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A personal mission statement is a brief statement of goals, values, and beliefs that is unique to each person. This type of statement is often created to illustrate a person's career goals, but it does not necessarily have to be related to a career. It can be a statement for personal goals as well as professional. The mission statement may then be used as a type of personal barometer to see if the writer is sticking to his values or making progress in a chosen direction.
At one time, mission statements were often created by businesses; the statement would include the purpose of the business, as well as the company's ideal goals and methods for creating satisfied customers. This worked well in the business world, so people began to create personal mission statements in order to get their lives back on track or to encourage themselves to create new goals. A personal mission statement can be anything that the writer wants it to be, but it is often related to career goals.
For instance, in a mission statement, a person might write his current assessment of himself in his career. He might then consider areas where improvement can be made, and try to think of specific goals that can be met. Then, once the personal mission statement is written, he can review it every day or every week to try to stay on track. When the person is making decisions at work or about his career, he can then reference the personal mission statement to see if the decisions are in line with his values and goals for the future. Some companies may even ask their employees to write personal mission statements.
Of course, a personal mission statement does not need to be related to one's career; it can be helpful in any aspect of life. The statement might revolve around goals for friendships or family, or personal goals related to improving the writer's physical or mental health such as through exercise, eating healthy, meditation, or therapy, for example. The personal mission statement may be revised as needed, such as when the person makes progress or if it is determined that the goals are unrealistic.
A personal mission statement can be as long or as brief as the writer wants. Most mission statements are around a paragraph in length, making them easier to review regularly, but some people's are much longer, and some may only be a sentence. A mission statement is a self-help tool that can be very beneficial; some people choose to journal about their mission statements as well, to keep track of progress.