|By Sandro Botticelli
A mission statement is a short, snappy way to keep your objective in focus as you work your way to success. Draw one up when you start your next big project. It will really help to keep you focussed. Make it personal - tailor it specifically to what you want to do. Then keep it visible. Take some copies, and keep one on display in your office, beside your bed, as wallpaper on your screen - anywhere you'll see it often.
Think up some daily incentives to encourage you - I use “half an hour watching my bees” “eat a peach” or “read for an hour”. Choose bigger treats for when you’ve had a successful week: “soaking in the bath for an hour” “relaxing in the garden” or my own favourite, “a trip to the stationery store”. When you’ve finally completed your project, you can choose a really big treat as the ultimate prize to enhance your brilliant glow of total satisfaction. I take my OH out to dinner, although that's not much use if we're on diets!
Of course, where there are prizes there have to be forfeits. Mine is to keep well away from my bees, but I've inserted a more popular horror below.
Here’s a basic template so you can create your own mission statement, with some ideas in italics to get you started. Substitute those words as necessary, and don’t forget to be specific. Personalising this declaration will make your project mean more to you, and that will help you to succeed.
"I am going to write a novel/non-fiction book. My long term dream goal is to record my thoughts for my descendants/achieve publication/on all platforms, which I’m going to achieve by (date).
In order to achieve my objective, I will draw up a schedule of what needs to be done each day, and set weekly targets, too. Every single time I hit my daily word-count, I’ll select one reward from my “daily” list. At the end of each week, if I complete all my tasks I’ll choose one treat from my “weekly” list. After successfully completing my project, I’ll celebrate by spoiling myself with my ultimate prize. I will read my mission statement daily to remind me of the rewards I have planned, and my ultimate objective. If I miss any of my weekly targets without a very good excuse, my forfeit will be to stay completely offline for one whole day. If I miss my final deadline, my forfeit will be to stay completely offline for one whole month."
Then date and sign it, to make it official.
I’ve given you a couple of ideas for rewards and forfeits. What will be going on your own list?