As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been working my way through The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey for about the sixth time in six years. At this point I feel like I should practically be an affiliate for the book since I mention it so often. But seriously, this has become the foundation for so much of my intentional life that I cannot help but bring it up and relate to the content.
Interestingly, though I have read through the book completely a few times, for several years I have been only focusing on the first three habits. I just read them over and over and over. They are about the personal victory that comes with becoming a proactive person, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first.
Like Covey, I do believe that if I am able to really internalize these three habits, the fruits would be amazing. And I have made a ton of progress, but I also still have room to grow.
During the early chapters, Covey emphasizes how important it is to make a mission statement for your life to help guide your time, decisions, and priorities. And when I was in college reading the material, I did make a mission statement and used it pretty regularly (I kept it inside my vanity cabinet door so I could see it each morning and night).
But in recent years I haven’t taken the time to make a mission statement. After this summer, when I made over one hundred intentions and got very perfectionistic and critical of my life, I have been gun shy when it comes to setting any major or minor intentions.
However, I have recently made a lot of headway in working towards being optimal rather than perfectionistic, while re-reading another favorite text, The Pursuit of Perfect. And I think I now have the mindset that can handle intentions without making them mandates or scary laws with internal corporal punishment.
So yesterday I sat down and drafted my life intention statement. I expected it to take several hours and tons of soul searching.
But it only took 20 minutes.
You see, to get inspired for my statement I figured that FranklinCovey.com (Covey’s company) would have examples on their website. But they were much more “effective” than that, they actually have a free Mission Statement Builder that asks you 12 thought-provoking questions which can become fodder for your actual statement.
I answered the questions and was given the following personalized content to work with. I saved a screen shot of my answers to the questions and how I turned those answers into overarching intentions for my life.
Once this exercise was done, I had pretty succinctly summed up all that is truly important to me and guides me in my life.
My Personal Intention Statement
To take bright and bold steps in my life.
To live life expecting God to provide the things I need.
To stay connected and present with Scott and continue to be energetic and present with one another.
To live optimally – doing the best I can in each situation, given reality.
To use the principles of honesty, patience, encouragement, kindness, potential, integrity, excellence, and growth in my actions.
To keep God and principles first place in my life, to look there for answers, guidance, peace, and completion.
To create a life that is conducive to a loving, safe, happy, and fun home.
To be actively engaged in many projects that relate to my interests and contribution to others, financially and with my unique talents.
To be loyal, consistent, striving to be better, and reliable. To continue to strive to build the best relationship that I can.
To look at what I really want out of life and design my life and career around those things.
To share my life and business lessons with others so they may learn, relate, and know what is possible in their own lives.
Do my best and leave the rest to God. Be still and in the present moment when things get tough. Pray.
To remember Ben Franklin. I too am capable of much in my life.
Start right here and just keep going.
I plan to continue to modify, edit, and evolve this statement as I grow in life, but for now I will use these intentions to help guide my life and actions. I know I’ll never be perfect 100% of the time, but I still can return back to the intentions and begin again each day.