Part of creating a positive culture at home may include getting the family together and creating a family mission statement. Something that you can do as a way of writing down the core of what your family is all about. This is something that I just really discovered and had never really thought about until now. Although my wife and I haven’t yet established one of our own, we have now begun the conversation about getting our values, principles and who we want to be as a family, our vision in other words drafted up into a mission statement. Just like businesses have a mission statement, a family can have one too, “a family’s raison d’être – it’s reason for existing.”
It’s all about the Process: It’s important to remind yourself as you start developing one of your own that it doesn’t need to be perfect and worry about if it “sounds good,” or “looks right.” The value is in the process of working on it together to develop something you will share together. Through this process you will hopefully establish what is truly important in life and have discussions that are meaningful, a way to bond and become closer than you already are with your family.
Set a Time for a Family Meeting: Start off by discussing its importance and really have an understanding of the benefits or creating you mission statement. Make it a special time and perhaps do this on vacation or go somewhere special for the weekend. Guidelines to be set should be to “make sure everyone gets a say, listen empathetically, write things down, and it doesn’t have to be done in one sitting.”
Ask Questions: This is where your values are really established and made clear, where you see your family headed as you head into the future. Be open throughout the process and do your best to get on the same page as your spouse and truly knowing what your values, goals and everything else that you need to discuss. This will help in avoiding conflict along with everything else you do as part of your commitment to family and putting them first. Really get into your purpose, support for one another, expectations in each other’s external families, finances, parenting style, and even traditions.
Write Down Core Values, Phrases to Identify Your Family, and Big Ideas: For myself and my family, we value honesty, respect, education, humor, kindness, and loyalty to name a few. Your values are what define you in part, and maintain them in every situation good and bad, they are unwavering. Come up with a phrase for your family that they can identify with such as “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose,” for example. After you have written down all your thoughts, highlight the major ones and make a list of your top 10, ideas that really stick out for everyone as a unit.
Start Creating Your Mission Statement: This is where your top 10 list will be integral in developing your mission statement. If you take this seriously and want it to have the desired effect, keep it short and memorable, shoot for 100 words. It is also important that it develops as a collaboration with everyone involved and know that it there isn’t one right way of doing it as you may want to revisit it every so often and revise it. It’s all about the process and should be viewed as something that can grow just as your family will.
Now Take that Statement and Place it for all to See: I couldn’t think of a better way to have something you created as a family as a constant reminder of what your family is all about and values most than by framing it and placing it for everyone to see. Not just your family, but also to those whom you welcome into your home and possibly inspire others to do the same. The family mission statement is your signal to one another about “what you want to be and the values by which you will live your life,” always.
Do you find value and purpose in creating a family mission statement? I challenge you to develop a one of your own, just as my wife and I have set out and intend to do.