How to Create a Family Mission Statement
One of the goals for our family this year is to be more intentional about our thoughts, habits, and behaviors. In doing so we decided to develop the Tucker family mission statement. At first, it seemed like a daunting task but we broke it down into bite-sized pieces that we hope you can apply to your family’s mission statement. I believe that during these times we have a great opportunity to examine every facet of our family, make adjustments, and find ways to grow and build a foundation for a legacy that will last for years and years. Let’s dive in and get to work!
What is a family mission statement?
To write a family mission statement, you must first understand the purpose of a mission statement. A mission statement is a written declaration of an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time. Your family mission statement will speak to how your family will operate and what goals you will accomplish as a family. This is important because within your family each member plays an important role and they are valued members of your “organization”. It is important to not only consider your spouse but your children as well. While developing your family mission statement I recommend that you include your children in these conversations.
Everyone should be able to voice their ideas, dreams, and hopes for their family. It is during those conversations that we discover our values and non-negotiables as a family. These things will help shape our mission statement. I have found that during these conversations my 7-year old has some very clear thoughts and ideas of how he would like to see our household operate. Also, we want him to know that we value his opinion and we want to create an environment where he feels safe in expressing his thoughts.
What are your core values?
I briefly mentioned core values in the last paragraph but let’s discuss them a bit more. I was first introduced to core values during my first job interview when I graduated from grad school. My former boss asked me what they were and I wasn’t fully prepared to answer that question but I did have an idea of what I valued. Faith. Family. Friends. So what are core values? Core values are guiding principles that determine our decisions and govern how we navigate through life. Over the years those core values have changed a bit now that I am a wife, mom, and have experienced life. That’s ok! My foundation of faith and family will always remain the same but the emphasis on friends has phased out. As we grow and mature and grow older the things that we value will change.
If you are unsure of where to start there are tons of resources and core values lists that will help you think through and determine your core values. I believe that the sweet spot is 3-5 core values. Check out the link listed above as it provides a comprehensive list and activity for you to complete to help determine your core values.
What are your family’s core values?
Now that we have identified our core values let’s determine our family core values. I believe there will be a crossover from your core values into your family’s core values. For my husband and me, faith is the foundation from which we live and we are instilling those values into our children as well. Therefore, faith is one of our family’s core values. For your family, it could be a passion for adventure, diversity, or knowledge. Whatever your family loves to do or it is at the core of how you live will help you establish your core values. These are a few conversations starters to get you moving in the right direction:
- Discuss your core values
- Share experiences and life lessons that have shaped your identity
- Talk about memorable family experiences
- Discuss your passions and personal interests
Your family core values are the foundation from which you will build your mission statement. Get the conversation going!
What are your family’s goals?
I believe that this is the meat and potatoes of a family mission statement. While our core values will shape our actions; our goals will help move us towards fulfilling our mission. As individuals, we all have goals that we want to accomplish but in a family unit, we have overarching goals as well. An example would be to provide my children with life experiences outside of the classroom so that they can see the world through a globally diverse lens. This falls in line with diversity being one of our family’s core values. Think big when discussing your goals and never minimize someone’s contribution to your family’s goals.
During this process, I have found that I have learned so much about my 7-year old and how he is wired. In turn, this has helped me to be more intentional about choosing his extra-curricular activities. Also, the conversations have turned to how we can support him in his passions versus pushing him towards what we think he should pursue. That is just one example but I want to encourage you to start discussing your family goals. There are various goal-setting techniques that you can use to help you and your family develop goals. Feel free to do your research and see which one best suits your needs. Remember these goals will act as road markers on your journey to accomplishing your family mission statement.
Putting the pieces together
Ok, let’s go! Here are your action steps.
- Decide that you will commit to the process of developing a family mission statement
- Identify your core values
- Identify your family core values
- Discuss family goals that will lead you toward fulfilling your family mission statement
- Have fun!!!!
Once you have written your family mission statement be sure to type it up, maybe frame it, and place it in a high traffic area as a reminder of the commitment that you have made to yourself and your family!