Teens come alive when they understand the “why,” behind a plan – especially when they see how that plan fits into the big picture. Even better? Their self-motivation goes through the roof when they have a “why,” a purpose, they’ve defined for themselves!
So how can your teen can define their purpose? It’s simple! With a personal mission statement. It combines their values, goals, and unique traits into one powerful sentence. It can guide their decisions and help them stay focused on long-term goals.
For example, my client Emma’s personal mission statement is: “I will release a song on Spotify this year so that I can spread the message of acceptance for all. I will use my artistic talent and my genuine care for what is happening in the world to make it happen. ” Pretty cool, isn’t it?
She set her ambitious goal with this exact exercise below. (I use it daily at Life Success for Teens.)
Step 1: Soul-Search for Your Purpose
Divide a piece of paper into four sections and list 3-5 things in each area, as described below:
- My Life: List 3-5 things that you want most to happen in your life.
- The World: List 3-5 things that you want to see happen in the world.
- My Special and Unique Qualities: List 3-5 things about you that are special or unique.
- My Goals: List 3-5 achievements you can accomplish now or plan for.
Answering these questions takes some deep thinking. Remind your teen it’s okay to take their time and to write their ideas without self-criticism. Ideas pop up for a reason! Follow the thread to find your magic.
Step 2: Prioritize
Time to choose which item in each section is the most important or meaningful.
Yes, that can be difficult. If the most important item is not obvious, ask your teen to try ranking their list to see what rises to the top.
And, if they need to talk it through, be an active listener. (Think: “more questions” and “less answers.”) This is their journey – let them lead the way.
Step 3: This Mad Libs Personal Statement Crystallizes Your Purpose
Using each of the “most important” items, complete the statements below:
I will _________________________ (insert the most important Goal),
using my ______________________ (insert the most meaningful Special Quality)
to accomplish __________________ (insert the most important item from The World),
and in doing so, also achieve __________________(insert the top item from My Life)
When you first read your personal mission statement, it may not make a whole lot of sense. Keep tweaking the words and the order until your statement flows. You will know when it feels authentic for you.
Step 4: Hang It Where You Can See It!
Your teen should hang their personal mission statement where they’ll see it often. Schedule a monthly reminder to move it around, so they don’t become blind to it.
They can also add it to their vision board.
I’ve designed a 4-section journaling page and two customizable mission statements for you.
If you need more support helping your teen, reach out for a free 30-minute strategy call. I’m here to help!
May you and your teen truly live the life of your dreams,
Founder, Life Success for Teens