Happy Herbivore Blog

December 30, 2013

Minimalist Monday: Writing Your Life Mission Statement

Today's blog post piggybacks off a topic I talked about with the students in my business class (you can read all past newsletters here).

That post is all about business, but so often what we do in business mirrors our life, and vice versa.

Mission statements aren't just for businesses, and with a new year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to set aside 5 minutes and write your PERSONAL mission statement.

Set a tone and goal for next year!

It seems silly, I know (I used to laugh at the concept of writing a mission statement) but with my business (and my life) I have learned how critical a mission statement is for success, time and time again.

Why?

You want to have a clear vision of what you're working toward.

This is something I wish I had done with both my business AND my life years ago.

When I started Happy Herbivore in 2007 I didn’t have a plan or a vision. As a result, I often struggled with making decisions: Should I take this opportunity or pass? Should I do this or change that?

I was all over the place for years. I felt like a rogue rock tumbling down the mountainside. And my business WAS a rogue rock tumbling down the mountain side.

First Happy Herbivore was a food journal, then a recipe blog, then a community/info source, and finally: an umbrella business for all the different things I do...

It took half a decade, but I eventually fell into a vision and a mission statement. I figured out what I was doing and what I hoped to achieve.

Settling into that mission made all the difference in the world.

Anytime I struggle to make a decision with my business (or in my life) I go back to my mission statement. I ask myself, does the proposed activity, opportunity or product fit within my mission?

In Exit Strategy School, one of the first things I ask my students to do is to define their ideal day. You do this so you can see exactly what it is you're working toward, but also as a checks and balances later on.

If my business (or my life/lifestyle) isn't moving me in the general direction of my ideal day, I know it's time to make a change in my life (or business).

It's very easy to end up on autopilot, which has its perks, but definitely has its downsides.

Point is, once I developed a succinct mission for Happy Herbivore (and myself), navigating became easy. I say “yes” or “no thank you” with ease.

Each step I take is to further my mission. To bring me closer to my ideal day. I’m not bouncing all over the place anymore.

I prefer mission statements over resolutions for a number of reasons, but the biggest being that a mission statement focuses on a grander, more positive vision.

For example, when I was a personal trainer, I told my clients (come resolution time) not to have a resolution of "lose 20 lbs" or even "lose weight" but to make their resolution (their personal mission) to make healthier choices because THAT is what they were really working toward.

Their true mission was to be healthier, feel better, get in better shape. Losing 10 or 20lbs is something that will just happen along the way *and* that's not where the mission ends either -- because they'll have to keep it off by keeping healthier habits. So a "resolution" to lose weight really isn't what their ultimate goal -- their mission -- was.

Your mission statement should be clear and direct.

Where are you going? Not where do you want to go, where are YOU going!

HAVE CONFIDENCE! YOU WILL DO IT.

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