In the past I have found it hard to keep my mind focused. Hard to stay on track on my goals. Distractions and other people’s priorities kept being thrown at me.
The result: I felt confused and overwhelmed and would veer away from my goals.
Recently I found a way to get clarity in my life. I can now weigh in new inputs quickly and make definite decisions on what to do with them. And most importantly I can stay focused on my goals.
How do I do it? Here is the process that I follow. At the end of the process, you will have defined a mission statement.
1. Life goals
The first step is to set clear life goals. I spent a good amount of time doing introspection on myself to get there.
There is a lot of information on the web on how to find out what you really want in life. You can look it up to help you figuring out what you want to achieve in your life and what is important to you.
To help you further, here is one way that helped me defining life goals:
Project yourself into the future 25 years from now or whatever time period appeals to you and imagine looking back on your life.
- What accomplishments do you want to look back on with pride?
- What would you need to have done, for you to feel that you have had a full life and that you have lived to your full potential?
- Will you have maximised all your talents?
I set up 8 life goals. In general, 5-10 goals make the most sense.
To illustrate life goals, here are two of my personal ones:
- Retire before I’m 60
- Achieve financial freedom: be able to explore and start ventures in any field without financial constraints
The second step was to add my values into the mix. Values define you, they are what you stand for. When I am facing decisions, I decide on a path if it’s congruent with my values.
I wrote down 5 values. A list of 5-10 values works best.
Examples of values are: Compassion, Courage, Family, Freedom, Harmony, Health, Living your dreams, Nature, Trust, Wonder, Love, Intimacy, Comfort, Perseverance, Learning, Adventure, Creativity, Flexibility, Success, Power and Passion.
Once done with this reflection, I ended up with life goals and values. Step 2 shouldn’t take as long as step 1. But it is still a major step in the process.
To stay motivated and achieve my goals, I discovered that I needed reasons. Reasons are what keep me consistent. So I listed down the reasons behind my desire to achieve specific goals.
One of my life goals is to make an impact in the world. The reason is that I want to contribute to a better life for many and bring into the world an ambitious vision that I have.
I wrote down my reasons in the same document where I have my life goals and values.
My reasons keep me progressing towards achieving my life goals.
4. Mission statement
Then I created my mission statement. A mission statement is a phrase that combines your life goals, reasons and values.
I took the results of step 1-3 and started crafting a mission statement that resonated with me. I kept working at it until it was truly in phase with my vision. To illustrate mission statements, here is what I got:
To live a passionate life on my terms, help people achieving their dreams, always be curious, original and fun, persevere against adversity and stay loyal to my family and friends.
This mission statement has now become the essence of what my life is about, literally.
I now have a mission statement document that contains my mission statement, my life goals, reasons and values. I look at it at least once a week.
It is the map of my journey through life.
5. Reach your goals
With a map to follow, I have achieved clarity. Clarity gives me confidence when I have to make a decision. I can simply look at my map and choices, then pick the one that is going to bring me closer to my goals, in accordance with my values.
Following a map, I know I can achieve my goals by staying on track.
This has given me amazing insight and has been a huge step forward in my life. I am now clear headed, more confident and relaxed.
You might want to give it a try…