Defining Your Identity With Your Mission Statement

What is Your Mission? written on chalkboardWith the new year comes new commitments, plans, and a new start for a new, better you. One way of figuring out who you want to be in the new year is defining your life purpose, or why you exist now and how you will know your life was successful.


Your Mission Statement is a primary way to figure this out. It is a declaration of what your life is about and the legacy you want to leave. It gives meaning to your life, and directs, guides, and motivates you even when times are tough. It includes your Passions: knowledge, values, and skills/strengths and Goals/Aspirations/Dreams for the future. Below are some exercises to help you craft your Mission Statement.


1. Who/What/When/Where/Why/How

  • Who—Choose a simple phrase as a metaphor for who you want to be in life (e.g., “I’m the …”: fountain of wisdom, teacher of teachers, butterfly of hope”, etc.)
  • What—What general theme/focus/goal that is important to you? (e.g., promoting safety, inspiring creativity, healing trauma from violence, giving love, etc.)
  • When—Is there a periodic cycle involved? (e.g., every festival, in the mornings, etc.)
  • Where—What sector/area of life/cause is important to you? (e.g., environment, development, education, health, your community, etc.)
  • Why—What are your core values (the things you can’t live without)? (e.g., creativity, fitness, truth, order, freedom, play, etc.)
  • How—What are your skills—the things you’re best at? (e.g., writing, persuading, building, connecting, etc.)

2. The 90-year-old Me

Imagine yourself at 90 years old or so, having lived a full, long life that you’re extremely satisfied with. Looking back, how would you answer these questions:

  • What am I most proud of in my life?
  • What matters most to me?
  • How did I really make a difference?
  • When people think about me, how do they talk about me and describe me?
  • What were my greatest lessons? How did I use that knowledge in my life?

3. The Fun, Free Me

How would you answer these questions about how you find happiness in the present:

  • What do you do when you loose track of time? (How are you “in the Flow”?)
  • What things do you notice that others may not?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What sparks your creativity?
  • What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What is your ideal day like? (What are you doing? Who are you with? Where are you?)
  • What are your five strongest memories that immediately come to mind of happy times in your life? (What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you?)


Now, once you’ve found some of these answers, it’s time to craft your Mission Statement. This is a sentence on who you want to be in life, how you ideally see yourself. Using a metaphor from the above “Who” question, begin to write your statement. Include the Who, What, and Why, and ideally How, if you know it, answers. Then, use this statement to periodically edit as necessary until you find a sentence that gives meaning and guidance to who you are and what you strive for in life this year and beyond.


One thought on “Defining Your Identity With Your Mission Statement

  1. I think this looks like a fun and interesting exercise. anyone want to take a Saturday and spend the day doing this together? -Beth

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