One of the things I always heard about when I was in the Army was "Mission Statement". Every unit I served in and every unit my husband has served in had a mission statement that explained what the intent of their unit was. It encompassed many things that are way too detailed and technical to give examples of but what it did for me was help me to realize that I needed to do both a Personal Mission Statement and also have my family create a Family Mission Statement. What it has done for me is help me to keep the focus on what is important.
In our Family Mission Statement, we all sat down and talked about what it is we would like to do as a family, what was our purpose. How would we treat each other and how what could we do for others outside of our family? Words in our Family Mission Statement include Service, Respect, Trust, Honor, Fun, Love, Gospel....it's a reminder to us of who we want to be. When we talk about service we talk about service to each other and our goal as a family to serve our Military community. That is important to us. Every now and again we revisit our Family Mission Statement and talk about the things that we want to accomplish as a Family.
I also have a personal mission statement. It has the same concept but what it does for me is it helps me to say no. I am a natural yes girl. If someone asks me to do something, it's likely I will say yes and then I will be on the road of being overwhelmed or burnt out. A couple years ago I decided to list what was important to me, what I wanted to be a part of and I wrote it down. Things like take care of my Family, serve Military Families, Scouts and the Gospel. What it has done for me is helped me to say no, thank you without feeling guilt. For example, my years of serving with the PTA/PTO programs at my kids school is over. When I see the notes asking to join or for help, I can go back to my mission statement and say no. That being said, if I get a note specifically from one of my kid's teachers asking for assistance I can say yes because that is serving my Family, one on one and not 800 other kids. It's not that I don't think PTA/PTO isn't important, that is just no longer a priority in my personal life.
I was recently offered a job and was overwhelmed with compliments of how I would succeed in this position. It was very flattering and I considered it for a bit. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while this was a good job, it would be a good job for me. This position did not fit into my personal mission statement. I was grateful to be able to go back to mission statement before I found myself in a job that would probably make me unhappy.
Having these mission statements in our life has helped us to stay focused on the things that are important to us. It has helped me to know what is right for me and to be able to say no without guilt or to say yes and be happy with that choice.