Thursday, February 17, 2011

Family Mission Statement

Image courtesy Volume Twenty Five

Matt and I finished writing our Family Mission Statement together. We need to figure out where to put it, so we revisit it quite frequently. If we don't return to it often, it's likely to become a "dead document."

Hmm...maybe I could use this DIY Ketubah kit from the lovely Tsilli to make a really pretty document that we frame?

Or perhaps I could hire someone on Etsy to design a cool poster for us?

Or maybe I could buy a print that Matt and I already agree is cool and somehow incorporate the text into it (like the print featured above)?

I know! I could get this frame from IKEA and use one of the spots for the print above, one for our mission statement, and one for a picture of our family. I'm liking this idea! Maybe I'll give it to Matt as a Father's Day present?

Anyway, here's what we came up with for our Family Mission Statement. I still think we need to go back and flesh out what each of the general principles means in practice, but we'll see:

We are a family that...

  • Prioritizes health and wellness.
  • Resolves problems, issues, and conflict respectfully and in a constructive rather than destructive way.
  • Does professional work that is meaningful, enjoyable, fulfilling, and good for the world.
  • Maintains a daily pace of life that allows us time to laugh together, express our love and appreciation for each other, and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Shares responsibilities equitably but covers for each other when needed.
  • Cultivates community and connection among friends, family, and neighbors and continuously seeks to expand our circle.
  • Aligns our lifestyle choices and actions with our concern for the environment.
  • Keeps our living spaces organized, calming, welcoming, relaxing, de-cluttered, and beautiful.
  • Continually explores the world through travel.
  • Maintains traditions and rituals around daily and weekly routines (like eating home-cooked meals together and prioritizing conversation and connection while eating), celebrations, and sicknesses.
  • Builds up trust through our daily interactions with each other.
  • Patiently supports and celebrates each other as we pursue our individual interests and passions.

I guess I should read the chapter in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families about writing a family mission statement before I finalize ours into some kind of frame! (Then again, it should be a living, growing document anyway, so I should frame it in a way that is amenable to revision...)

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Anonymous said...

why not hang a blackboard with the statement?

V. Wetlaufer said...

This is such an amazing idea. And the fact that you share this kind of thing with your readers is one of the many reasons I love your blog. The idea of a Mission Statement for a family (and I'm totally gonna make one for just myself!) is the kind of thing that really resonates with my own values, but which I would've never thought to do myself. I guess my family growing up would've just cited vague "Christian values" as our mission statement, but having something specific like this is a wonderful idea.

Coconut is so very lucky to have you and Matt as his parents!

WilderMiss said...

Sara, I think this is such a lovely idea! In the past I think I wouldn't have "gotten it" but in my professional life I've had the experience of working for a company that has very well defined values and I've seen how incredibly powerful it is when a group of people align themselves based on these values.

One thing I would mention, just based on what I've seen work in businesses, it seems to work well to limit the amount of statements/values. An idea that I often try to remind myself: when everything is important, nothing is important (I STRUGGLE with this!). I just thought that piece of advice might be useful for any comment readers who are thinking of doing this exercise.

I actually think this would be a really excellent exercise for engaged couples to complete before marriage. I used to find it hard to understand what my values were, but I've started to uncover them with more life experience and exposure to others and I think that making them absolutely clear with my partner would be a great step before we get engaged.

Plus, very cute ideas for display! Personal artwork is the best.

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