Family Mission Statement Writing Guide

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:10
Everything you need to know about creating a meaningful family mission statement, plus examples Are you looking for a new and meaningful way to bring your family closer together? If that's the case, creating a family mission statement just...
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Are you looking for a new and meaningful way to bring your family closer together? If that’s the case, creating a family mission statement just might do the trick. Not only can a family mission statement help families get on the same page in terms of their goals and values, but it can also help them be more patient and respectful of one another. Ready to get started? Read on for a complete guide to brainstorming and writing a family mission statement, complete with example statements you can use!

Things You Should Know

  • Family mission statements describe a family’s core values and purpose. Typically, they’re made from a list of phrases that represent the family’s most important ideals.
  • Invite your entire immediate family to a brainstorming meeting and ask about their values and ideas about family to get ideas for the mission statement.
  • Make a list of your family’s values and condense them into 10 major ideas. Then, create a complete mission statement using those ideas.
Section 1 of 3:

What is a family mission statement?

  1. Step 1 A family mission statement outlines your family’s core values.
    It’s a declaration of what truly matters to your family, what you believe in, and the values you hold dear. Mission statements describe the kind of people you want to be individually and the kind of family you want to be as a collective unit; they define your family’s goals, purpose, and standards—now and in the future.[1]
    • All members of the immediate family ideally have a say in the values included in the mission statement (and, consequently, agree to live by them).
    • Companies often use mission statements to describe their purpose and guide the decisions they make, but the concept of a mission statement isn’t unique to them. Anybody can use a mission statement, whether it’s for business or personal.
  2. Step 2 Mission statements can give your family direction and purpose.
    Look at a mission statement like a roadmap for the future! When your family has a shared vision and a concrete set of goals to refer to on a daily basis, it’s easier to actually live your lives by those ideals. Mission statements can also improve a family’s sense of identity; recognizing your shared values may bring you closer together and strengthen your feeling of belonging.[2]
    • In short, mission statements can help create a positive family culture and become like a rubric for the kind of behavior that each family member wants to strive for.
  3. Step 3 They also ensure every family member feels seen and understood.
    Because mission statements are collaborative and encapsulate each family member’s values, they’re a reflection of the whole family. This adds to the sense of unity families may develop after creating a mission statement together, helping them solve problems respectfully and be more accepting toward one another.[3]
    • Mission statements can also help families pinpoint problematic behaviors that don’t reflect their core values and cut out those behaviors in favor of the new goals outlined in the mission statement.
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Section 2 of 3:

How to Create a Family Mission Statement

  1. Step 1 Organize a family meeting to discuss a mission statement.
    If you want the whole family on board, it’s important to give them all a say in the mission statement’s creation. Find a day and time when everyone in your immediate family is free to meet up. Explain what a mission statement is, why you want to make one, and ask for their help in creating it.[4]
    • Remember to listen actively to your family, even if you have different opinions, to show everyone their contributions are appreciated. Maintain eye contact, nod along with their words, and give them your undivided attention.
    • Don’t let a single family member monopolize the conversation. Give everyone a chance to speak throughout the meeting!
    • Treat this like a happy experience for you and your family—not a chore. Set out some snacks for the family meeting, or order a pizza to set the tone and show everyone that it’s going to be a fun activity.
    • You might even treat the meeting like a special occasion and take the family out for dinner, have an outdoor picnic, or find a remote spot for a bonfire and have the conversation there.
  2. Step 2 Ask questions about...
    Ask questions about your family’s ideals and brainstorm with them. To create a great mission statement, it's important to understand what your family's mission is. Brainstorm with your family by asking them questions—about their values, what makes the family unique, how a family should work, and so on. Take part in the discussion and share your thoughts as well.[5] Sample questions include:
    • What does it mean to be a member of this family?
    • What makes this family unique or special compared to other families?
    • What is the purpose of our family?
    • How do we want to treat each other?
    • What traditions do we want to keep and create?
    • What things are truly important to us as a family?
    • What are the principles we want this family to follow?
    • What other families do we admire? Why?
    • Start the conversation off in a lighthearted, playful way. After all, this is a fun activity! You might start with a basic prompt like “How to be a Smith” (or whatever your family’s last name is) and ask them to fill in the blanks.
  3. Step 3 Make a list of your family’s core values.
    As you talk, keep a record of everything your family says—particularly the values they discuss. Figure out what matters most to everyone there (including yourself) and make a note of it. Then, look over your notes at the end of the brainstorming and create a list of your family’s core values from them.[6] Values might include:
    • Integrity
    • Humor
    • Compassion
    • Creativity
    • Discipline
    • Make the list as long as you like; you’ll be able to condense it later.
  4. Step 4 Think of phrases that accurately reflect your family’s values.
    Coming up with a short list of phrases may help you capture what your family is all about—their purpose, values, and goals. Look up popular inspirational phrases from books, poems, speeches, movies, and shows, or come up with an entirely original phrase yourself! For example:
    • “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
    • “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
    • “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.” – Yoda (Star Wars)
    • “Keep moving forward.” – Lewis (Meet the Robinsons)
  5. Step 5 Narrow down your list of values into 10 (or fewer) big ideas.
    Taking the time to reflect and evaluate your family's values can help you pinpoint the most important ones. Look for common themes and values that multiple family members claimed were important to them; those likely reflect your family’s priorities most accurately. Then, decide together how which values to use in your mission statement and the order you’d like to list them.[7]
    • If a lot of people list different terms with the same basic meaning (like “kindness,” “compassion,” and “benevolence”), combine them into a single idea and use that in the mission statement.
    • Some family members may have different opinions on which values to include in the top 10; do your best to compromise by coming up with a solution that takes everyone's ideas into account.
    • If there are some values you aren’t sure about including, place them side by side and ask your family which is more important to them. Keep the one they agree is more important, and drop the other.
  6. Step 6 Write out a complete mission statement.
    Begin your mission statement with a quick opening phrase, like “In our family, we will…”. Then, write a series of phrases related to the values you brainstormed before to make up the body of the mission statement. Remember, there’s no wrong way to format it; the most common format is a bullet-point list of phrases, but it could be written as a paragraph, poem, or song, for example.[8] Phrases could include:
    • Be joyful and laugh every day
    • Choose kindness and empathy
    • Embrace adventure and discovery
    • Show gratitude to others
    • Make sure to write the mission statement as collaboratively as possible. Ask each family member to work on a couple of phrases and string them all together as a group.
    • Keep the mission statement short and sweet, if possible. The longer it is, the less impactful it may appear. Ideally, aim for a mission statement that’s under 100 words.
  7. Step 7 Display the mission statement at home and use it daily.
    Find a place for the mission statement in your home, whether that means posting a handwritten note on the fridge or printing it on fancy paper, framing it, and hanging it up on a wall where everyone can see it. So long as everyone there can see and refer to the mission statement every day, there’s no wrong place to put it.[9]
    • Look for teaching moments throughout your day where you can refer to the mission statement. For example, if you’re arguing with a sibling, does the mission statement remind you to be tolerant and respectful?
  8. Step 8 Refine your family mission statement as needed.
    A family mission statement isn’t static; as your family grows and changes, so should the mission statement! Go back to the mission statement every so often and re-evaluate it as a family to ensure that everyone still resonates with the values listed there (and see if any new values need to be added).[10]
    • For example, if you have a young child the first time you write a family mission statement, you might revisit the statement when they get older and include their input on it as well.
    • Consider revisiting the mission statement each year and asking yourself if it still works. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make changes every time, but it’ll get you in the habit of reviewing the statement regularly.
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Section 3 of 3:

Family Mission Statement Examples

  1. Step 1 Example 1
    In our family, we will: Show up for one another, choose kindness and empathy, embrace adventure and discovery, welcome each new day with joy, love deeply and passionately, and have faith in ourselves.
  2. Step 2 Example 2
    Our family mission statement: We never give up, we show respect to others and ourselves, we take chances and embrace challenges, we help each other to do our best, we strive to learn new things every day, and we accept our mistakes with grace and humility.
  3. Step 3 Example 3
    The Miller family will: Make wise decisions, be honest and act with integrity, make time for fun and games, show gratitude to others, laugh every day, never give up, be bold and courageous, love each other wholeheartedly, embrace change, and believe in each other.
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