If you’ve had any email dealings with me about where to start when losing weight or getting healthy, you’ve heard about this: creating a personal vision of your future, fit, healthy weight self.
I know, it’s a far cry from: do forty sit ups, run stairs and don’t forget to park across the parking lot and walk. I think that stuff is great but that comes second. Because for me, none of that stuff really lasts without context? Like that day you really want to park right in front of the grocery store door and seriously look around to see if anyone would notice if you pretended to limp after parking in a handicap spot. On a day like that without knowing where fitness fits in your life, fits into the bigger picture of who you are, why bother?
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of creating visions, concrete, tangible, written out, visually represented ones. Because whether we like it or not, each day we are moving towards something or someplace. Why not figure out where you want to go so you’re not moving in the wrong direction? These are my definitions so feel free to congratulate, disagree and tell me otherwise.
Visions are what you want from your life.
Missions are how you want to live, guided by your values.
Goals are how you get to you vision by living your mission’s values.
These are all pretty lofty items so let’s pin them down some. What follows is a step by step plan for turning your values into a mission statement that can guide you to your new healthy, fit self. But only if that’s your vision of course.
Now get a pen and paper out and answer the following questions.
How to Evaluate What Is Important?
What are you passionate about? If you lose track of time doing something, what are you usually doing?
On days you can’t wait to get out of bed, what is usually going on in your life?
What do you want people to say about you after you die?
List your values. Then consider them 2 at a time, then keep the most important one and cross the other one out. Use this method to narrow down your core values to 5 most important ones. You can test them by thinking about how you feel if other people violate these values. If they are truly the most important ones, the idea of that should be very upsetting.
What amount of your day/week reflects your key governing values. Such as is one value is family, how much time do you spend with/on family time, etc.
Return to your answers from the previous questions and highlight what stands out as your true passions, what you get excited about and your core personal values.
Some additional questions to help focus. Who has been/is most influential in your life? What qualities of theirs do you admire? What have you gained from knowing them? What would you like to be? What would you like to do?
Again highlight anything from those questions that stand out from the list.
You should now have a nice scribbley piece(s) of paper that have you most important values on it.
Using that list, draft of your mission statement.
(some of my list was adapted from Irving. D. 1997 and the rest is from the brain)
That’s it! Ten easy steps to a personal mission statement.
I like having multiple mission statements, one for each part of my life but all have been formulated off this one exercise to really tap into my passions and values. My health mission statement is ultimately governed by the same values as my relationships mission statement even though they manifest differently in practice.
This is my health mission statement to kind of give you an idea, but they can be as vastly different as there are people so be creative and let yourself dream big.
Striving daily to expand my abilities at being a healthier person through greater physical challenges and nutritional excellence. To inspire others through leadership and example to achieve their greatest possible health in an environment of integrity and respect.
This little diddy is placed in a few places I see everyday. It fits into my core values and it fits ME. This statement helped me find my new career. I was in social work until recently and a far cry from wanting to be/working on becoming a personal trainer. But that mission lead me to a different path, and one that fits. I hope this exercise can lead you to a place like that as well.
I would LOVE to hear what other people come up with. If you’re too shy to put it all out there in the comments, please drop me an email through the ABOUT page.
Tomorrow we’re going to take these awesome life affirming statements and make goals out of them!
If you want more vision/mission tools/information check out below: