Writing a mission statement

Last Saturday I found a quiet corner at the library and sat down with a pen and pad of paper to work on a personal mission statement.

I last did this 13 or 14 years ago while employed in editorial roles at our national denominational magazine. I taped the three phrases that I eventually distilled as a mission statement along the bottom of my computer. I often fell short of their ideals, of course, but they reminded me what I wanted to do and be in that place.

Although my core values haven’t really changed, my stage of life certainly has. I still write, but part-time, self-directed, and at home. My husband is retired and has health challenges. I have nine grandchildren. I’m 69.

Writing a mission statement is a process. There are helpful tools online — questions to ask about who I admire or might emulate, past successes, priorities and goals, contributions I can make. I recall that when I first did this exercise (probably after reading Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits), even before the one at my job, I was juggling writing projects with attention to the kids and household. Then I looked at women considerably older than me as models. Now I’m looking at women about my age or slightly older for examples of both positive aging and contribution. (For one, this shout-out to someone I know mainly through her blog: Sue Steiner. At 70, she began a blog to mark the year, planning 70, though well beyond that now, and each a gem that ends with questions for reflection.)

My statement isn’t formulated yet, but I did my pages of notes and reflections. A number of words have floated out of them for further rumination.Scan

6 thoughts on “Writing a mission statement

    • Personal mission statements often sound ordinary, even cliched, to others — so I won’t be waving it about! For me it’s the process of pushing myself beyond what I think I should think to what I really think and want. Let me guess at yours: To engage with people and see them well through the eye of a camera. Or something like that!

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  1. Once again, a delightful piece to ponder. Floating out there – the balloon drawing – put me in mind of Winnie the Pooh – except for the “bear of little brain” part 😉 This was inspirational and resonated with me, given we do hold to our core values, but changes occur with whatever the life stage. A good perspective to keep moving forward!

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