Hey! Before I launch into this week’s musings, I’d love to remind you about my MindFULL day retreat in collaboration with The London EDITION hotel on Jan 8th. If you could do with a reset and want to dive deep with me into priorities, goals, habits and life changes, this one is for you! Click the button below for more info and to book. (p.s makes the perfect last min Xmas gift!)
So this is my final newsletter for the year; I’ll be back in January with – no surprises here! – some thoughts on goal setting to help you map out 2023. I’ll also be sharing the most important tool I’ve learnt when it comes to habits – it’s a bit strange and I can’t wait to see what you think of it .
And, with that all in mind, this week I want to share with you a tool to work on over the festive break that I know will be useful come January.
Okay, yes, it’s homework.
But it’s the kind that that will motivate, inspire and help with so much of the sh*t I’ve been banging on about over the past few months: Saying No, Community, Play et al. It’s something to pick up and work on in that lull between Christmas Day and NYE, when you’re 90% mince pies and need a compelling reason to get off the sofa.
So when you’re ready to delve into something other than a box of Quality Street, grab a piece of paper and a pen and join me in creating a clear mission statement that will help you decide how you want to live in 2023.
One of the most important things that a company, NGO or product has is its mission statement. It’s their guidance system and the filter through which they understand opportunities and assess next steps. It helps them conserve their resources, time and energy, and allocate it appropriately and productively in line with what they want to be or achieve.
Their mission statements are generally pithy one-liners that encapsulate purpose and aim. Such as…
Google: To organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Netflix: To entertain the world.
Choose Love: We elevate the voices and visibility of refugees and galvanise public support for agile community organisations providing vital support to refugees along migration routes globally.
Substack: We believe that what you read matters and that good writing is valuable.
Now putting aside whether you agree that they actually conduct their businesses in line with those mission statements, can you see how helpful it is get very clear on who you are and what you want? To get clear on your why.
And if companies find them useful, then why shouldn’t people too? Our time and attention is just as precious. Our need to filter out the unimportant is more essential than ever in this demanding modern world (let’s be honest – thanks to some of the companies mentioned above!)
A personal mission statement is a succinct and clear declaration of what your purpose is and what you hope to accomplish in life. It defines your core values, who you are, how you define success and what brings you joy.
Having a personal mission statement is important because it creates boundaries that make decision-making easier and help you stay on track to meet your long-term goals. It supports you in filtering your own time and energy – deciding how and who you interact with, when to say no or when to jump in with both feet. It’s a guidance system for your whole life and can help you better move through the world with motivation, purpose and joy.
So, let’s give it a try? And just an FYI, it requires some deep thinking, so it may be something you come back to a few times over a couple of days.
How to write a personal mission statement:
Write down what’s most important to you
Start by thinking about who and what you care about in life. What do you believe in? What traits do you admire about yourself or other people? What are you most passionate about? Who do you value? Why?
Reflect on your lifetime goals.
Imagine yourself sitting in a comfy armchair at 80 years old, looking back on your life. What do you wish to have achieved? What do you hope to have helped change? What do you want the world to look like? Think about your relationships, achievements, the environment and your career.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses
What are you best at? Where do you not shine? What are your unique qualities, talents and skills? FYI, it can be helpful to ask a loved one for their input here.
Choose a few words to sum up yourself and your purpose
How do you want others to describe you? What do you want to think of yourself? What are the values you live by? For example, mine are: compassion and value adding. Ensure you feel connected to and inspired by these words.
Use all the above to write out your own personal mission statement
Keep it short - one sentence only. Remember, the purpose is to focus only on what matters the most. Don’t worry about what anyone else might think of your mission, or if it sounds ‘corny’. This is for you and you alone. Here’s a template you may find useful, but no need to stick to it if not:
“To [action] for [audience] by [skills] to [desired result].”
And that’s it!
I suggest jotting it down in a few places - your phone, a post-it on your office wall etc. – so that it stays fresh in your mind.
Your personal mission statement will help you be more deliberate with your time and energy. There are so many options and choices available to us in life and sometimes – all the time?! – it can feel overwhelming. It can be really hard to work out whether we’re doing life right. Your statement will help you remain present, instead of feeling guilty about the endless other things you could be doing instead. It’ll help you shape and create your days around what is important to you, and empower you to live a life in line with your mission and goals.
Now clearly, your statement will change over time. If you find it’s no longer working for you, then go back and do it again. I write down some version of this every year - one year I actually did it twice in two months! So I’ll also be working on mine over the next few weeks – when it’s finished I’ll share it in the comment section below, and I really hope you’ll consider doing the same.
Finally, thank you all so much for reading this newsletter over the past few months, and for all the thoughtful and honest comments and private replies. It’s been a real source of purpose and joy for me, and I hope for you too.
Thanks so much Amber. Let me know how you get on! xx
I love this Lily. Great, juicy questions which will really give me the chance to hone in on where to direct my energy 🙏🏽🥰