areas of your life.
Review your notes for these three exercises. With those responses in mind, reflect on questions 1, 2, and 3 above. Then write a rough draft (a page of any length) of your mission statement. Remember that it should describe what you want to do and who you want to be. This is not a job description. Carry it with you, post copies in visible places at home and work, and revise and evaluate. Be patient with yourself. The process is as important as the outcome. After a few weeks, write another draft. Ask yourself whether your statement was based on proven principles that you believe in, if you feel direction, motivation, and inspiration when you read it. Over time, reviewing and evaluating will keep you abreast of your own development.
Step 4: Identify Goals. Spend some time thinking about your priorities in life and the goals you have for yourself. Make a list of your personal goals, perhaps in the short term (up to three years) and the long term (beyond three years).
Step 5: Write Mission and Vision Statements. On the basis of the first four steps and a better understanding of yourself, begin writing your personal mission and vision statements.
Final thoughts: A personal mission and vision statement is, of course, personal. But if you want to see whether you have been honest in developing your personal mission and vision statement, we suggest sharing the results of this process with one or more people who are close to you. Ask for their feedback. Finally, remember that mission and vision statements are not meant to be written once and blasted into stone. You should set aside some time annually to review your career, job, goals, and mission and vision statements—and make adjustments as necessary.
In this section, you learned how to think of mission and vision in terms of your personal circumstances, whether it is your career or other aspects of your life. Just as you might do in developing an organization’s vision statement, you were encouraged to think of a big, hairy audacious goal as a starting point. You also learned a five-step process for developing a personal vision statement.
- How does a personal mission and vision statement differ from one created for an organization?
- What time period should a personal mission and vision statement cover?
- What are the five steps for creating a personal mission and vision statement?
- What type of goals should you start thinking about in creating a personal mission and vision?
- How are your strengths and weaknesses relevant to mission and vision?
- What stakeholders seem relevant to your personal mission and vision?
Covey, S. R. (1994). First Things First . New York: Simon & Schuster.
Goodman, M. (2001). The Potato Chip Difference . New York: Dialogue Press.
Quint Careers, retrieved October 29, 2008, from http://www.quintcareers.com/creating_personal_mission_statements.html . Reproduced and adapted with written permission from Randall S. Hansen. The content of this work is his, and any errors or omissions are our responsibility.
Principles of Management by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
Differences between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement
When it comes to personal development, many people use the term mission statement and vision statement interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between the two. While a mission statement describes the way in which you live your life, a vision statement describes how and where you picture yourself in the future.
Description of each statement
A mission statement is an individual statement that declares who you want to be, what you want to achieve, as well as the values and principles upon which your life is based. It illuminates your purpose in life and it can be thought of as your personal philosophy. In the television show Star Trek, its five year mission was “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Notice their mission declared what their purpose was, and not where they expected to be in five years.
A vision statement is your depiction of your life in the future. It is a vivid and inspirational description that creates a mental picture of where you ultimately want to be in life. It may be 10 years, 20 years, or even further in the future.
The purpose of a vision statement is to give you direction and focus as you pursue your goals. It becomes the framework for the process of creating your life. It guides your life and helps you make decisions along the way to keep you on the road towards the things that are most important to you.
Changeable vs. Fixed
Since it is difficult to predict the events of your future, your vision statement should change as your life changes. As you grow and experience life, your vision for your future will typically change. Conversely, a mission statement is your purpose in life and is anchored in who you are and usually will not change over the years.
Your mission may be “To live every day with passion, and to appreciate the beauty in life and in others, and to positively change the lives of those around me, and in the end leave the world a better place.” This hopefully will not change as you experience life. However, you may first picture yourself becoming a doctor, but then later in life decide to become a teacher. Even though your vision may change your underlying mission does not.
A vision statement describes what you want to achieve in the future.
A mission statement is based on the present and how you want to go about living your life.
A vision statement answers the question; “How do you see yourself in the future?”
A mission statement answers the question; “How do you want to live your life?”
A vision statement inspires you to set specific goals and accomplish certain things.
A mission Statement guides your daily actions and behaviors.
A vision statement is a passive statement highlighting what you have achieved.
A mission statement is an active statement describing your actions and behaviors of how you live your daily life.
A vision statement is a comprehensive vivid description that creates a mental image.
A mission statement is succinct and easy to remember.
Do You Have a Personal Mission, Vision and Values Statements?
By Mark Swartz
You could probably recite the mission statement of your employer. But if someone asked you what your personal mission, vision and values are, would you be able to answer?
Maybe not right away. It takes effort to identify your ultimate goals, and imagine a bigger picture of how you could be living. That’s what the process of creating a topline strategy for yourself can do.
Personal Mission Statements
“A mission statement is not something you write overnight... But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.” That’s according to Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People.
A personal mission underpins your career mission statement, yet the two differ. Your career version strategically plans where you want to be professionally in five years . The personal type deals with how you define your purpose as an individual.
Personal Mission Statement Example
Whether your mission is lofty or more down to earth depends entirely on you. Here is a sample:
“To be a decent person who is respected by family, friends, loved ones and my chosen communities. I am here to make a positive difference despite being imperfect. My work reflects my values and enables me to travel widely and enhance the lives of others. People will remember me for being there to lend a hand, keeping an open mind, and for getting involved in issues that matter most to me.”
Your version could be much more specific. Notice that there is legacy involved; capturing the impression you want people to summon when they think about you. Consider using a day off for career development when pondering this.
Personal Vision Statements
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung
The power of a vision statement lies in imagining a better future for yourself. Right now things may be difficult or unsatisfying. So envision a more fulfilling life. One that makes use of your passion and interests. That lets you be more authentic in everything you do. What might that look like?
Sample Personal Vision Statement
There will always be constraints in your life. Money, health, the economy, long held fears. Try to put these aside and tap into your intuition for a moment. Then project out a five to ten year timeframe. You might come up with a vision statement along the following lines:
“I am more courageous in my day to day living. There is extra time for family and loved ones, healthy activities, and good old-fashioned fun. I don’t hide my values or pretend to be something I’m not. My basic financial needs are met and I’ve saved just enough to pay for a career change.”
As you seek to achieve your objectives , there will be a strong reliance on values. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations…
Be consistent with – and supportive of – your mission and vision. The resulting personal values statement may resemble this example:
“To try and be honest (yet not deliberately hurtful) when dealing with people. But I will also strive to be more assertive, politely when possible, so I don’t get trampled on. Money is important. I have to earn enough to afford the things I really like. Visiting different places around the world with my romantic partner important to me. So is being in the outdoors and enjoying nature.”
Make It Pragmatic
The above process may seems too touchy-feely for use in a career plan. It gets concrete when combined with an analysis of your career strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) .
Add a career goal statement and you have the makings of a personal strategic plan. Together these can serve as your map as you navigate upcoming roads.
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Your Personal Vision and Mission
Who will you be in 2016.
DEVELOPING YOUR PERSONAL VISION AND MISSION STATEMENT
The goal of the vision/mission activity is for you to develop a personal mission statement that encompasses, your goals, dreams, values, and impact you would like to make on your college campus, friends, family, and community in 2016.
Take a moment, watch the video, and develop your own mission statement by using the tools below.
PERSONAL VISION AND MISSION STATEMENT instructions
Step 1: Find a Quiet Location
Step 2: Answer the Following Questions
- Who do you want to be?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What is you purpose and passion?
- What problem/issue (personal, academic, social, etc.) do you want to improve?
- What are the values that are most important to you?
- What motivates you?
PREFER ONLINE TOOL VS. PEN AND PAPER?
Franklin Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , has a free online tool to help develop your mission statement.
Click the link, enter you email address, and start developing you mission statement!
Examples of Real Life Personal MISSION Statements
DENISE MORRISON, CEO OF CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY
"To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference."
"The personal mission statement was important for me because I believe that you can’t lead others unless you have a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for. For me, living a balanced life means nurturing the academic, physical, and spiritual aspects of my life so I can maintain a sense of well-being and self- esteem."
OPRAH WINFREY, FOUNDER OF OWN, THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
"To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be."
In an issue of O magazine, Winfrey recalls watching her grandmother churn butter and wash clothes in a cast-iron pot in the yard. A small voice inside of her told her that her life would be more than hanging clothes on a line. She eventually realized she wanted to be a teacher, but "I never imagined it would be on TV," she writes.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER OF THE VIRGIN GROUP
"To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes."
Branson shared his personal mission statement in an interview with Motivated magazine. He added that "In business, know how to be a good leader and always try to bring out the best in people. It’s very simple: listen to them, trust in them, believe in them, respect them, and let them have a go!"
IF POSSIBLE, COMPLETE THIS ACTIVITY WITH YOUR LEVEL UP TEAM
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- Career Advice
- Personal Mission Statement (30+ Examples & Writing Guide)
Personal Mission Statement (30+ Examples & Writing Guide)
If you don’t have a personal mission statement, you’re probably wasting a lot of time. See why and how to write a personal mission statement that’ll make all your choices easy.
As seen in:
A personal mission statement isn’t just a good idea—it’s the most powerful tool for reaching your goals.
It shows you what to say no to . It saves you time and energy for what matters most. It aligns your every moment in service of your goals. Plus, it isn’t hard to write. It comes down to asking yourself a few questions. And we’ll show you exactly what.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a personal mission statement in five steps.
- 30+ great personal mission statement examples from visionaries and CEOs.
- Career goals statement examples for professionals and students.
- How to use your mission statement to reach goals faster.
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Personal Mission Statement Examples
“To simplify the complicated”
“To inspire success through teaching”
“To create the best version of tomorrow”
“To be kind to others and myself”
“To improve lives through better healthcare”
“To help as many people as possible as much as possible for as long as possible”
Those are great examples of personal mission statements.
What makes them tick?
They cut to the core. They create a shining star that slashes thousands of yearly decisions.
What is a Personal Mission Statement?
A personal mission statement is a 1-2 sentence motto that shows how you define yourself as a person or a team member. It identifies your personal or professional purpose and presents why it is important to you.
It’s a “reason to be.” Many experts think it can turn someone from a “rudderless ship” into a goal-focused success. Mission statements save time by cutting out unneeded tasks.
Think of it like this:
Successful people have the same number of hours in a day. Their #1 strength? They don’t let their time get sucked away by non-goal pursuits.
A personal or career mission statement is like a sword. It slices away the “good ideas” keeping your dreams from reality.
Here are 15 personal mission statement examples from CEOs, founders, and artists:
15 Examples of Personal Mission Statements from Visionaries
1. "To make people happy" –Walt Disney
2. “To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.” –Denise Morrison, Former CEO of Campbell Soup Company
3. “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” –Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
4. “Not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” –Maya Angelou
5. “My life purpose, to love and honor God, is foundational. My professional purpose is to be a ‘Builder’ of a future that transcends ways of working for the wellbeing of people and businesses throughout the world.” –Miles Everson, Former Vice Chairman, PwC US
6. "If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure" – Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
7. “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” –Oprah Winfrey
8. “Treat people how you want to be treated.” –Lou Gerencer, CEO one of the top ten Harley dealerships in the US
9. “To do well by doing good while supporting and elevating those around me.” –Scott Shuda, Chairman of Infusystem, Inc.
10. “I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” –Mahatma Gandhi
11. “Love God and others.” –Joel Manby, CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment
12. "I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated" –Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate and activist
13. “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.” –Amanda Steinberg, Dailyworth.com
14.“Embrace something bigger than yourself. Continually improve your skills. Inspire others to achieve great things and make the world a better place. This is how the quiet humble person leaves their mark.” –Jeffrey Madden, Senior VP and Portfolio Manager at RMB Capital
15. “To help people find hope after loss" – Gloria Horsley, Founder of Open to Hope
Those are inspiring personal mission statements.
They’re easy to remember and they keep their visionaries pointed “true north.”
Now let’s write yours.
Pro Tip: The personal and career mission statement examples above can inspire you. Refer to them as you make your own statement with the tips below.
Do you need a mission statement for yourself because you’re in a dead-end job? See our guide: I Hate My Job. I Hate My Boss. Here's What to Do *Now*
How to Write a Personal Mission Statement
How do you write a personal mission statement?
It’s not hard.
It’s actually fun.
This is where you dream big. Paint a picture powerful enough to get you out of bed each morning with energy and joy.
1. Identify the value you want to create.
What value do you want to bring into the world? What’s important to you? Pick a dream big enough to power your inner fusion reactor for life.
2. Choose who you want to create it for.
Who will you help? Everyone? Children? Women? People who’ve lost hope? Pick recipients of your talents to sharpen your focus.
3. Point out core skills you’ll use to create it.
What’s your superpower? Mine is explaining complex things clearly. Yours might be teaching, compassion, creating, or design.
4. Add what you want for yourself.
Don’t skimp on your needs. Some of the best personal mission statements are self-focused. Richard Branson just wants to learn and have fun.
5. Cut the specifics. Save details for your goals list.
Want to run a restaurant? Go to the moon? Make $10 million? Save specifics like that for your personal career goals .
But how do I do it?
Still not sure how to write a personal or career mission statement? Use the personal mission statement template below.
Personal Mission Statement Template
To use [XYZ SKILLS] to [HAVE XYZ POSITIVE OUTCOME] for [XYZ GROUP OF PEOPLE] with [XYZ DETAILS].
That’s a comprehensive template for a personal or career mission statement. But—
You don’t need to use every part of it. Be creative.
You can drop the “skills” part and the “details” part. The “group of people” can just be you.
You could use all the parts like this example...
To use my coaching skills to help teens realize their dreams and grow into caring, confident adults.
...or strip it down to one “positive outcome” like this:
To spread happiness.
Pro Tip: Keep your mission statement for yourself short. Make it easy to remember during everyday crises. Make it catchy enough that people remember it.
After you write your personal or career mission statement, plot your goals. See our guide: What Career Is Right for Me? What Job Should I Have? How to Choose
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Personal Mission Statement Examples for Students, Careers, and Resumes
Need more personal mission statement examples?
Mission statements are different for students, careers, and resumes.
“To make people happy” is a great life goal. But it won’t build the best academic career or look good in your professional resume summary .
Use the examples below to write your career goals statement, student mission, or resume personal statement.
Career Goals Statement Examples
“To save lives”
“To pursue lifelong learning and growth”
“To create visual stories that educate and entertain”
“To use my medical skills to do no harm and to extend quality of life”
“To give students every chance to grow into confident, effective adults”
Those career goals statements will inspire you, and inspire employers and clients to hire you.
Personal Mission Statement Examples for Students
“To learn and grow”
“To gain the skills to make the world a better place”
“To build a network that will carry me through life”
“To discover the magic and mystery of life”
“To grow into someone who can save the planet”
The student mission statements above will keep your eyes on the prize in your educational journey.
Resume Personal Statement Examples
“Use my project management skills to deliver efficiency and productivity”
“Create powerful software solutions that make users’ lives easier”
“Provide the best possible care to patients with maximum efficiency.”
“Defend client rights against those who would subvert them”
“Save time and money for my clients”
Did you notice?
Those five resume personal statement examples are a bit different.
They’re more detailed. Why?
Because they show off central skills to potential employers.
You can add them to your resume summary statement like this:
Accomplished accountant, skilled in financial statements and asset management. Seeking to save time and money for [XYZ COMPANY]. At ABC company, spotted recurring issue that created $2.3M annual cost savings...
Pro Tip: Share your personal mission statement with people who are important to you. That means employers, mentors, clients, and networking connections.
Do you need to answer the what are your career goals interview question? See our guide: What Are Your Career Goals: Set & Reach Them
How to Use Your Personal Mission Statement
You’ve got a personal mission statement. But—
How should you use it?
Use a personal or career mission statement to streamline your decision-making.
Let’s go back to Warren Buffett. He keeps a list of five goals . He puts everything else on an “Avoid at All Costs” list.
Because that keeps him aimed at what’s important.
Use your mission statement or career goals statement like that. Every time you face a choice between two options, let your mission statement decide.
Let’s say you’re a teacher. You’re given a choice to teach one of two classes, but you’re not sure which to pick.
If your mission is “to inspire success through teaching,” choosing will be easy. You’ll select the class that brings more success to more students.
Pro Tip: Make your mission statement first. Your goals come next (long term, then short term). Your schedule comes last. Use all three tools to get to your dreams.
Need to write a career objective for a job? See our guide: 50+ Resume Objective Examples: Career Objectives for All Jobs
Bonus: Corporate Mission Statement Examples
Personal mission statements are a great idea, but where do they come from?
Philosophers have sung the praises of mission statements for centuries. In our modern lives, the best mission statements come from big companies.
Businesses use them to steer by. They often spend years and thousands of dollars getting them right.
Get inspiration for your mission statement for yourself, career goals statement, or resume personal statement from the examples below.
State Farm: “To help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.”
Kroger: “To be a leader in the distribution and merchandising of food, health, personal care, and related consumable products and services.”
Verizon: “To enable people and businesses to communicate with each other.”
Microsoft: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Netflix: “We promise our customers stellar service, our suppliers a valuable partner, our investors the prospects of sustained profitable growth, and our employees the allure of huge impact.”
Google: “ To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Tesla: “To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
Apple: “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store.”
Do those corporate statements give you ideas for your personal mission statement?
Some are short and some are long. All are big dreams.
Pro Tip: Your personal or career mission statement is a living document. Update it as your situation and interests change.
Are you writing a mission statement for yourself to find a job at a great company? See our guide: Job Search Now: How to Find a Job You'll Love Fast
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
See more cover letter templates and start writing.
Summary: How to write a personal mission statement:
- Review personal mission statement examples for inspiration.
- Identify the value you’ll create and who you’ll create it for.
- Center your mission around your core strengths.
- Keep your statement short and focused.
When you finish writing your personal mission statement, would you do me a favor? Please share it in the comments. Let’s inspire each other to do more!
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Personal Vision and Mission statement: How do you build them?
As we step into the New Year, the question that is constantly asked is ‘what is your resolution for this year?’ It’s common to find people making resolutions at this point in time every year. But, it is as common to find people breaking these resolutions. If everyone breaks their resolutions, why persist with it?
You read any self-help book or listen to any motivational speaker; all of them tend to advise that you write down your goals. Apparently, writing a goal down increases the chance of achieving it by 42%.
Haven’t we all heard of “your dreams are only your dreams until you write them down; then they are goals.”?
Forget about resolutions for now. Let’s talk about another concept that is picking up in the motivational world – Personal Vision and Mission Statements.
What is a Personal Vision Statement?
Stating a vision is common among companies. Let’s look at some notable examples:
“To become the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services” – Ford Motors “To become the largest telecom Service Provider in Asia” – BSNL "PepsiCo's responsibility is to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate - environment, social, economic - creating a better tomorrow than today." – Pepsi “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” – Amazon “To make people Happy” – Disney
A vision statement of a company is the dream that the company wants to achieve. It addresses the question ‘What is the long-term goal of the company?’
The same definition applies to the personal vision statement with a slight difference. In this case, it is at an individual level. In other words, it is that big long-term goal that the person wants to achieve. Also, it is a reflection of the values that the person holds dear.
Below are some examples of a personal vision statement:
“To be the CEO of a fortune 500 company by the time I turn 40” “I want to be a very successful motivational speaker who impacts thousands of lives. It is my vision to inspire people to live to their fullest potential”
Why write a personal vision statement?
Words have power. When you don’t have that clear long-term goal written down, you become reactive to life and situations rather than being proactive. Most of us only think of immediate and short-term objectives when we are making a decision. But, we all know that a person who succeeds is the person who keeps in mind the far-off future.
It is easy for all of us to get lost in the mundane activities of our daily life. A vision statement provides that hope for a better future. It also gives meaning to certain activities we indulge in. These, at first, might seem pointless but if you have a vision statement you can see the value they add in the long term.
A vision statement makes you a determined person as you have the clear end goal in mind. It also contributes to balance in your life and helps avoid burnout. Through a good vision statement, you would find it easier to do justice to all aspects of your life: Relationships, Career, Money, Health etc.
Further, having a vision for your life helps you push your boundaries and not get into a comfort zone. It compels you to do things that you would not have done otherwise. In all, it helps you build a life by design and not by chance.
Want to succeed as a project manager? Then, you have to master the art of time management and prioritization. But, how do you know what is a priority and what tasks to spend the time on? This is where the personal vision statement becomes handy. It gives you a direction as to what is important and what is not.
What is a Personal Mission Statement?
A mission statement of a company is how the company plans to achieve its vision. And the same applies to the personal mission statement. It addresses the ‘means’ part of the ‘ends’ which is the vision.
It gives a sense of direction as you move towards your big goal. In contrast to the vision statement, the mission is about how you want to do things today to achieve your goal in the future. Vision statement deals with tomorrow and mission deals with today.
To get an idea, have a look at Mission statements of some of the CEOs across the world:
To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.” – Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company
“I define personal success as being consistent to my own personal mission statement: to love God and love others.” – Joel Manby, CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” - Oprah Winfrey, Founder of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network
“To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.” - Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group
“To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.” - Amanda Steinberg, Founder of Dailyworth.Com
“To live life with integrity and empathy, and be a positive force in the lives of others.” - Amy Ziari, “Pasta”
"To develop next generation diagnostics to provide a better life." - Sanjeev Saxena, POC Medical
“To constantly be striving to be the best version of myself—in my job, with my health and fitness, with my relationships with family and friends, and with my emotional well-being.” - Katie Arnold, Talk Less, Say More
"Transparency = Success" - Jonathan Kaplan, Build My Bod
“To love God and love others.” - Joel Manby, Herschend Family Entertainment
Most people do not actually differentiate a vision statement from a mission statement. The ideal way would be to merge both of them and create a single vision and mission statement.
Steps to create a personal vision and mission statement
Though it sounds overwhelming, making your personal vision and mission statement is not difficult. Below are steps you can follow to create one:
1. Identify your achievements in the past
Spend some time on thinking about six or seven recent successes. It helps to actually write these down as it can help you identify themes that you find recurring. Were you more successful in group activities or when you had to contribute alone? Did you better in voluntary work or in a task that was assigned to you?
This activity need not necessarily be restricted to your professional life. Ensure that you cover all aspects of your life: Health, career, Relationship etc.
How does it help? It makes you aware of your strengths which in turn lead to you framing a goal which is in sync with your natural capabilities.
2. Note down the values and principles that you want to cultivate
Your values basically reflect who you are as a person and what you stand for. For most of us, it is not important to just achieve a goal. It is equally important how we achieve that goal. Success achieved through means that are not in sync with our core values will lead to internal conflict and losing our peace of mind. So, as you set your goals, it is important to also think about those principles which you do not want to compromise on.
Your personal vision statement should contain only one or maximum two values. To find these top 2, you can start with listing 10 of your values. Try to relook at the list and see which 5 are more valuable than others. From these 5, select that one or two values that you consider as most important.
3. Write down the difference you can make to your family, company, world etc.
Note down how you can contribute to each of the following areas (Think of an ideal scenario):
4. Set yourself a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
What is BHAG?
BHAG is the abbreviation for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It is a concept that was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their popular book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”.
"A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit” — Collins and Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
BHAG indicates a clear end goal so that the employees clearly know what they should aim for. You can use the BHAG concept to set your personal vision. As it is for the companies, ensure that your vision is big, quantifiable and emotionally compelling.
You can write down your priorities and what you would like to achieve in the next 3-5 years as well as in the next 10-15 years. While doing this step, make sure you have a look at your past achievements.
5. Prepare your mission statement
Once you set your vision, write the ‘how’ for that goal. Look at the first 4 steps and think about what sustainable actions you can take to realise your vision.
The above steps should help you easily frame a vision statement and a mission statement for your life. Once you are done, you can share it with people close to you and take their feedback. If you find any suggestions constructive, you can modify your statement accordingly.
What are good vision and mission statements?
Vision and mission statements are not more than 50 words each. The statements should be concise, easy to grasp and reflect your core values and your core purpose. Further, you need to be bold with your vision yet be realistic. Your vision should balance both your personal and professional goals.
Overall, it needs to address 3 questions:
What are you passionate about?
What do you consider your core values?
What differentiates you from the rest of the world?
A good vision statement should inspire you to live your life to fullest and bring passion to anything you choose to do.
How to review your vision and mission statement?
Though these statements are meant for the long term, they are not set in stone. You should allow yourself the flexibility to modify them based on the circumstances. There might be changes in your family, career, job, health etc. as years pass. Hence, it is advisable that you revise your statement annually and accommodate the modifications.
Do you know that most successful people have personal vision and mission statements? These reflect the big vision they have for their life and how they want to achieve them. In fact, it is this single-minded devotion which helps these people succeed. You will never hear a CEO or a successful entrepreneur say that they achieved what they did without envisioning it beforehand.
If you want to make 2018 a meaningful year and lay a foundation for lifelong success, it makes sense to prepare a vision and mission statement. No matter whether you are an intern in a company or you are a senior project manager, you would benefit immensely by investing your time in noting down that one long-term goal that you want to achieve.
On a lighter note, it can even help you answer that elusive, philosophical question ‘What is the purpose of my life?’
We wish you a great year ahead and good luck in building your personal vision and mission statement. Do share your vision with us in the comments section below.
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