A family mission statement is a written statement of what you want your life and family to be and the values by which you will live your life. A family mission statement asks and answers questions like: How are we going to live our lives? What values are we going to use to help us make major decisions? What are our priorities? What are our family values? Are we spending the majority of our time on our priorities or are we being distracted with things that aren’t important to us?
If you haven’t already, create your family vision and identify the important themes.
Writing the Family Mission Statement
Once you have your family vision drawing and list of themes, it’s time to write the family mission statement. Once again, depending on the ages and interest of your kids, it may be easier for a parent to take the first crack at writing this and then share it with the rest of the family for discussion, agreement, and changes. To make it a bit easier to write, we are going to write our family mission statement in 3 pronged format.
To…. (Do something)
In such a way that….. (How and in which manner)
So that…. (We gain these results or benefits)
Here is an example:
To realize our dreams, goals, and aspirations as a family and as individuals in a way that stretches our intellect, enriches our faith, strengthens our character, and enriches our family life. So that we are fulfilled, happy, confident, and always close.
The first part of a family mission statement should contain the action. What is your family going to do? What specific steps or actions are you going to make? What are the specific efforts you are going to make as a family? In our example the action is “to realize our dreams, goals, and aspirations as a family and as individuals”. Another example might be “to treat each other with respect and love” or “to communicate more effectively” or “to learn new things and new cultures”. Just remember to make it very action oriented – something that requires effort on the part of each and every family member.
In such a way that….this is the quality of our action. In what manner are we going to accomplish this? In a way that gets us what we want no matter what? In a way that nurtures our spirit? In a way that gets us the fastest results possible? In a way that is comfortable to all family members? In a way that lets us be creative? In a way that uses our individual skills and abilities? In a way that everyone can participate? In our example the quality is “stretches our intellect, enriches our faith, strengthens our character, and enriches our family life” So every action we take to “realize our dreams and goals” is going to be done in a way that allows us to learn new things, deepens our faith, makes our family life better, and makes us better people. This is where you articulate and express your family values.
The third part, so that, is where you capture the results of your actions. What do you want to come out of all of this? Strong independent kids? Successful and happy parents? Caring actively involved kids? A better marriage? A closer relationship with your kids? In our example the results are “so that we are fulfilled, happy, confident, and always close.”
Once you have your family vision drawing and family mission statement completed, you need to find a few central places to post them so that you remember to use them in everyday life. You may choose to frame them, add them to your family journal, post them to a personal website, or simply hang them on your refrigerator. If you are creative, you also might want to use your creativity to reproduce the vision drawing into something reflective of your talents. For example if you are a painter, try using the family vision drawings to paint a new picture that can be framed above the fireplace. If you are a graphic artist, try using your graphic skills to create a visual image to be framed or posted to a website. Just be sure to post them in many spots and in central spots so that they remain the focus of your family’s attention.