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Mission Statements

The mission statement is a short statement designed to inspire and focus one’s energy. 

For example, a mission statement might be, ” I am on a mission to redesign education, and that mission has guided so much of the work that I’ve done as a life coach for teens and with getting coaching into school environments over the past decade.”In this session, the aim is to create a similar pithy, useful statement for teens to use.

Originally when I designed the Academic Life Coaching program, I placed the mission statement before the leadership project. At a certain point, it became clear that the mission statements would be these grand statements for a project that would prove to be impossible to complete with integrity. It’s much simpler, although counterintuitive, to look at designing the leadership project first, and then work backward to figure out a mission statement that will fit into the project’s overall meaning. Maybe at some point in the future, the coaching program will once again switch the order, but for now, this method seems to function best.

The best mission statements are those that are to the point and help to clarify what action needs to be taken. For example, the mission statement that I used most for packaging the program was, “to redesign education.” Since those beginning years, the mission statement has changed slightly. It became“to augment education.” Lately, the philosophy of the program has been to augment education with a one-on-one coaching component. These mission statements are fine and useful in helping focus on the creative energy and projects that fall under the Academic Life Coaching company.

For students, oftentimes their mission statements involve raising an awareness of hunger in their community; raising over $3000 for hurricane disaster relief; reaching out to other teams interested in curing diseases; creating a program that promotes public speaking among high school students.

Mission statements are extremely useful because they provide a touchstone that generates easy decision-making. One can simply ask,  “Does this serve the mission or not?”

How to Best Support Your Child

Mission statements are fun to share. I’m confident that your child will be happy to share their mission with you and to tell you the important benefit of that project. This is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of serving the community and having a mission to spark a focus and motivation toward a goal. You can create a short-term mission statement as well, and stay in constant reminder of that mission.

Expect mission statements to evolve and change. Once you’ve accomplished the current mission it’s great to think up another and keep the process going in order to get more practice.

From the Academic Life Coaching Workbook

Mission statements are short, personal statements of purpose that inspire, clarify, and focus your emotion, thought, and action. Mission statements are fluid. They grow and change just as you do. They are only as useful as they are used, and the more you use your mission statement and remind yourself of it, the more useful it becomes.

Usually, mission statements are short, focus on how you can benefit others, and identify some change you wish to create in your life or in the world.

Below is an exercise on mission statements.


Mission statement:

Situations you’ve used your statement:


Mission statement:

Situations you’ve used your statement:


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