Inspire Yourself to Live Minimally: Craft Your Vision, Mission, and Strategy

You might have noticed that some businesses display their Vision and Mission Statements in their offices or websites. By putting them on display, their employees are reminded of the direction the business is taking. They get to have a shared vision that brings them focus and reminds them where to put their time and energy. Anything else that aren’t aligned with the Vision and Mission are considered clutter or, at least, low priority.

Vision and Mission Statements aren’t just reserved for businesses. Crafting your own will also give yourself clarity on where you’d like to go and can help you decide where you’ll spend your resources. So, if you’re trying to find the direction on where you’re headed, grab a pen and paper or open your favorite word processor. It’s time to craft your own Vision and Mission Statements.

What is a Vision Statement and why do you need it?

Before we begin, let’s define what a vision is. Your vision sets a direction of where you want to be in the near future; let’s say, five years from now. Do you see yourself losing weight and looking better? Do you see yourself as a successful businessman/businesswoman? Do you see yourself spending more quality time with family and friends?

You can think of your vision as a sculpture of your future self. When you start out, all you’ll have is a marble block. That block represents you. But inside the block, you can visualize a figure. That figure is a statue of your future self. You get your hammer and chisel. You work hard to chip away the extra layers of the block. After some time, your vision is revealed by the statue of your future self.

What is a Mission Statement and why do you need it?

A mission is your reason of being. It answers the question, “Why do I exist?” In other words, what is your purpose? As human beings, we try to find a way to make an impact in this world.

If your vision is being the healthiest version of yourself, is it to influence others to do the same? If your vision is to be successful in business, what problem would you like your product or service to address? If you like to spend more quality time with your kids, is it because you’d like to ensure you’ll be providing them with proper guidance?

I’m just throwing examples from the top of my head and I hope you’ve gotten an idea of what Vision and Mission Statements are.

Now, the fun begins! It’s time to write our Vision and Mission Statements.

Write Your Vision Statement

The simplest way to do this is to free write. From the top of your head, write down anything about where you want to be or how you see yourself. What will make you happy? How do you see yourself in two years? Where do you want to go? You may give yourself ten minutes for this. You will probably end up with a lot of answers and that’s what you want to happen. We’ll funnel this down to a few items later.

For the next step, we’d like to bring in focus. You may have written down a lot of items but, if you’d look closely, most of the items can be put together into similar themes.

You may group together items that seem to fit under fitness: lose weight, have 6 pack abs, bench press 300 pounds, etc.

Some items might fit under having more money: start a business, monetize blog, higher salary, etc.

Some might fit under having more trips: spend a week at beach, see the Eiffel Tower, go sky diving, etc.

By the end of this step, you’ll probably end up with three to five themes. If you have more than five, try to pick those that are most important to you.

Third, try to come up with a short statement that encapsulates all the themes. This will be your Vision Statement, your desired future state. It should be brief and clear that it is easy to remember. It should challenge and inspire you to make that vision a reality.

I’m not sure if this is true, but I remember reading that Steve Job’s vision was “An Apple on every desk.” That’s a great example of a statement that’s brief, challenging, and inspiring. It is not needed that you come with something similar. What is important is you come up with a statement that will inspire YOU.

Write Your Mission Statement

Basically, you’ll just repeat the same process above. The only difference is on the questioning. Why do you exist? Who are you doing this for? How will you do it? Again, you may write anyone you can think of, including yourself. After that, you’ll be writing another statement to encapsulate everything. As an example, I can say that my mission is, “To inspire others to live a minimalist lifestyle so they can live a happier and more meaningful life.” Yes, I just thought of that as of this writing.

Anyway, by writing your Vision and Mission Statements, you somehow make the image in your head tangible. You get to set a direction to keep you focused and motivated. But before you chisel away, you need to know how to do it. You’ll need a strategy.

Planning Your Strategy with a Vision Tree

Having a Vision Tree can help you plan out a strategy by making a diagram of the steps you’ll take to achieve your vision and carry on your mission. You can think of this as a mind map.

On a blank piece of paper (or word processor), write your Vision Statement at the top of the page. This is the first level. “To be the healthiest version of myself” might be your vision.

Below the statement, write across the page the themes you wrote while crafting your Vision Statement. This is the second level. These might be “Eat healthy food” or “Burn more calories.”

The third level will be your action steps. These will be the tasks that you need to do, the habits you need to form, and the resources you need to gather in order to achieve your vision. For eating healthy, these might be: “Clear out pantry of unhealthy food” and “Choose healthy options in the grocery.” For burning calories, these might be: “Get gym membership,” “Park further from the office to walk,” and “Use stairs when possible.”

By the end of this step, you will already have tasks you need to do and habits you need to form.

Implementation

Now that you have your Vision, Mission, and Strategy, it’s time to implement them and make your vision a reality. You now know where you’ll spend your time, energy, and resources. You can also look at your surroundings, your belongings, and your relationships. Which ones can help you fulfill your vision? Which ones cannot?

Anything that aren’t aligned with your vision are just clutter or distractions. When you encounter them, remember your vision and bring back your focus. Soon, you’ll be achieving your vision.

Speak Your Mind