You, on a mission

In case you didn't catch it, the New York Times ran a great article about crafting a personal Mission Statement as an alternative to making resolutions.

By creating a mission statement people can begin to identify the underlying causes of behaviors, as well as what truly motivates them to make changes. “A mission statement becomes the North Star for people,” says Dr. Groppel. “It becomes how you make decisions, how you lead, and how you create boundaries.”

I've found that most larger businesses have strong mission statements—Google's "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" is one of my favorites—it's an incredibly important step missed by many smaller companies and individuals. The article comes with an excellent set of starter questions to help you develop such a statement.

■ How do you want to be remembered?
■ How do you want people to describe you?
■ Who do you want to be?
■ Who or what matters most to you?
■ What are your deepest values?
■ How would you define success in your life?
■ What makes your life really worth living?

A strong mission statement is clear and succinct, ideally no more than a sentence, and truly unique to the person or business behind it. In reading the article, I realized I had more or less written mine as part of a longer email to a friend:

My personal mission is to be the kind of person people want to know, the kind of parent I'd like to have, and do work I'm proud of. What's yours?