Monday, 23 January 2012

Our Family Mission Statement - Take Two

I've gotten rid of The 52 Week Challenge in the title of my posts, just to avoid becoming to repetitive, but I'm still at it!  And yes, I managed to complete week 3's Mission Statement Challenge!

Oh boy, this one left me scratching my head.  I read it, and then I stared at the screen, and stared, and stared, and stared, hoping something would pop out at me but it didn't.  I felt completely overwhelmed.  So then I scrolled down to the links at the bottom and found a way to cheat myself through it - a website where you just plug in your answers and it gives you your mission statement.  Brilliant.  Clicked on that, logged in, got to the first two questions and stared at the screen....and stared, and stared some more.  Hmpf.  Ok, well I needed help obviously, and given that this was supposed to be a challenge that we should discuss with our partners and/or family, I decided to wait until Tyler got home and make him do it with me.

When he got home I asked if, after the kids were in bed, would he mind sitting down with me and talking about this mission statement challenge I was doing.  Sure, no problem.  Then he started spitting something out randomly, very mission statement like.  It started with something to do with sustainable growth...yadda yadda.  And that's when I remembered, duh!  My wonderful husband has owned his own business as well as working for several others and was very familiar with what a mission statement should sound like, something that I was really struggling with.  So right away I felt relief already, knowing that we could do this together.

Seeing as how we both have backgrounds in horticulture and landscaping, the word 'sustainable' really resonated with me, and I knew right then and there I wanted to somehow incorporate it.

Much to my surprise and delight, Tyler actually thought about our family mission statement while he was cleaning up from dinner.  As I was giving the boys a bath, I heard him yell up the stairs "Hey, I know what our family motto can be!"  Ok, I have the world's worse memory and I can't remember what he said, but his first stab at it was a complete joke.  Really, he was joking.  But he was still thinking about it, and next thing I knew he came back up with something written down:  "Live life to the fullest through good health, happiness, balance, and love".  Hmmmm, he was totally on the right track.  And it included balance and health, two of my core values from the previous challenge which I had not discussed with him, so it's not like he already knew they were important to me.  Good, this meant we were on the same page.  But I wanted to include more, so much more.

As he walked back downstairs I knew right then - I was going to throw the rule book out the window so to speak.  All this time I was going about creating a mission statement wrong.  I was focusing on a generic thought process to work through it, and not thinking outside the box.  So I decided, that was it.  No guidelines, or templates, or examples, or fancy websites that asked questions and created the statement for you.  It had to come from the our hearts, and it didn't need to be a certain way, it could be whatever we wanted it to be.

All while I was getting the kids ready for bed, and while I was hanging the laundry, my head was spinning.  I needed to write things down.

I got it!

Working towards a sustainable future for our family through:
FACING challenges
BUILDING relationships
EMBRACING differences
all while striving to
FIND balance
GROW in love

And further what I was thinking was the impact of what I wanted to say wasn't just in the words, but on the emphasis and placement of certain words.  So that brought about another idea for how to solidify and display our mission statement.  It's probably hard to explain the image in my head, but I would like to create a tree, with the first line at the top and all the components of our family motto as the branches.  I can see it crystal clear in my mind, I hope we can create the image I am going for.  My husband is an artist of sorts, I know he can design our tree of personal growth and make it beautiful.

So there, feeling quite proud of myself at completing another challenge, especially since I found this one the most difficult one so far and wasn't sure if I had it in me to follow through.  And man, I'm so happy that I did!  This challenge really got me thinking, and it's made me really excited about our future now that it seems to have more direction.


  1. I adore it - your process, Tyler's involvement and what you created - when you have the tree designed will you please share it with me/us?

    Deb @ home life simplified

  2. LOVE this!!! What an awesome family motto!

  3. Thanks!! We are slow to get things done around here, but absolutely I'll share it if/when we get around to doing it! Soon I hope, I'd like to do it before the idea goes cold. :)

  4. Love it Martina! You are so creative, and I love how this came out. xx

  5. I really enjoyed reading your post. A fantastic way to approach this difficult challenge. Yes I struggled with it too but have found mountains of inspiration from the many posts on SYL's page.
    Shine in on 2012 :)