While the pandemic brought a lot of negativity into our lives, one positive thing that came out of being quarantined at home was being able to spend extended uninterrupted time with our families. Although it wasn’t always easy, many families have benefited from this togetherness by strengthening their relationships and improving their household culture.
As we celebrate the Christmas season, it’s the perfect time to build on this strength and develop a Family Mission Statement—a statement that further connects your family by outlining your shared values and creating a unified vision for you all to contribute to.
Here are five steps to guide you through creating your Family Mission Statement.
- Have an Open Conversation
Everyone in your family should be involved in developing your Family Mission Statement. Whether you are a family of two or ten, set aside a time for everyone to come together and have an open discussion about what family means to them.
This conversation will act as the foundation for building your Family Mission Statement. Guide your family through a series of questions that allows each person to share their opinions, values, and what they would like to see in the mission statement.
Some sample questions you can ask include:
- What are the most important things to us as a family?
- What is the main purpose of our family?
- How do we want people to remember our family?
- Reflect & Repeat
After guiding your family through an open conversation, it may be a good idea to let each member sit with the discussion. Have them spend some time reflecting on the points brought up and the answers they provided. After a couple of days, revisit the conversation together and see if anyone has anything to add. Allow everyone to offer any additional opinions and refine the answers to your questions as needed.
- Define your Shared Core Values
Once everyone is comfortable with the answers, go through and begin picking out the common themes that emerged during your family discussion. Maybe honesty was a leading value, or perhaps creativity, education, or generosity. After compiling your list, go through each value one-by-one, and decide if it truly resonates with your family. Aim for a maximum of 10 core values.
- Write your Family Mission Statement
Now that you have a complete and accurate list of your family’s core values, you can begin to write your mission statement. Consolidating your family’s values into a short paragraph is easier said than done and it may take a few drafts before you like what you see. Make sure to seek input from the entire family throughout the writing process to ensure that everyone is happy and comfortable with the end result.
How your mission statement appears on paper is completely up to you, it can be a few sentences, a poem, or even an excel document. Whatever you end up with, ensure your mission statement is presented in a way that is memorable, accessible, and inspiring to your family.
- Refine & Evolve
As time goes on, your family will change. Your children will grow older, new members may join, and your circumstances will likely shift. As your family evolves, so should your Family Mission Statement.
Get in the practice of revisiting your mission statement every year or so—the holiday season provides a great opportunity to do this—and evaluate if it is still accurate. Make any changes or adjustments as necessary. The hope is that your Family Mission Statement will help guide and connect your family throughout all life experiences, so it’s important that it’s current.
The most important thing to remember when building your Family Mission Statement is that the process is more important than the outcome. Include everyone, encourage deep and meaningful conversation, and take the time to truly listen to the thoughts and opinions of your family members.
At Triada Advisors, we understand the importance of values, and just as your Family Mission Statement will be based on yours, our business is built on ours. Learn more about how we create tailored wealth management plans for individuals, families, and business owners alike, by aligning clients’ personal values with their financial goals.