How to Write a Personal Mission Statement

I’m excited to have Maxie back at it for another Maxie Monday! This is such a good, relevant one too. Especially with the New Year right around the corner (two and a half weeks away!), this couldn’t have been written at a better time. Maxie is a pro at all things planning, and mission statements are at the top of her list.
Kick off your week with this great guide from Max!
You know those mornings when you wake up completely uninspired. The times you stare down into your coffee cup feeling as if you’re floating alongside the cream, completely directionless. The days where you’re overcome with fear of making the wrong decision for your life because you’re staring at the fork ahead and don’t know which direction to take… 
Girlfriend, I’ve been there. We all have. And anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to look good. That feeling of directionless floating is the worst. Especially when it comes to high-achieving, focused individuals, the sense that you’re unsure of your purpose is unraveling.
You’ve probably heard the buzz word “mission statement” before and figured it was something that universities, social-good companies, and organizations have. But I’m here to tell you that it’s more than just a sentence thrown on an about page, a mission statement is a reason for existing.
And it’s something you shouldn’t go another week without having for yourself.
A personal mission statement is something that will give direction to your life. It will be the foundation that you can back all of your decisions into to decide if they live up to your reason for existence. It will be a quick line that not only explains the deep vibrant layers of your soul, but also gives guidance to your mind when you’re figuring out those ongoing next steps. Think of a personal mission statement like a giant sparkling filter that you get to pass all of life’s decisions through so you only end up with the good stuff.
But the big question is how you go about actually creating it. And we’re going to do just that. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do this, so drop your perfectionist tendencies for a second and have FUN with this!!
First, grab a fuzzy blanket, the soulful Christmas tunes, some hot peppermint tea (and maybe some M&Ms), your favorite Moleskine and an inky pen. Now jot down the answer to these questions, without overthinking and without the need to get it “right”….
  • What are you the most passionate about?
  • Remember a time when you felt the most accomplished, proud, or just darn high on life…what was it that you were doing?
  • What would an ideal world look like?
  • What are some nouns that describe you?
  • If you didn’t have to work for a living, what would you be doing? What have you always wanted to do?
  • What do you wish every person could understand?
  • What are you best in the world at?
  • What personal values are core to your being? (Here’s a comprehensive list for some thought starters)

Take a minute to absorb all the juicy goodness that you just wrote down. Read it over. Circle or star the things that resonated the most with you. Now start writing down some versions of your mission statement. This should include what you’re doing (method), who you’re doing it for, and what you’re trying to accomplish (measure).
Here’s some examples:
  • “To inspire, motivate and connect myself and others, to their own personal greatness” – This one is mine 🙂

And others…
  • “My life’s journey is to see beauty in myself, to create a safe place that ignites other women to do the same” 
  • “My purpose is to create products and share ideas that celebrate the people and moments that make life a gift”

Your mission statement is going to be such a gift to your life. It will be like little garden lights on your path to joy and success. It will put a bow on your ambition and give all that incredible energy and inspiration direction. Your mission statement is yours so take some time with this. Make sure that you get that tingly feeling when you say it aloud. Trust me, you’ll know when it is right. 
And when it is, I hope you’ll tweet it to me @maxiemccoy — I can’t wait to hear all of the beautiful missions statements out there. And if you need any more convincing, you can read more about the impact of my own personal mission statement on my blog.

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Great advice! I just had to write a "Statement of Practice" for my architecture portfolio and it was seriously the hardest page I have ever had to write (like I'm pretty sure I've written essays quicker than that). It had to be about my opinion of architecture and what we thought a building should be. For some reason it's always so much harder to write something about what you really believe in. I guess it was similar to a mission statement, because when I read it I feel more focused on my goal and I love seeing, in words, what I believe my architecture should be.

(sorry to go off on a tangent!)

Lindsey Lam

This is a fantastic post. I'm so glad Maxie wrote this because it is a lesson I will definitely want to be teaching at my next leadership camp. I'm looking forward to starting on mine so that I can share it with my campers!

Remember the Heels

Megan Bos

What awesome advice! I went to an Integrating Women's Leadership conference and it was all about #BrandYou and the importance of your personal brand- this goes right along with that message.

Thanks for sharing- post exam week I am excited to start thinking about my own mission statement!


I absolutely love this! Thanks so much (and to Maxie, too) for sharing. I've attempted to write personal mission statements on several occasions and without a framework like this they've always ended up being too lengthy or trying to be a little bit of everything. This is wonderful and I can't wait to put it to use.

Emily Blauvelt

I've been thinking about starting up my New Year's Resolutions! What great advice in creating a personal mission statement. Love Maxie Mondays!