INSIDE: Understand what a family mission statement is and how it can help to identify your family’s core values and strengthen your family bonds. This post includes a step-by-step guide to creating your own mission statement as well as examples and a set of FREE printable templates for you to choose from.
Have you ever wished that your family were all singing from the same song sheet? Do you ever feel that you’re pulling in different directions, with conflicting priorities? If that’s the case, then you may find that creating a family mission statement can help.
Even if your family are not in conflict, you’d be surprised how taking the time to discuss and agree on your collective family values and the principles by which you want to live can unite your family, reduce friction and keep you all on track.
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table of contents
- What is a Family Mission Statement?
- Why is a Family Mission Statement Important?
- How to Create a Family Mission Statement
- Examples of Family Mission Statements
- Some Final Thoughts
What is a family mission statement?
A family mission statement sets out your family’s core values and helps you decide what really matters to you.
It allows you to work out what’s important to each of your family members individually and what you collectively stand for as a group. It’s a way for your family to make a solid declaration about what you believe and the values by which you want to live your lives.
Why is a family mission statement important?
We live in a turbulent world, where so much around us is unpredictable and complex. With so many external influences on our families, it’s crucial to ensure that there is a clear and stable structure underpinning our home life, and a family mission statement can help to achieve this.
Most organisations have some form of mission statement, yet few families ever create a family mission statement.
But families are arguably the most important and influential organisations that exist as they form the foundations upon which our societies are built. In fact, no other organisation has more potential impact on its members and therefore wider society, than the family.
A family mission statement can enable your family to recognise its purpose and reason for being. It’s an empowering tool that can help you decide on your collective core values and set out a roadmap for your family. When you have a shared vision such as this, you know where you want to go, making it far easier to steer your family in that direction.
A family mission statement can help to form your family’s sense of identity. By working together, each of you will strengthen your feeling of belonging to your tribe and a recognition of the values that bind you together.
A clear family mission statement reflects what’s important to every member of the family, thereby ensuring that you all feel valued and understood. This sense of unity and mutual respect can help you be more patient with each other, and more willing to come together to solve problems proactively.
In deciding what’s important to you as a family, you can easily identify any habits or practices you might have which may be unhelpful or even damaging to your family unit. By weeding these out and striving towards collective new goals, you can work together to build a stronger and happier family unit.
Related Post >>>> How to Have a Happy Family: 45 Top Secrets to Success
How to create a family mission statement
Ok, so now that you understand what a family mission statement is and how it could be of benefit, you may be wondering how to go about creating one. Well don’t worry because the next 10 simple steps will take you through the process a stage at a time:
1: Arrange a time when you can sit down with your family.
In order to create an effective family mission statement, it’s essential to get the whole family on board, so that nobody’s views are overlooked or omitted.
So, organise a time when you can all get together to start the ball rolling. The trick is to avoid the process becoming a chore or a battle ground. That’s simply counterproductive.
Why not order a pizza and the kids’ favourite ice cream to get everyone in the right frame of mind! Then gather the troops around the table and move onto the next step.
2: Explain what you want to achieve
You may have been thinking about creating a family mission statement for a while but remember that this may be the first time that the rest of your family have come across the concept.
So, it’s essential to explain what it is, why you think it’s important for your family to have one and how you intend to go about creating one. It’s only when your family fully buy into the idea, that they will then proactively engage with the process.
3: Time to brainstorm
Now it’s time to work out what your family identity is and what really matters to you.
Remember, you want this to be an enriching experience that makes you realise how much you all mean to each other, and which brings you closer together. So, keep the atmosphere light and try and have some fun with it!
Try starting the process off in a light-hearted way. So, if your surname is Jones, you could get a big piece of paper and at the top write: ‘How to be a Jones?”
Now get your family to brainstorm some answers to this question. Think about what makes you unique and different to all the other families you know.
Maybe you all have a common interest like amateur dramatics, in which case you could write, “To be a Jones, you must love the theatre”.
Or perhaps you all love sticky toffee pudding and could begin with, ‘To be a Jones, sticky toffee pudding must be your favourite pudding!’
These funny little family quirks can help to make your mission statement feel like it’s been written for your family alone. They make it unique and special so that only members of your family will relate to it.
But only add these if they feel right for the personality and dynamics of your family. You will know what feels right for you.
4: Go a little deeper
Now it’s time to go a little deeper. Ask your family to brainstorm what characteristics and values they believe to be most important in your family. If you get a bit stuck, you could use this list of values as prompts. What do they particularly love about being part of this family? Try to work out what matters most to each one of you.
You may notice some reoccurring themes here. But you might also encounter some contrasting opinions. Remember that the most successful family mission statements are carefully constructed to reflect the diverse views of the whole family. By doing this, everyone is more likely to buy into the idea.
You could even draw some inspiration from some other families you know. Talk about the ones you admire and why. What are they doing right that you would like to emanate in your own family?
Here are some questions you could ask yourselves:
- How do we want to be treated by our family?
- What matters the most to us?
- How do we want to feel when we’re at home?
- What kind of relationships do we have with each other?
- List the responsibilities we should have towards each other?
- What makes us feel comfortable when we are at home?
- What qualities and characteristics do we feel it’s important to have?
- How do we want other people to see us?
- What family traditions matter to us and why?
- What principles and values matter to us the most?
- How should we resolve conflict in our family?
5: Keep a record
It’s important to write down all contributions, taking care not to disregard anybody’s suggestions. Record them in a way that feels right for you – maybe you want to type them out or scribble them down. Just be sure to get it all down.
6: Reflect and evaluate:
Now it’s time to go back over your list together and try to prioritise. Think about what really matters the most to each of you.
What are the values that you as a family cherish above all others? Do you have a faith or is hard work or time together top of your list?
Look for common themes in the answers you collated. This will help you decide what your family’s priorities are.
Decide together how you would like to order the values and principles you have chosen on your family mission statement. If family members have contrasting views on this, then try to compromise and find ways to respectfully reflect everyone’s views.
7: Create phrases that accurately reflect your values:
You’re almost there! Now you need to come up with some phrases that accurately reflect your values, and which you will include in your final family mission statement.
Here are some examples of family mission statements to help you:
In Our Family We Will:
- Be present and there for each other
- Practise mindfulness and peace
- Choose joy and laughter
- Show gratitude daily
- Embrace change
- Be curious and seek adventure
- Live simply and with purpose
- Be kind and love deeply
The Jones Family will:
- Put family first
- Be honest and have integrity
- Show respect to others and be kind
- Be proud of who we are
- Be wise and make good choices
- Show gratitude for all we have
- Have fun and laugh a lot
- Love generously and have an open heart
Our Family Mission Statement:
- Love each other and be kind
- Be honest and full of integrity
- Respect others and yourself
- Never give up
- Be smart and resourceful
- Have fun and laugh often
- Listen more than you speak
- Be bold and courageous
- Be grateful
8: How to write a family mission statement (with Free printable templates)
Now you need to create your completed family mission statement in a format that best suits your family’s personality.
Family mission statements can take a variety of forms. It could be formal or informal, printed or handwritten. Some families get their mission statements professionally printed and framed so they can hang them on the wall.
Others may choose to turn them into a song, a poem or to display them as part of a piece of artwork. Its format doesn’t really matter. However, its contents and the sentiment behind it do.
The best form of mission statement is the one which resonates most with your family so use a style that best suits you.
If you’d like a template on which to record your family’s mission statement, then I have created a few for you to choose from. Simply download the FREE printable below, choose the template you prefer and print that page.
You can then fill it in with your own family mission statement and display it somewhere prominent where your family will see it regularly so they will be reminded of your agreed values.
9: Test it out
There’s no point in having a family mission statement if it just sits in a drawer and gets forgotten. So be sure to put it somewhere accessible.
If you don’t fancy having a physical version on the wall or stuck to your fridge, then come up with creative ways with your family to make sure everyone catches a regular glimpse of it.
Maybe you could stick it to the inside of your journal, have a mini version in your purse or stuck to the inside of the kitchen cupboard door. Or maybe you could use it as a screensaver or turn it into a bookmark. Encourage each of your family members to find a way that works for them.
Now make a point of using your mission statement in your day-to-day life. So, when challenging situations arise or decisions have to be made, encourage the family to refer back to the family mission statement to guide them.
- If your teens would rather hang out with their friends than join the family for Sunday lunch, encourage them to think about how this fits with your family mission statement. If it states that family should always come first, they may want to reflect on this?
- When you’re wondering what to spend your money on, does your family mission statement remind you to be charitable?
- When your kids are screaming at each other, ask them to take a moment to reflect on the values they chose and agreed were important to include in your family mission statement. I bet being kind and tolerant will be in there somewhere!
10: Adapt and refine if needed
See your family mission statement as a living document. In the same way that your family will change over time, it may be necessary for your mission statement to do the same.
Think about reviewing your mission statement every so often to make sure you all still resonate with it. Maybe you could do this each New Year and if it doesn’t quite fit with your family anymore, then tweak it as necessary.
Some final thoughts
It’s important to remember that no family is perfect! Just because you have a family mission statement doesn’t mean that you are going to live by it 100% of the time. In fact, Stephen Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” describes how “good families – even great families – are off track 90 per cent of the time!”
A family mission statement is designed to give you a sense of purpose so that you have a grasp of the destination your family is aiming for and the principles by which you want to live along the way. If you veer off course from time to time, that’s ok. Just regroup, remind yourselves of your core values and get back on track.
Have you written a family mission statement? If so I’d love to hear about how this has impacted on your family. Please share your experiences or suggestions for how to improve the process of creating a family mission statement in the comments below.
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Thanks for reading,
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