OCTOBER 27, 2009

By: Bruce Burke

It was Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that originally introduced me to the idea of having a Personal Mission Statement. Today, I find that having my ideals and values documented is one of most powerful self-improvement tools one can have.

As with most endeavors, if you don’t know where you are going, you can’t begin to create a strategy on how to get there. Before I formally documented who I aspired to be and made a commitment to do all I could to be that person, I often came up short.

Defining who you aspire to be takes careful consideration. As you go through the process, ask yourself a few questions, including;

  • Who is important to you? How can you impact their lives the most?
  • What do you want your friends, family, co-workers and community to say about you when you are gone?
  • What makes you effective? What makes you ineffective?
  • What qualities do you respect the most in people you admire?
  • For the spiritual among us, ask yourself what might be pleasing to God.

Use this information to help define who you want to be…your Personal Mission Statement. After doing so, review it daily and ask yourself if your behavior is lining up with these important ideals. If you don’t journal, perhaps you could use this as a starting point to begin. Write your Personal Mission Statement right on the first page. It is amazing how much this daily review can influence your behavior. Just the regular reminder is powerful.

Some behaviors will begin to take care of themselves. Others will take a more proactive effort, but that is why we are engaging in this exercise to begin with…to address behaviors that aren’t lining up with who we want to be. We aren’t waiting for something negative to tell us we are moving in the wrong direction, such as losing our good health or our job. We are no longer leaving important issues such as these to chance.

Give defining who you want to be and reviewing it daily a try. It will help you to not only live a more fulfilling life, but to leave an enduring legacy that you and your loved ones can be proud of.