I have been thinking about the idea of creating a family mission statement for some time now. I truly believe that a family unit doesn’t end up successful by accident. Just like starting a business, the family has to start with the end in mind and decide what to do each day to reach the end goal. About a month ago, I was listening to the Productivity Paradox podcast and Tonya was talking about how her family created their mission statement. She really lit a fire under me to get ours done!
You may be wondering…”Why is a party planning blog talking about creating a family mission statement?” Well, it is my belief that celebration should be part of our every day lives. So, celebrating is literally tied to our family’s mission.
What is a Mission Statement?
Almost every business or foundation you encounter will have a mission statement. A mission statement is a set of ideas that guides a group of people in how to behave, act, and make decisions. The mission statement reflects your set of values, suggests how you live your values every day and can direct someone toward making the right decision based on those ideas. Steven Covey says, “Mission statements are the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives.” You can have a personal mission statement, as well as a family mission statement.
Schedule a Family Meeting
I told my family about a week ahead of time that, on Friday evening, we would have our first official Graham Family Meeting. I added it as an appointment to our family Trello board so my husband could be reminded of our plans. I also told them that once we had a serious discussion over dinner, we would have family game night!
On your family meeting night, grab some pizza or make a meal that everyone loves to eat. Visit Tonya’s podcast notes to get her family mission statement worksheet. (It would be very helpful to listen to that podcast episode on your own before your family meeting.) This worksheet has a list of questions to discuss as a family to guide you in writing your family mission statement.
In order for this meeting to be productive, there are a few guidelines that I think were helpful for us.
- Everyone got a chance to answer every question.
- We spoke within a circle of trust where everyone was free to speak their minds without getting in trouble or offending anyone.
- Balance the good with the bad. For every complaint or suggestion for change, try to compliment the person on something they do well.
- Little ones tend to get off topic or not know how to answer some of the questions, so maybe simplify the question or think of a different way to ask the question to get them engaged.
- Our meeting took a lot longer than it should have. Try to keep the discussion to 15-30 minutes. The younger your children are, the shorter their attention spans! If you have really young kids, have the discussion mostly be between you and your spouse first. Then, you can bring the kids in to answer a few simpler questions.
The Graham Family Mission Statement
- We celebrate big and small accomplishments.
- We set goals and plan for the future.
- We always strive to do better.
- We speak with respect and communicate within a circle of trust.
- We have pride in ourselves and in the Graham family name.
- We encourage and hold each other accountable.
- We will leave a legacy of happiness and generosity.
Do you have a family mission statement?
Share it in the comments below!