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Personal mission statements and personal vision statements

Organizations write mission and vision statements to keep them on track as they grow and evolve in a shifting environment or business climate. These founding documents guide the culture and serve as reminders to act in sync with the original purpose of the organization.

Individuals can write these statements for themselves, too. When pursuing personal growth and development, it’s very useful to have your guiding principles recorded in a personal mission statement and vision statement.

They keep you focused and remind you of your big life goals. They're a declaration to Higher Power that you have your act together!

Turn to them in moments of self-doubt or when you need a reminder of your life's purpose, and how you intend to get there.

personal mission statement

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How do mission and vision statements differ?

Mission and vision statements are closely related but differ in important ways.

Your Personal Vision Statement puts into words your vision of your best future self. A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what you want to become.

Your Personal Mission Statement addresses your life-purpose and the things you feel passionately about and which give your life meaning. It defines and guides what you will do today to bring your vision to life. A mission statement focuses on today and what you will do to achieve your aims. Importantly, it tells us HOW we go about our daily business. In other words, what values or standards do we adhere to?

Personal Vision Statement: Where you plan to be.
Personal Mission Statement: How you plan to get there.

Both are crucial in directing our goals.

Defining the future vision comes first! We need to know where we're going before we decide on the path and the means to get there.

We then follow that up by crafting our life's mission, which is a set of steps we take to make the vision real.

But wait, this sounds like a lot of work! Well, yes, it is, but you didn't embark on a path of personal growth because it was easy, did you?! Mission and vision statements are a Big Deal, and it takes time to get them just right. Your efforts will be rewarded, though, because having these statements on hand will help you make better decisions down the road.

A famous example of a vision statement is the Preamble to the United States Constitution, written in 1783. In 52 words it sets out six aspirations for the new nation without defining how it would achieve those aims. Although it is not a legal document, it is frequently referred to by courts and legislators making big decisions because it lays out the principles on which the country was founded.

personal mission statement

Define your personal vision

We may have a vision of where we want to go in life, but the odds are we're not shooting high enough. Cultural conditioning and limiting beliefs prevent us from setting bold, ambitious goals. This is unfortunate, because centuries of experience tell us that Higher Power loves bold goals, and will step in to support them.

If you struggle to stretch your vision outside of your comfort zone, or can't get past your Inner Critic reminding you of all the things you're NOT capable of, you're dealing with unresolved limiting beliefs.

You'll need to identify and clear these old patterns before proceeding. As your personal growth coach, I can help you do this. Being clear of these old imprints assures they will no longer interfere with the creation of a bold and ambitious personal vision statement.

Your life's vision is the umbrella that covers and informs all of your individual life goals. It's a long-term image of your ideal future self. It includes what you want to be, do, and have, and how you want to feel. So have fun with it, but don't sell yourself short by aiming low! 

personal vision statement

Define your personal mission

Our personal mission statement lays out the daily steps we'll take that bring us closer to fulfilling the vision for our life that we spelled out in our vision statement.

We fulfill our vision by following our loves and passions, because that's where our power lies. We do so following our personal values, because those inform our sense of right and wrong, and create the justification for fulfilling our life's mission.

To see how personal values affect our personal mission statement, let's consider this example of three people with the same vision: to spend time on top of the highest hill in their home county, so that they can enjoy the beautiful view. Their mission, however, differs because of different values. One person values taking time in nature, so she will walk to the summit. Another values speed, so he drives there in his off-road vehicle. The third values physical conditioning, so she pedals her mountain bike to the top.

Three different values, three unique perspectives on the same goal. This is why we define our values in the mission statement, because HOW we arrive at our destination matters  a great deal.

Creating your personal vision statement

The key here is to set your sights high. You are unique and powerful, and you do no service to yourself or the world by playing small.

I ask my clients to brainstorm lists of things they do and don't want in their lives. If you've done this, use this list to inspire you. If not, check out this page to get started.

Vision statements address your hopes and dreams and what problems you'll work to solve for the greater good. Here's a template to get you started:

"My Vision is to ... [describe your ideal future self].
I am....[describe who you are].
I do... [describe what you do].
I have...[describe your material, interpersonal, or spiritual assets].
I feel...[describe your prevailing emotional state].

It bears repeating, because it's so important: craft your vision statement to inspire you and motivate you to reach for the stars! There is no extra charge for an extra helping of ambition, so go for it!

Creating your personal mission statement

With our personal vision statement in hand, we now pivot to creating the personal mission statement.

We start by asking key questions, such as what do we do and why? Who benefits from our actions? How do we best serve them?

Here's a template you can use to get started:

"My Personal Mission is to... [what you want to achieve, do or become] ... so that ... [reasons why it is important, based on personal values]. I will do this by ... [specific actions you use to get there]."

This is your document, so design it to match your own needs. Take your time writing it, there is no deadline to meet besides whatever goal you set for yourself.

mission statement

Now, what do we do with this?

Okay, so you've written your personal vision statement that tells you where you want to go. You've also written your personal mission statement that lays out how you will get there. Congratulations!

Now what? We follow the advice of author Neville Goddard, who encouraged us to "assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled" when acting out our vision. That means to engage all of your senses in picturing your ideal self: What does it look like, sound like, smell like, and feel like? Place both of these documents where you will see them often. Read them out loud frequently, with feeling.

My wish for you is that your personal mission and vision statements inspire action, create clarity, and support you in achieving your goals. You do this not just for yourself but for the world, which needs more people who know where they are going in life and why. Good Luck!

personal mission and vision

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