Family Mission Statement: How to Create One in 3 Steps
Author: Susan Wilson
August 4, 2017
Having a family mission statement creates a bond between parents and children as they support each other and help each other grow. Your family’s sense of unity and purpose strengthens when every member knows that everyone is truly committed to each other’s success and growth. Creating a mission statement based on Habit 2 of the 7 Habits—Begin With the End in Mind—and the principles of commitment, purpose, and vision is as easy as counting to three!
- First, define outcomes before you act
- Second, create a mission statement
- Third, live by the mission statement
Defining the Outcome
Defining the outcome means starting a project or goal with the end in mind; in this case, it is creating a family mission statement. For example, a fun way to demonstrate this principle to your children, before starting this project, is by asking them to put together a puzzle without seeing the picture on the box.
- Find a puzzle with at least 24 pieces. You may have to purchase a new one that your family has not put together before.
- Ask each family member to put it together in 30 seconds without looking at the picture of the puzzle. Give each person an opportunity to try to finish it in 30 seconds.
- After they each have tried, ask them what would make this task easier for them. They will likely say that if they had a picture of the puzzle or more time they would be more successful.
- Now give them another 30 seconds and the picture of the puzzle. Ask them, “Why was it easier this time?” This is a great object lesson to show how important it is to have a vision, or plan—in this case, a picture of the puzzle—in order to be successful in completing something.
Creating a Mission statement
After defining the outcome, next is to create a family mission statement. In order to do this, figure out what is most important to your family by answering these seven questions:
- What is the purpose of our family?
- What kinds of things do we want to do?
- What kind of feeling do we want to have in our home?
- What kind of relationships do we want to have with one another?
- What are our family’s priorities?
- What are our responsibilities as family members?
- How can we contribute to society as a family and become more service-oriented?
Give your children the opportunity to express their feelings of what they think is important to your family. Mission statements do not need to be long or formal, they just need to represent what is important to you and your family. Don’t try to rush this process. This may take a few months! Make sure that your family feels that the mission statement clearly represents what is important to everyone.
Living by the Mission statement
After you create your family mission statement, make sure it is visible and conspicuous, because it is time to live it! Some families put it in a frame and hang it in different locations in their home as a reminder. Other families repeat their family mission statement at meals to remind them of what their family stands for before they go out the door. There is no right or wrong for living by your family’s mission statement as long as you make it your own.