Personal Mission Statements (7 Habits)—The Ultimate Guide (2023)

Personal Mission Statements (7 Habits)—The Ultimate Guide (1)

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As life constantly changes, how do you keep your focus on your values and goals? How do you make sure every small action you make is moving you closer to your destination?

You can create a personal mission statement. A 7 Habits mission statement is a document you create that identifies the big picture — the life you want to lead, the character traits you want to embody, the impact you want to have on those around you.

This document serves as a reminder of your ultimate goals and helps you ensure each short-term pursuit and daily action is in line with what’s most important to you.

What Is a Personal Mission Statement?

Wondering how to create a personal mission statement? Your 7 habits mission statement should focus on three things:

  • Character: Who do you want to be?
  • Contribution: What do you want to do?
  • Achievements: What are the core values and principles that govern your character and contributions?

Think of it like the U.S. Constitution: Your 7 Habits mission statement is the standard by which everything is measured and directed. Except for a handful of amendments, the Constitution has been virtually unchanged for more than two centuries, despite dramatic environmental, social, cultural, industrial, and political changes. The Constitution is so stable because it’s based on such basic, timeless principles that its essence has been applicable across centuries in very different environments.

If you create a 7 Habits mission statement that centers around your values at the core of who you are and who you want to be, it will guide you through the many phases and changes in your life. In fact, crystallizing the changeless core of who you are actually helps you adapt to change, because it reinforces such a secure sense of self that you won’t be threatened by changes around you.

Developing Your Personal Mission Statement According to the 7 Habits

When you sit down and think about how to create a 7 Habits mission statement, start by looking at the most basic paradigms that dictate how you see the world. As you examine these paradigms, they’ll reveal your innermost values and principles. Stephen Covey’s mission statements are meant to reflect these paradigms.

Each person’s 7 Habits mission statement will be distinct because everyone is unique and has individual experiences; rather than inventing your mission or emulating someone else’s, try to find your mission through self-examination, reflection, and honest assessment of your unique strengths and values.

(Video) How to Create an Empowering Personal Mission Statement

The process of writing your 7 Habits mission statement requires deep introspection and careful thought. Allow ample time for this — it may take weeks or months to take an honest and thorough look at your paradigms and driving forces. The process itself is just as important as the final result, because it makes you think through how you want to live your life and what actions reinforce that.

As you develop your 7 Habits mission statement, it helps to identify the many roles you have — spouse, son/daughter, brother/sister, father/mother, friend, professional, individual — and create goals for each role. If you don’t parse out your vision and goals to address each of your roles, it’s easy to focus your mission statement too heavily on one area of your life and neglect others; you may accidentally make a mission statement too centered on work accomplishments and lose the balance in your goals that reflects a balanced life.

Effective goals should focus on the end result you want, your destination, rather than the route to get there. Once you’ve identified your destination, then you can figure out a path to reach it — and your personal mission statement will help you know when you’ve arrived — but you must begin with the end in mind.

Identifying Your Center: Step 1 in Your 7 Habits Personal Mission Statement

Creating your personal mission statement requires a process of deep reflection and self-evaluation as you examine your paradigms and discover the values that guide your decisions and actions.

Your paradigms determine four essential aspects of your life:

  1. Security: Your identity and self-worth, which grounds you and gives you strength.
  2. Guidance: The source of your direction in life, the factors that are influencing your choices and actions.
  3. Wisdom: How well you understand how different life principles interrelate and how you interpret how life works.
  4. Power: Your strength and capacity to act, including — and especially — when it entails being proactive and rewriting your habits.

Each of these factors falls on a continuum; it isn’t a matter of whether or not you have them, but where you fall on the spectrum. For instance, you could be highly insecure with a low self-worth and a shaky sense of identity, or you could have high self-esteem and a firm sense of who you are.

These factors are also interdependent, collectively strengthening the others. If you have a strong sense of security and clear guidance, this heightens your wisdom, which helps you access your power.

Your core paradigms reveal your center; you can be centered on your marriage, friendships, family, work, money, possessions, pleasure, or, ideally, principles. Whatever is at your center determines your security, guidance, wisdom, and power.Knowing these things will help you form your 7 Habits mission statement.

(Video) Habit 2 pt.3 - The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Here’s a discussion of the most common centers, along with the problems they cause:

  • If you’re marriage-centered, your sense of identity and self-worth is determined by the health of your relationship at that moment. Although marriage is an important relationship to nurture, making it your center creates emotional dependence. Your emotional security becomes subject to the natural ups and downs in the relationship and changes in your partner’s moods and behaviors, and anything in life that impacts your relationship or your spouse then threatens to shake your own security.
  • If you’re family-centered, you derive your security from the strength of your family traditions and reputation. Again, this makes your self-worth vulnerable to other people’s actions and external forces that are out of your control.
  • Surprisingly, being friend- or enemy-centered is largely the same; in both contexts, your interactions with other people, their opinions of you, and their treatment of you determine your sense of self-worth. Your guiding force is how you think others will respond to your decisions, and you have no individual power because other people are determining your actions.
  • If you’re money-centered, your self-worth changes with the rise and fall of your net worth. You’re inclined to be anxious and protective of your money as the source of your identity, and any outside factors that could impact your money become a threat.
  • If you’re work-centered, you base your identity in your profession and your position at work; work-centered people are likely to be “workaholics” who sacrifice their relationships, health, and hobbies in the name of work. Their wisdom and power are confined to the context of their jobs, so they become powerless in other areas of their lives.
  • If you’re possession-centered, your focus and self-worth are tied up in material possessions (e.g. cars, homes, and nice clothes) or intangible possessions (e.g. social status, authority, and recognition). Not only does your self-worth depend on maintaining these possessions, but it also rises and falls depending on whether you’re around someone who has more than you, making you feel inferior, or less than you, making you feel superior.
  • If you’re pleasure-centered, your main priority is on having fun and maximizing your pleasure in life, to the neglect of work, relationships, and self-discipline. You are quickly bored and become narcissistic in your constant pursuit of how life can provide you the most pleasure. Your security, guidance, wisdom, and power exist only in brief moments of pleasure.
  • Being church-centered is distinct from being spiritually or religiously centered. Whereas being spiritually centered can guide you through inner examination and discovery, being church centered emphasizes the appearance of being involved in the community, meeting social standards, and clearly displaying your membership in the group. You’re guided by social conscience rather than religious principles, and threatened by anything that jeopardizes your image or membership in the church.
  • If you’re self-centered, you’re driven more by selfishness than by an earnest attempt to develop and improve yourself. Many popular methods for self-fulfillment and personal growth are rooted in self-centeredness.

Many people have multiple centers; sometimes one takes precedence until it is momentarily satisfied (e.g. if you’re marriage-centered, your relationship with your spouse is in a happy place), and then another focus rises as the primary center for a period of time. For a consistent, reliable source of security, guidance, wisdom, and power, it’s best to have one center; this creates a clear focus of your values and priorities.

All of the centers above seem to have issues. So what’s the ideal center to have? Covey argues it’s a center based around your principles.

Unlike the centers described above, a principle-centered life does not subject your identity, perspective, and power to uncontrollable external forces; principles are timeless and unchanging, superseding people and circumstances. Stephen Covey says a mission statement involves paradigms that are created around these indisputable principles help you to see the world more accurately, as opposed to money-centered, pleasure-centered, or other paradigms that distort your lens.

Granted, you may have limited awareness and understanding of certain principles until you have a life experience that illustrates that principle, and be unable to follow Stephen Covey’s missions statement advice. For example, you might not understand the importance of human dignity until you see someone being treated without dignity. As you move through life and gain experiences and knowledge that expand your understanding of fundamental principles, you’ll be better able to incorporate them into your paradigms, and learn how to create a personal mission statement.

Group Mission Statements

7 Habits mission statements are also effective for groups — whether families, organizations, or businesses. Group mission statements help everyone in the group remain on the same page about the group’s values and goals, and create a sense of unity and investment in the well-being of the group.

As with personal mission statements, the process of developing, writing, and fine-tuning a mission statement is as important as the finished product, so it’s critical that everyone in the group be involved in creating the mission statement. This process gets all the group members thinking and talking about what matters to them, and what they believe the group’s priorities should be.

If group leaders write a 7 Habits mission statement without input from everyone else, the group members will be much less invested than if they’d contributed to the process; even if they agree with it initially, their commitment is likely to wane with time and in trying situations. On the other hand, if everyone is involved with creating the mission statement, they’re more likely to feel that it reflects their own values and to work harder to uphold it.

(Video) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Habit 1 - Presented by Stephen Covey Himself

Developing your personal mission statement is an important part of tackling the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. With your 7 Habits personal mission statement, you’ll be able to see clearly who you are and what you want to achieve, which will allow for further self-improvement and awareness.

Personal Mission Statements (7 Habits)—The Ultimate Guide

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How do you write a 7 Habits personal mission statement? ›

Your 7 habits mission statement should focus on three things: Character: Who do you want to be? Contribution: What do you want to do? Achievements: What are the core values and principles that govern your character and contributions?

What is an example of a personal mission statement? ›

"To be a leader to my team, live a balanced life and make a difference." "To inspire others to achieve great things." "To thrive in my journey through life and learn life's lessons along the way." "To be kind to others and myself."

What is Stephen Covey's personal mission? ›

Steven Covey (in First Things First) refers to developing a mission and vision statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it (Covey, 1994).” A personal mission and vision statement helps job seekers identify their core values and beliefs.

What 3 questions should a mission statement answer? ›

Here are four essential questions your company's mission statement must answer:
  • What do we do?
  • How do we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?
10 Jan 2013

How do you write a good mission statement example? ›

Your mission statement should make readers feel like something is happening now versus in the past. For example, write, “[Your company name] makes [your products] to enhance your quality of life,” rather than writing, “These [your products] are made by [your company name] to improve your life.”

What is your mission best answer? ›

Think about your ultimate purpose. Maybe that purpose is to help others, to challenge yourself, to work with children or to be successful. Your purpose is unique to you, and the journey you take to realize your purpose is also unique. Consider how a career can help you achieve your goals.

What are three examples of a mission statements? ›

  • A business mission statement should be between one and three sentences, around 100 words. ...
  • Belong anywhere.
  • Create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.
  • Make commerce easy.
  • Be the world's greatest kid's brand.
  • Spread ideas.
  • Make people's lives better every day—naturally.
  • Improving lives.
23 Sept 2022

What should a good mission statement answer? ›

The definition of a mission statement is a concise description of your organization's core purpose, answering the question, “why do we exist?”. A mission needs to boldly state why you exist, and why you do what you do. The best mission statements express your core purpose and why you exist with clarity.

How can a personal mission statement help you achieve your goals? ›

A personal mission statement can be a very powerful tool because it clearly defines your goals, allows you to more readily dismiss distractions, and provides a clearer pathway to success. Companies share their mission statements and you should be no different.

Do you think your personal mission statement can contribute? ›

It's important to have a personal mission statement as it motivates you to have a positive impact on the world and helps you feel more satisfied in your everyday life.

How do you write a personal vision and mission statement examples? ›

“My vision is to be an honest, empathetic and impactful project leader and to be recognized internationally within my industry. I am committed to growing as a leader and delivering value-added projects to the end users. My mission is to create and lead a dream team where everyone is playing to their strengths.”

What words in the mission statement are the most important? ›

The most common words include “mission”, “value”, “customers”, “services”, “technology”, “help”, “quality”, and “products”. 85% talk about the company's dedication to its customers. 37% talk about the company's dedication to its shareholders. 21% talk about the company's dedication to its employees.

What are the five 5 tips for writing a great mission statement? ›

Here are five tips to follow in order to craft a powerful and, more importantly, meaningful, mission statement for your company.
  • BE SPECIFIC. ...
26 Mar 2019

How do you write a personal statement about yourself? ›

How to write a personal statement
  1. Write a personal introduction. Write an introduction that reflects you and your personality. ...
  2. Expand on relevant skills, interests and experiences. ...
  3. Write a strong conclusion. ...
  4. Proofread and edit.
7 Oct 2019

Why are mission statements examples? ›

Mission Statements. “To empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve.” “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.” “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

What is a mission in simple words? ›

A mission is a special quest, one that involves more effort than, say, a trip to the corner store.

What is an inspiring mission statement? ›

A good mission statement can surprise, inspire, and transform your business. They provide a clearly stated purpose of your business and the goals you have for succeeding. The best mission statements go hand-in-hand with corporate philosophy and culture and help guide a company from the present into the future.

What are 3 factors that make for an excellent mission statement? ›

Your mission statement should reflect every dimension of your business from the services you provide to the products that you sell and the value proposition you have to offer. It should be actionable, substantive, dynamic, and charismatic.

How did personal mission statement help you to develop yourself? ›

A personal mission statement is much like a corporate mission statement: it describes your convictions, what you stand for, and how you plan to create a life that embodies your values. In other words, it becomes your personal definition of success–one that is separate from the approval of others.

How do I achieve a mission in my life? ›

Let's get started.
  1. Step 1: Brainstorm what's important to you. Before you write your personal mission statement, organize your life into key areas using a mind-map. ...
  2. Step 2: Draw on External Resources. ...
  3. Step 3: Ask Yourself Hard Questions. ...
  4. Step 4: Look the Big Picture. ...
  5. Step 5: Bring It All Together.

What is the importance of having your own mission and vision in life? ›

They force you to think deeply about your life, clarify its purpose, and identify what is truly important to you. Personal mission statements also force you to clarify and express as briefly as possible your deepest values and aspirations. It imprints your values and purposes in your mind so they become a part of you.

What should you avoid in a mission statement? ›

To Craft a Powerful Mission Statement Avoid These 6 Traps
  • Trap #1: Seeing this as an activity to complete. ...
  • Trap #2: Focusing on the words instead of the meaning. ...
  • Trap #3: Over- or under-involvement by leaders. ...
  • Trap #4: Lack of team-wide conversation. ...
  • Trap #5: Focusing on the external message first.

What are 3 key parts of the mission statement? ›

What are the Three Parts of a Mission Statement?
  • The Key Market – Who is your target audience? ...
  • Your Contribution – The next component to a successful mission statement is outlining your contribution. ...
  • Distinction – The next component to a highly effective mission statement is distinction.

What are some great mission statements? ›

12 Examples of the Best Mission Statements
  • “To inspire humanity — both in the air and on the ground.”
  • “To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.”
  • “Spread ideas.”
  • “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
13 Feb 2020


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