You plan meals for your family, build a resume to get a job, and make shopping lists to go to the store. Do the same for yourself and take the time to make a big picture plan for your life, a mission statement.To develop a mission statement, get on a computer and visit the FranklinCovey “Mission Statement Builder” at www.franklincovey.com/msb. If you don’t have access to a computer, go to your local library and pick up any number of books on creating a personal mission statement.
Once you’ve created your personal mission statement, pull out the three to five most important things in it. These are your personal key messages. In the PR world, key messages are the three to five most important things that we want our clients’ target publics to know about them. We ask that our clients repeat these messages often and in a variety of ways, and that all of their ambassadors, from their employees to their board members, know and speak them as well. As everyday people, we need key messages, too in order for those we interact with to really understand and know us.We’re not suggesting that you set up a podium in the park to tell people all about yourself. We are suggesting that you give some thought about who you are and what you’re about, and let that lead your words and actions. Once you do that, you will be surprised how often your mission will come into play.
Write down your key messages in the present tense and be specific. In other words, instead of saying, “Sports are fun,” say, “I’m athletic. I love to run, hike, and lift weights.” Think in terms of the senses (what you see, physically feel, emotionally feel, hear, smell, taste, etc.). For example, if you’re referring to your best self, you can say, “I’m healthy, lean and well-toned. I dress in clean, neat clothes even if I’m just running to the post office. I’m always smiling and when I speak, my voice is strong and confident.” Do you see how that’s so much more meaningful than, “I look great”?
Once you’ve written down your mission statement and key messages, refer to them often. You will go back and revise them many times. That’s okay. Keep honing them until they feel right to you. Let them evolve as you grow and they will integrate with your being.