Monday, August 4, 2014

Alternate Mission Statments

I tried to write a traditional mission statement, and I totally failed.

I pictured having something kick ass like Maxie from Ilo Inspired:

“To inspire, motivate and connect myself and others, to their own personal greatness” 

I wanted to write an article about having a mission statement.  I wanted to share it and talk about the golden rays of light this mission statement was shining on my previously mission-less life.  So I sat down to write, and I got painfully stuck.  A mean voice in my head told me how stupid it is to write a mission statement for a normal, boring life like mine (you're wrong, voice!).  The list of values I wanted to use to articulate my true emotional core all seemed stuffy and wrong.  I couldn't fit in all the pieces I needed to include.  Everything I wrote was clumsy.  I was seriously bummed.

But I still wanted something.  I longed for that sentence or two that gave clarity; I loved the idea of saying Does this serve my overall mission?  Yes?  Go for it!  Nope?  Thanks, but no thanks. I thought about where I'm at right now, with two little kids and back-to-school approaching and a need/desire to heal my body and a need/desire to write for recreation and joy.  I thought about what I actually wanted out of life.  I'm not necessarily trying to achieve new heights.  I'm often just trying to keep my head above water.  The best I can do is reset everyday and move forward when I can.   

Even resetting everyday can be a struggle.  There is so much work that is never finished: washing tiny heads of hair, flossing through exhaustion, prepping healthy foods, following through with interaction in my online community, saving a smile for my husband, making the bed, making a to-do list, every day, even if most of the items stay the same, and it goes over and over with no end in sight.  There is a lot of monotony in everyday life, and sometimes my dreamy spirit wants to throw convention out the window and be spontaneous lazy and WORRY ABOUT THE CHORES TOMORROW.  Except I always forget that makes me miserable.  Committing to  resetting everyday is a mission all to itself, and it's something that I need to work on.

Yes, I want to move forward.  I want to reach new health goals (upper body strength?!) and write for larger audiences and complete fun projects for my kids at school.  I want to organize closets and put bright new paint colors on the wall and send random care packages to my family all over the country.  Reminding myself to reset everyday will stop me from trying all of this at once.  This quote gets it: "Be steady and well-ordered in your life so you can be fierce and original in your work."  Thanks, Gustave Flaubert.  Way to be ahead of your time.

So that's how I came up with my alternate mission statement.  It doesn't have too much flowery language, it doesn't identify my values, it doesn't move me towards a specific goal. It's basic enough to apply to every aspect of my busy life.  It keeps my head above water. If you're considering a mission statement (and I endorse this, heartily) don't be afraid to widen your net until you find something that works for you.  Maybe you rock at resetting and need a reminder to do one new thing every day.  Perhaps you wish you were more intentional in your day-to-day life.  Don't be afraid to make your mission as large or small as you need it to be to be useful for you.

Do you already have a mission statement that drives your day-to-day?  Are you thinking about giving it a shot?  Here are some great links that can help you with the process: 3 Steps for Creating a Personal Mission Statement or How to Write Your Personal Mission Statement.  If you get stuck, a simple sentence or even a word (move?) can narrow your focus.  I would absolutely love to see what you come up with!

Mission statement image credit, text added by me // Reset Everyday image credit, text added by me

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At August 4, 2014 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Becky Goerend said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I might have to give it a whirl. I'll let you know if I come up with anything!

At August 4, 2014 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Love this Ashlie. Resetting the day is such a great idea. I strive to be organized... But with the wrong things. Lego's and playmobil are meticulously sorted into appropriate bins, but important paperwork I can NEVER find.

At August 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM , Blogger ashlie said...

I would LOVE to see what you come up with! PS- The card is in the mail :)

At August 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM , Blogger ashlie said...

But those LEGOS, seriously...

At August 5, 2014 at 5:16 PM , Blogger Erica Layne | Let Why Lead said...

"Reset every day" is so wise. I LOVE that. I can already tell it's something I'm going to be mulling over for a good while. Thank you!

And hello, I love what you're doing here! I've written about family purpose statements, but I'm totally sold on the personal application. I'm off to check out your related links!

At August 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM , Blogger ashlie said...

I feel like I have these big grand plans and resetting never actually happens, so I'm hoping this will help! I love that your site has such a strong mission, I would love to see what personal stuff you come up with :)

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