Embarking on the journey of defining your family mission statement holds an irreplaceable weight in crafting the narrative for your home. This is more than an exercise; it's a binding agent to link each unique member under a shared vision for the present and future. A family manifesto guides you through the most challenging times and ensures you’re a family with a purpose and faith you can rely on to carry you through.
This process can become the North Star for every action and decision, ensuring that each individual family member strides synchronize into a harmonious march towards a supportive and fulfilling future as a family.
What is a family manifesto?
A family manifesto is a written statement that outlines the values, beliefs, and goals of a family. It serves as a guiding document that helps family members stay connected and aligned with each other's interests and objectives. It can include anything from rules and guidelines to aspirations and dreams for the family.
It’s the longer version of the family mission statement that crystallizes our goals, values, and dreams into a tangible form. Ideally, it serves as a roadmap for the future, handling conflict, and the things that guide us.
The purpose of a family manifesto is to establish a shared vision, rules for navigating challenges, and understanding of what matters most to the family.
Why write a family mission statement:
A family mission statement is shorter than the family manifesto. It’s a simplified version that acts as a rallying cry or mantra for the family to follow.
It’s that statement each member can repeat to themselves during challenging times. It acts as a guiding compass when making tough decisions. And a stop-gap during disagreements to remind us that we are on the same side, with a shared end goal ultimately.
[RELATED] Writing Your Life’s Mission Statement
While a family mission statement may seem silly, I think it’s always important to remember just how easily families and relationships can break. Families with purpose tend to stay together, work through things, and experience greater resiliency in the face of adversity.
The family mission statement acts as our collective compass, harmonizing individual desires into a shared purpose.
The process gives us an opportunity to shape ourselves and family members into individuals of character, armed with a clear vision of who we are and the purpose served within our clan and beyond.
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Our family manifesto thus outshines the turbulence of the world, a beacon that guides us back to our haven, where everyone feels understood, appreciated, and essential to our family’s grand design.
A good family mission statement includes:
- Values, defined essence of who you are as individuals and a collective, why you’re doing what you're doing, and where you’re going.
- It lays a roadmap for navigating hard times, mess ups, and the inevitable disappointments we’ll feel in life and as a family.
- Goals for your family
What a family mission statement is not:
When working on this, do not just stitch together a series of feel-good phrases and generic values without meaning attached to them.
Anyone can say they value honesty and integrity – few can express what that looks like in the day-to-day.
That process, of taking a value from a 2D word on a paper and turning it into a verb backed by daily action, should guide your process in writing a family mission statement.
How to write a family mission statement
The crafting of this statement is more than an exercise; it's a binding agent to link each unique member under a shared vision.
The Pillars of a Strong Family Foundation:
- The essence: core values
- Your why: Purpose + Heart
- End game: Road map for a carefully crafted future
Step 1: Gather all family members
Start by gathering all the members of your family. It's important to involve everyone in this process, from the youngest to the oldest.
Each person's perspective is valuable and will contribute to the overall richness of your mission statement. Find a time when everyone can sit down together, free from distractions, and fully engage in this meaningful activity.
Step 2: Defining Your Family Goals and Values
Take a moment to reflect on your family's core values and goals. What are the principles that guide your everyday lives? What do you hope to achieve as a family? This step is all about introspection and personal exploration. Encourage everyone to think about what truly matters to them and what they want their family to stand for.
I like to give everyone a paper and pen, set a 5 minute timer, and encourage everyone to write down the family vision ideas. This can be WHATEVER comes to mind about family.
For littles, unable to write yet, break out the crayons and let them draw their family in the future! Have them explain the drawing and you’re sure to glean some wisdom from it that you can incorporate.
This isn’t about crafting a pristine list of what we “should” value or echoing hollow sentiments we’ve picked up along the way.
Instead we’re letting our minds empty out and our hands write automatically to dive deep into the essence of who we are and what we aspire to be. It's about unearthing those non-negotiables, the values that underpin our every interaction, decision, and dream.
It's time to identify what truly drives us, and in turn, this propels our family towards a sense of fulfillment.
I find in doing this practice, we come up with more than just ‘respect', ‘integrity', ‘compassion', and ‘grit' – but we find balance in “silliness,” “adventure,” and “fun.”
List of family values:
While each member should come up with their own list of family values, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Authenticity: Being true to oneself and others, embracing individuality.
- Compassion: Showing kindness, empathy, and understanding towards others.
- Cooperation: Working together as a team, sharing responsibilities.
- Creativity: Encouraging imagination, innovation, and self-expression.
- Equality: Treating everyone with fairness and respect, promoting inclusivity.
- Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges, offering second chances, and practicing understanding.
- Gratitude: Recognizing and appreciating the blessings in life, expressing thankfulness.
- Honesty: Speaking truthfully, honoring integrity, and building trust.
- Humility: Recognizing one's own strengths and weaknesses, showing respect.
- Independence: Encouraging self-reliance, fostering autonomy and confidence.
- Joy: Embracing positivity, finding happiness in daily life, and creating joyful moments.
- Justice: Advocating for fairness and equality, standing up for what is right.
- Kindness: Demonstrating acts of goodness and care towards others.
- Learning: Embracing lifelong learning, valuing education and personal growth.
- Love: Nurturing genuine affection and connection within the family.
- Open-mindedness: Embracing tolerance, accepting diverse perspectives and ideas.
- Patience: Practicing understanding and endurance during challenging times.
- Perseverance: Showing determination and resilience in the face of obstacles.
- Respect: Treating oneself, others, and the environment with consideration and reverence.
- Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and commitments.
- Safety: Providing a secure and nurturing environment for all family members.
- Self-care: Prioritizing physical and emotional well-being for oneself and others.
- Service: Contributing to the greater community, helping those in need.
- Trustworthiness: Demonstrating reliability, keeping promises, and being trustworthy.
- Unity: Celebrating and valuing the collective unity and bond of the family.
Step 3: Brainstorm and Share
Now it's time to share your thoughts and ideas as a family. It's a no-holds-barred affair, where every voice carries weight, and every suggestion is a glimpse into the hearts of those I call my own.
Go around the room and give each person an opportunity to express their values and goals.
Ground rules are simple: speak your truth, listen with openness, and honor the differences that make us each ourselves.
While some may paint a story with each of their values, others may just write the word.
Both are ok! As you share what was written, each proposed value is an opportunity for a discussion of what that looks like in reality. In doing so, you may learn that ‘kindness' extends beyond common courtesy; but in the unseen moments of how we advocate for our family even when they aren’t in the room.
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This is where the magic happens, as you discover the common ground that will form the foundation of your mission statement and who we aim to be.
Step 4: Craft the Statement
So you've got a mountain of ideas from that epic brainstorming sesh with the fam—voices heard, hearts poured out, scrap paper everywhere. But that's just raw material, right? Now, let's forge this into something real, something that screams ‘Us!'
Using the insights gathered from your brainstorming session, it's time to craft your family mission statement.
Start by writing a rough draft using the family vision statement examples from your brainstorming session.
Are the examples authentic to who we are as a family? Do they resonate with each of our experiences and dreams? Keep what resonates, and toss what doesn’t.
Keep it concise, authentic, and positive, using language that inspires and motivates. Emphasize action-oriented statements that reflect the behaviors you want to foster.
For example, if one of your family's core values is kindness, your mission statement could include a statement like, “We strive to treat others with kindness and compassion, spreading love and positivity wherever we go.” Tailor your statement to reflect your family's unique values and goals.
Step 5: Refine and Finalize
Once you have a rough draft of your mission statement, it's time to fine-tune and refine it.
Start by revisiting the phrases and values you all tossed into the mix. Read it aloud as a family.
Seek input from everyone and ensure that everyone feels a sense of ownership and connection to the statement. This isn't just about stringing together pretty words; it's about etching our very essence into a statement that stands the test of time. Celebrate your collective efforts and the beautiful mission statement you've created together.
Family mission statement template
I find the process is easier with our family mission statement template in hand. I like to use a family mission statement as the boiled down rally cry for our family. It’s a simple one to three sentence phrase that packs a powerful punch.
The general family mission statement template I like to follow is: Values defining who we are, our purpose driving us, our end goal and how we accomplish it.
For instance: We are the (last name) we value honesty, respect, and compassion that supports each of us being better than we were yesterday. When in doubt, we make the next right choice that allows us to feel good about ourselves without compromising ourselves.
Imagine it as a declaration, not only of our familial identity but also as a roadmap dictating the course we navigate through the countless crossroads of life.
I encourage you to use it as a framework, not a straitjacket. Tailor it. Own it. Inject it with your family's unique flavor.
And remember, we're drafting a living document here, not chiseling commandments into stone. It'll grow as we grow, so there's a sense of freedom in knowing revisions aren't just allowed; they're expected as time goes on.
When you’re done, you'll feel it—the unmistakable tug at your heartstrings, the surge of belonging. That's when you'll know we've transformed our shared vision into a rallying cry for our everyday lives.
Step 6: Display and Live By It
Imagine your family vision ideas, not as a mere formality, but as the vibrant heartbeat of the home. Consider creating a visual display, like a framed poster or a chalkboard, where your mission statement can be prominently featured. This constant reminder will help your family stay focused on your shared values and goals.
But remember, a mission statement is only as powerful as the actions taken to live by it.
Which is why I love keeping it on the fridge as a constant reminder and reaffirmation of who we are and what we’re doing together.
Encourage each family member to refer back to the mission statement regularly and make a conscious effort to align their actions with the values and goals it represents.
You can do this with regular check-ins at mealtime. Use family gatherings as an opportunity to recount stories of how the principles have guided each person, turning the family manifesto into a living, breathing script.
Remember, this isn’t a static reminder on your phone. It grows with every retelling, adapting to the chapters we add to our collective narrative. Our family goals and values are not just ideals; they're the compass by which we navigate the waters of life, ensuring we sail true to our purpose, not just in our home but as beacons in our community.
Step 7: Revisiting and Revising the Mission Statement
Our family's guiding manifesto isn't etched in stone; it breathes, shifts, and grows with us. Acknowledging that change is inevitable—and beautiful.
Sometimes, we may find ourselves straying from the path we set. It doesn't signal failure; rather, it's a nudge to gather around the table, review our written purpose, and ask, “Does this still hold true for who we are, who we've become?”
As our children inch closer to adulthood, or we welcome new members into our fold, our collective vision will morph. These changes merit reflection in the words that bind us.
Revisiting our family mission statement annually grounds us—a planned pause in our hectic jumble of life's to-dos. It's during this cherished convening that we recommit to our core values while allowing for individual growth.
Look at this as more than a mere amendment process. It’s a reaffirmation of our journey together; a time to celebrate accomplishments, learn from missteps, and align our collective compass.
Family vision statement examples:
Examples of a good mission statement for a family are unique to your family.
Our family mission statement example:
In this family we believe in respecting one another. We are a team. We lead with honesty and integrity. We approach things with an open mind. We observe, but never judge. We have fun and don’t take life too seriously as the only thing guaranteed is change. We honor the weird and trust the Universe/God is always conspiring in our favor. We take care of ourselves so we can care for others. We have gratitude for all the blessings in life. We respect and immerse ourselves in mother nature. We are curious and ask questions. We take responsibility for our actions and practice self acceptance over shame. We are always there for each other, seeking to understand one another, and lifting each other up. We love each other deeply and enjoy each others company.
One family shares:
To be a unified family – cultivating genuine relationships & living an active, debt-free lifestyle. To seek God's will for our marriage & family while balancing fellowship, health, education, & finances.
Another family mission statement example:
As a family, we will strive to be honest in our dealings with those around us. We will demonstrate integrity in all that we do. We will treat others as we would like to be treated. We will provide meaningful service to others. We will enjoy and appreciate the blessings of life. We will achieve this by putting the Lord first in our lives.
According to one Redditor:
“The French Family exists to bring glory and honor to God. We will speak the truth in love. We will strive to live selflessly for one another and others. We will seek to have a home filled with joy, laughter, and kindness. We will serve faithfully, work diligently, and pray fervently. We will sing, dance, laugh, and play. We will praise and encourage openly with word and deed. We will live with our eyes fixed upon Jesus Christ. We will seek to be humble, honest, and forgiving. We admit fault, own our wrongdoing, and seek forgiveness from God and those we wrong. We will rejoice in righteousness and pursue holiness and purity. We will be guided by the scriptures alone and live in obedience to the Lord. We will seek, as a family, to impact the world for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. We fell short yesterday, we are falling short today, and we will fall short tomorrow but by God’s grace, we are more like Christ today then yesterday and will be more like Christ tomorrow than today!”
The Impact Beyond Your Home: Why It Matters
I’m a firm believer that if we don’t tell the world who we are, the world is waiting to tell us. And given that most people walking around are dealing with a lot of unhealed pain, that’s not necessarily the voice of reason I care to listen to.
We are all the “bad guy” in someone’s story – and if we don’t have a sense of self or purpose driving us in life, it’s easy to believe we’re either the bad guy, the victim, or not good enough.
A family mission statement is more than a private compass at home, but a public manifesto, emboldening each member to carry forth values that can sturdy themselves and they can rely on when life feels crushing at times.
Beyond that, it shapes how we carry ourselves in daily life.
Which allows us to spread that energy out and shape a vibrant, ethical community.
In every interaction, decision, or contribution we make outside our household, we echo the principles of our family manifesto. Be it the respect we show to others, the way we handle adversity, or the kindness we extend, our actions are testament to the family goals and values we hold dear.
Strong families foster individuals who are not only self-assured and mindful, but also civically engaged and socially responsible, setting a precedent for generations to come.
Imagine the potency of a society where each family operates with a clear sense of purpose, mirroring their inner convictions in external endeavors.
We're talking about a society that thrives on cooperation, mutual respect, and a shared vision for the common good.
Families with purpose thus become the architects of a brighter future, building communities that resonate with their collective aspirations for harmony, progress, and the wellbeing of all. This isn't just a hopeful notion; it's a strategic framework for societal transformation, one family mission statement at a time.
Setting the Course for a Unified Future
The simple act of writing out a family manifesto – and then boiling it down into a family mission statement – is a powerful declaration of who we are and what we stand for in navigating life.
It's a commitment to uphold these values, to live by them, and to pass them on, not just through words, but through the actions of our daily lives. In this family, we aren't just dreaming of unity; we're actively scripting it into existence.
All it takes is a firm step forward, a commitment to live by the principles we've crafted together. Be the family with a purpose, with goals and values that resonate far and wide. This is our unified future, and through our family mission statement, our journey is clear, steadfast, and bright.
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