Four-Step Process To Write A Vision and Mission Statement

Preview: Vision and mission statements help us live with purpose. Learn a four-step process to write a vision and mission statement.

The car was packed. We buckled up and pulled out of the driveway. This trip was going to be different than any other trip we had taken. Instead of my husband and I planning the trip, our oldest daughter was in charge of this one.

Our vision is that our children leave our home equipped and capable of fulfilling their God-given purpose. One small step in helping them achieve that goal is knowing that they could plan and execute a long-distance trip on their own, including driving a significant portion of it. Our oldest daughter turned 17 the day we left for the trip. The trip was her opportunity to demonstrate that she had acquired the skills necessary to take such a trip.

Preparing for this trip required many preparatory steps.

  1. Determine where she wanted to go.
  2. Decide how much we would do on the trip.
  3. Determine the route to reach our destination.
  4. Book lodging.
  5. Pack.

My husband and I provided guidance each step of the way. We had set a few parameters, including the distance from our home and the length of time we would be away. Other than that, she was free to suggest the destination, lodging, and activities at each location.

Living a purposeful life is similar to planning a trip. If you want to live intentionally, you first need to know what your goal is. Once you know your destination, you need to determine how you will get there. There are often multiple routes to get where you want to go, so you need to determine which route is best for you.

Vision and mission statements help us live with purpose. Learn a four-step process to write a vision and mission statement.

Vision and mission statements define our destination and the route to get there. In this article, you will learn a four-step process to write a vision and mission statement. Plus, you will have the opportunity to join a free guided work session to write your vision and mission statement!

Quick Navigation

What are vision and mission statements?

While it may not seem like it, all trips have a destination and a route. I remember many Sunday afternoon drives as a child with my grandparents. At first glance, it didn’t seem like we had a purpose or destination. We were just driving. But in reality, we did have a purpose. Our goal was to enjoy our Sunday afternoon together doing something leisurely.

Because we wanted to drive slowly with the windows down, we took back roads as much as possible. We rarely took the same route, but one thing was consistent. For most trips, multiple routes lead to the same destination. 

Before we apply these analogies to our lives and our vision and mission statements, let’s start by defining how a vision statement differs from a mission statement.

A vision statement defines what you want to achieve. It is an expression of your dreams and passions and may solve a problem you see in the world. Using our previous illustration, your vision is your destination. Where do you want to end up?

A mission statement articulates how you will achieve your dream or your vision. It is your route to reach your destination. Similar to my childhood Sunday drives, there are likely multiple ways your could achieve your vision. 

What are the different types of mission statements?

We commonly think of mission statements in terms of businesses, but a business mission statement is only one example. Mission statements are relevant to families too!

We’ll be talking about three types of mission statements in this post.

  1. Personal Mission Statement
  2. Family Mission Statement
  3. Homeschool Mission Statement

Do you need all three? There will probably be a lot of overlap, so you don’t have to write three different mission statements. But they are all different too. The clearer you are on your goals, know what you want to achieve, and how to achieve them, the easier it is to use them as a decision-making framework.

We wrote our family mission statement when our oldest daughter was two years old. Before we began homeschooling, my husband and I wrote out a philosophy of education but didn’t write a mission statement for our homeschool until twelve years later. Even though we didn’t have a formalized homeschool mission statement, we knew what we wanted to achieve and our goal in homeschooling. 

In what order should I write our mission statements?

If I were to do it over, I would write our mission statements in a different order. As a recap, we wrote ours in this order: family, homeschool, business, personal. The more I learn about myself, the more I see how that influences all other aspects of my life. If I were doing it over, I would write our mission statements in this order: personal, family, homeschool.

How do I write a vision and mission statement?

Writing your mission statement may feel overwhelming. It can be difficult to know how to begin and what to do. Thankfully, you don’t need to create something brand new. Instead, you need to be a detective. What a relief! 

We don’t invent our mission; we detect it.

Viktor Frankl

So how do we go about detecting our mission? It boils down to four steps.

  1. Identify your dreams.
  2. Identify your core values.
  3. Identify what makes you unique.
  4. Visualize the result.

Let’s break each of these steps down.

1. Identify your dreams.

What would you reply if I asked you the following questions?

  • What lights you up?
  • What would you willingly do for hours?
  • What can people not stop you from doing?
  • How would you like to make a difference in the world?

Your vision statement should express your dreams and goals.

People with vision have a clearer direction of where they want to go. Without vision, people flounder, deadlocked by tradition, drifting and stumbling while the world soars forward.

Gary Collins

2. Identify your core values.

Your core values influence everything you do. Whether you realize it or not, your core values influence your actions. Once you determine your core values and begin to make decisions according to them, you will experience less tension and stress in your daily life.

Values are foundational beliefs that anchor our lives, the things that matter to us the most, the nonnegotiable characters that best describe who we are.

Gary Collins

3. Identify what makes you unique.

What you accomplish and how you accomplish it will be unique because God made you unique. I love how Viktor Frankl expressed this.

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.

Viktor Frankl

Just as no two snowflakes are exactly alike, no two persons are exactly alike. Everyone has unique life experiences and passions. The way they approach a problem is different than anyone else. Identifying how you are unique will help you determine how you will achieve your dream.

4. Visualize the result.

Michael Phelps, who won 28 medals in five Olympics, practiced a powerful technique. His coach, Bob Bowman, told him to play a mental movie of the perfect race before he went to sleep and when he woke up. Phelps imagined diving off the blocks and swimming flawlessly. He visualized the strokes, the pool, and the finish. With his eyes shut, he watched the entire competition down to the smallest detail. 

What will it look like when you fulfill your mission?

Vision and Mission Statement Templates

Vision Statement Templates

  • I envision (who) (doing what).
  • I envision (verb) (noun) (adjective).
  • I desire…
  • My dream is to…
  • My goal is to…
  • A short phrase that summarizes your vision

Mission Statement Templates

  • I will accomplish (my vision) by (motivator or verb).
  • I believe (core values).
  • I purpose to (core values).
  • I will (core values).

What to do with your mission statement

Now that you have a mission statement, what do you do with it? In episode 87 of the podcast, I share three ways you can use your mission statement. You’ll hear practical tips and advice as well as examples from our family.

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