You may have come across many different types of statements in your life. But there is no statement more important than your personal mission statement. It is the statement that defines who you are; it is your “personal brand”. If you have not heard of it before, it is in short, 1-5 sentences that describe your values and aspirations.
Writing a personal mission statement is a habit adopted by many successful people and if you want to be successful, you should do it as well. It guides your daily decisions, as well as provides you with a vision for the future.
In this article, I want to show you how to use this hack which once employed, will change your life. This is regardless of whether or not you have written a personal mission statement.
Step 1: Write your personal mission statement
If you have already written one, feel free to skip this step. If not, I want you to block out some time this week (around 1-2 hours) to work on this.
Writing your personal mission statement mainly revolves around asking yourself 4 questions:
- What is important to you?
- Regarding that thing that is important to you, what do you aspire to achieve?
- What are your strengths?
- What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Write down your thoughts on a piece of paper. Afterward, summarise them into 1-5 sentences (no strict restrictions), which will be your personal mission statement.
“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Step 2: Determine your goals every week
Right now, I want you to divide your life into its main areas (eg. Family, work, church). These areas are up to you to decide. You may want to split up “work” into further categories if you are involved in many different types of work. From here, set a few long-term goals for each area of your life. You should be referring to your personal mission statement when setting those goals. Remember to set SMART goals.
Please note that the long-term goal does not have to be of a certain time period. This is because each of your goals differs in magnitude; some take months, others take years to fulfill. The length of these goals is up to your discretion.
Once you have done so, pick one long-term goal from each area that you want to focus on. Then, break down this long-term goal into short-term goals. These short-term goals must be short enough to be achievable in one week. Note that you may want to split the long-term goal more than once if it is too large.
After you have done this for all the different areas of your life, you will usually realize that all your goals added together are impossible to accomplish in a week. From here, prioritize and cut down on the goals such that it becomes manageable. You should account for unexpected disruptions in your schedule.
Now, if you aren’t sure what is manageable for you, don’t worry. Just set the goals first. Step 4 will help you adjust your goals for the weeks to come.
As for unexpected disruptions, you may want to use the Eisenhower Matrix to decide what to do with the task at hand. Whether or not the task is important should be based on your goals for that week.
Side note: Once you have finished a particular long-term goal, then you can move on to the next long-term goal that you have set. In that way, you are as focused as possible.
Step 3: Cut off all irrelevant tasks
Each week when planning your week, don’t just decide what you are going to do, decide what you are not going to do as well. There are 2 types of tasks that are irrelevant. The first type is tasks that are important, but not the most important. You may not have time for these.
For example, if you want to focus more on your family that week, note down that you aren’t going to stay at work past a certain time.
The second type of irrelevant tasks is otherwise known as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For this type of tasks, you know that they are irrelevant, yet you can’t help wasting time on them.
What I highly recommend to combat these time wasters is to first make a list of them. This helps you to be aware of all the time-wasters (and potential ones too). Then, for every single time waster, explain and type out all the reasons why you will not embark on them.
Yes, I know it takes quite some time to do that. However, it will all be worth the hard work. When I write down the reasons not to watch YouTube, I unknowingly convince myself not to watch it while writing those reasons down. For writing these reasons down, I find it easiest to find reasons immediately after wasting time on YouTube. This may be something you want to try out.
Keep those reasons with you most of the time (eg. On your phone) so that whenever you are tempted to embark on a time-waster, you can look at the whole chain of reasons. Time wasters can rob you of immense amounts of time which could instead be spent living out your personal mission statement.
Step 4: Check in each week to review your progress
I recommend setting aside around 30-45 minutes each week (preferably on the same day) to review the progress of your personal mission statement. During this block of time, review how well you have aligned with your personal mission statement.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What were my goals this week? (This helps to remind yourself of your goals.)
- How well did I meet those goals? Have I focused too much on one aspect of my life as opposed to another?
- Do I need to readjust my goals? (Always keep your personal mission statement in mind)
- Do I need to spend more/less time on one (or more) aspect (s) of my life to meet my goals?
When you keep doing this, you will eventually hit a zone where you are meeting most (if not all) of your goals every week. You know that if you can meet your weekly goals, and you do that for every week, you will meet your monthly goals. And sooner or later, your yearly goals. And then your life goal (personal mission statement).
I want you to note that it is not easy to do so. Especially when there is a change in the environment, where you need to recalibrate some habits/goals (eg. A new job). It requires persistence and a strong conviction in your beliefs.
However, if you persevere and soldier on, you will eventually lead the life that you have always hoped for.
What is your personal mission statement? I would really want to hear from you!
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