What is the role of a mission statement? It is common to hear about a business or organization taking time to write up a mission statement. Sometimes it is because the organization has lost its way and needs to find its way back, in order to stay viable and relevant. Or it’s the first step in a start-up, to avoid getting lost in the first place!
Here are some examples, can you identify the company?
“To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
“To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire the moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.”
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
“To be our customer’s favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
For an individual, a mission statement is a clear statement of purpose that describes: who a person is and would like to be; what matters to them right now; and where they would like to go. Having a strong, meaningful mission statement helps clients make decisions and stay on track. It brings clarity to confusion. If you are clear with your purpose, your “why,” it becomes a source of intrinsic motivation. You are not forcing yourself to following a set of rules, you are aligning yourself with a deep set value with which you personally identify. Notice how many people talk about how motivation for fitness or eating healthy is a struggle? What if every time you did not act in a way that supported your health goals you understood it as a violation of your core values, how you identify yourself? Would that help you to stay committed?
Actually, take a moment right now and think of the words that you would use to identify yourself. Do words like strong, committed, passionate, energetic, or beautiful come to mind? Or are words like tired, heavy, lacking willpower, or unattractive the ones you think of? We are probably more willing to describe others with the former words and feel a little silly describing ourselves with them. And we would likely never tell someone they are the latter words yet so often think them of ourselves. In the same way a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, we need to not be our own worst enemy. This might start with changing the way you see yourself.
The mission statements above are how those companies see and identify themselves. Could you guess them? Here are the companies, in the same order. Facebook, Google, Coca-Cola (I know, I know, I thought it was supposed to be the ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ song too!), Nike, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. Now a couple of those statements made me raise my eyebrows a little, considering the company, but I can’t argue the impact made in their respective industries while being led by their mission. Here is my own personal fitness mission statement:
“Fitness founded on strength and graceful movement, nourished and energized by good fuel, expressed daily and shared with others to achieve freedom, play and vitality!”
A lot of thought and revisions went into that one little sentence. It might change sometime in the future but for right now I believe it best captures how I want to see myself. I carefully chose words and phrasing that resonated a sense of liberation within myself. Too often I encounter what I perceive as limitations, restrictions and “imprisonment” mindsets in others. I have only one body to navigate my way through this existence, I want to see it as having more possibilities, not limits.
Do you have a fitness mission statement? Could writing one help you to stay focused on what is important to you and staying motivated? Intrinsic motivation is crucial for living a fit and healthy life. It keeps us focused, committed, and enjoying the process itself.
Intrinsic motivation is a “pull” towards something we value and want , rather than a “push” away from something we don’t want. Don’t feel like you have to get it right on the first draft. Do some brainstorming and recognize that your fitness can connect to the world outside the gym. Fitness should free you to more than just more push-ups.
We review goals with our members and since defining what is important to you and acting in alignment with that is what a mission statement is all about, writing one may help you decide upon some goals! Make sure to set up a time with a coach to do your goal setting!
If you are not a member, we offer a FREE No-Sweat Intro! A chance to sit down with a coach and talk about what your goals are, what success might look like to you, and what some options are to get there. We would love to meet you! You can contact us to set up your No-Sweat Intro here.
Yours in strength,
Aaron