I want to focus my energies so I’m going to write a personal mission statement.
I would tell you to do this if you want to focus your life and see magic happen. The first time I did it was around 12 years ago. My life was completely different from now. I was in church three times a week, working full-time, volunteering, had three kids at home, and was still married to Hillbilly.
I was, and still am, a force. Those of us who are “forces,” especially women, get asked to do a lot of things. Because we will get it done and get it done well. I was being pulled in so many different directions. I did this personal mission statement activity. Magic happened. I wrote my mission statement and began living by it, began saying no to the things that didn’t fit my personal mission and pursuing the things that did. Within two years I was a published author, I received a state award and an area women’s leadership award.
I’m going to work through this process again starting today. Here’s what you do if you want to join in.
I use a core values list to help me communicate what values are most important to me. I’ve done this so much it’s almost second nature but the lists help a lot if you’ve never done it before. This site has a list but also an exercise to discover your values if you are concerned with choosing what you think you should be instead of what you actually are.
Core values I must include are adventure, passion, ethical, integrity, authenticity, creation, creativity, humor, individuality, inspiring… all values are important of course. I see Ferocious on this list and I think I will add that.
Another one of the activities we did was write to these prompts:
-You are 80 today. You are happy. What is in your life and has been in your life that have given you this happiness and feeling of success?
As the candles glow on an insanely huge chocolate raspberry cake in front of me we lift our glasses in a champagne toast and I look around the table at my family and friends. There is laughter, curse words, and story telling. I glance over at the bookshelf nearby stuffed with books I love, books I want to read and books I’ve written. Some have even been turned into movies or TV shows. I blow out the candles and hug my grandkids first. I’m looking forward to our family trip to Europe in the spring: Switzerland, Austria and the beloved Italy, but first we head to Mexico for the next month to the writing retreat center we’ve created for writers and teachers to have time for writing, sharing and reflection. It’s magical what happens in those 3-5 day retreats. I’m so glad we are able to make it affordable, especially for educators and especially inner city teachers. They go back into the fray energized, ready to fight the good fight and feeling cherished and supported as we don’t let get of them but stay in touch to start a lifelong relationship, not just with emails and our journal but also fun surprises in the mail, recognition and helping them get published.
The music starts up and we dance, my love and I. I wrap my arm around his shoulder, put my hand in his as he pulls me close with his other arm and smacks my booty in front of everyone causing laughter and eye rolls. Most are used to this from us. The others? Who cares. We talk of what we’ll do to each other tomorrow before I write, before we kayak our beautiful Sound; too tired tonight but it’s a good tired, a happy tired. He looks so dapper in his suit but it’s those eyes that glow with love for me, our family, with kindness and humor and fucking smarts. I’m still crazy about him after 22 years. He dips me and I’m glad once again we take dance classes every week. It’s an area where I’m so vulnerable but have so much fun with. We do a tango for the crowd who shout their appreciation of our shenanigans.
Because I wrote that, I just researched real estate in the area I want to live and see that if I can pay off my credit cards, I could actually buy a home in the next five years in Mexico. I could then AirBnB that bitch and use it as a home base to look for property to build the retreat center. And bam it went from a pie in the sky thing to, “Damn I should be more careful with my money so I can have this,” and guess what? I can if I work really hard and focus my energies.
Other questions you could write to:
-When in your life do you feel flow? A part of something that you feel connected to?
-What are your dreams for life? If all obstacles were lifted what would you LOVE to be?
From these freewrites we’d then narrow to four or five areas of your life you want to focus on, the most important ones to you. Now what I will do is go through each area and freewrite if needed or mull it and write a sentence or two to focus what I want.
I’m going to choose these areas to look at (I think):
*Fulfilling relationships: my children, my family, my friends, and tribe. This seems like a lot. This may change in focus a bit to separating out children from tribe. We’ll see.
*Career: I know what I am now. I want to focus on what I want for the future and see it so I can build it.
*Health: I know what I need but putting it on my statement will make sure it happens. It will include meditation, yoga, biking, running, walking. Also preventative care: dentist, skin cancer checkup, etc.
*Adventure: This will be for the next year- what adventures shall I have?
*Finances: Savings, credit card debt, build toward future
*Impact the “world”- can just be my city or state or a focus on a cause I care about
Inner Circle: Stay connected with my children, my family and close friends. They know I’m there and I care and so I know where they are in life.
The Female Tribe: Inspire and uplift women as I uplift them through authenticity and humor. This will be on differing scales from my daily soul sisters, to weekly groups to others I may just meet once in life. (Humor, Inspire, Authenticity, Integrity)
Financial Health: Maintain a savings because it gives me peace. Slay my credit card debt for future freedom. Begin to save for the Mexico home.
Physical & Mental Health: Schedule DAILY movement and meditation that ground me in my body rather than my head. (Passion, Individuality)
Career: Keep writing daily. Work on getting YOS published as a book. (Humor, Inspire, Passion, Creation, Creativity)
Adventure: Plan adventures for each season, small and big, to challenge myself and to look forward to. (Individuality, Passion, Creativity, Authenticity)
Make the world a better place: Find a nonprofit to put my time toward this year: police reform? voting? (Ethical, Integrity, Inspire)
I’d love to give anyone feedback on their rough draft or help out in any way I can. I freaking love this kind of stuff. It makes me so happy when people get excited about their lives and head down the path they want instead of the one they think they have to have.
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