Fortune 500 companies have mission statements. Non-profit corporations have mission statements. Why not your family? Create a mission statement for your family, which helps define specific values and goals, guides group decisions and encourages belonging. Whether a family of two or ten, creating a mission statement gives everyone input and helps keep the family on track.
Gather all the family members that live in the same house. Include small children, children who only visit on the weekends and grandparents who might live in the home.
Explain that together you will be creating a family mission statement. Describe the benefits of having a mission statement and how it keeps the family moving in the same direction. Describe it as a road map, rather than a list of rules or requirements.
Define your specific family by asking everyone to suggest adjectives that fit your family. Suggestions could include funny, smart, caring, active or quirky. Make sure everyone throws out an adjective or two. Write these on a white board for everyone to see.
Brainstorm ideas to be included in the mission statement. Allow everyone to contribute and do not censor any ideas. Start off the discussion with some examples and questions. What would a stranger think when they saw your family interact? What inside jokes or stories does your family have? What goals do you have as a family? What traits are admired and what is unacceptable?
Put several of these ideas in sentence form. Write as many sentences that are necessary. An example might be "The Smith family accepts everyone as they are but encourages change and growth for the better. We speak to one another in respect and show consideration at all times. We value privacy and trust. We agree that there are consequences to all of our actions and we agree to take responsibility for our own actions. Together we can impact each other and our community for the better."
Edit your statement until everyone is agreement with both the words and the sentiment. Hone the words down to the bare minimum to express your statement.
Craft a family motto. This should be one sentence that encapsulates your family's mission statement. It should be easy to remember and touch on at least a few of the points in your mission statement. It could be "Do unto others as you have them do unto you" or "Return with honor." It also could be funny or in code, as long as your family knows what it means and represents.
Print out your motto and family mission statement. Have everyone sign and date it. Post it somewhere so it can be seen and referenced. As good or bad decisions are made, tie it back to the family mission statement.
Revise your mission statement as time passes. Perhaps every New Year or anniversary date, you might need to edit the statement to grow with your family.