Defeat. Frustration. Overwhelm. Goals shouldn’t feel this way. Especially goals dealing with our spiritual wellness. Our overall purpose as a spiritual being is to progress—which includes setting goals, accepting failure, and moving forward with faith that we can reach our potential.
As you reflect on your current spirituality, you’ll notice areas where you feel great strength. Maybe you’re superwoman at daily, devoted meditation and prayer. Or you regularly remind yourself of your spiritual identity with mantras and positive self-talk. But I bet somewhere in your spiritual wellness, you’ll recognize an area needing improvement. That’s why we call it a spiritual journey. Here’s where your goals come into play.
Discover Your Why
Something makes you tick. Something gets you out of bed in the morning and moves you step by step on your spiritual journey. Maybe you’re driven to find inner peace or to adhere to the teachings of a religious leader. Maybe you’re motivated to help others less fortunate than yourself and to bring kindness to a divided world. Whatever this driving force may be, let’s call it your “why.”
“Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!)” (Forbes.com). Our spiritual journey is a discovery of our authentic, divine selves. It should include paths of spiritual passion and routes of regular, refining goals. But to endure the twists and turns of such an adventure, we must recognize our “why.”
So much of discovering your “why” comes down to connecting with your spiritual core and remembering your purpose. Reflect on your identity as a spiritual being. Contemplate where you want to be and think about the most motivating factor that will help you reach your potential. This is your “why.” I suggest writing it down or even creating a vision board. In your hardest moments, when you want to give up on your new goals, you’ll need to cling to your “why” and find fresh, positive energy to move you forward.
Set Attainable Goals
I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions. Goals too grandiose to accomplish. Pressure to make immediate changes. And zero follow through on plans for the future. Our spirits deserve better. Your soul longs to progress and setting spiritual goals is the answer. But let’s make sure these goals are attainable and we don’t set ourselves up for failure. We don’t have to be perfect. Trust me on this (yours truly is a major perfectionist!).
Attainable goals are SMART. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time bound. And attainable goals will require daily reminders and renewed dedication each day. Your mind, body, and soul thrive on routine and repetition. Establish structure in your day and discover that your spiritual goals become more attainable as they become habits.
Another important aspect of setting and accomplishing attainable spiritual goals is to live life full of faith instead of fear. Believe in yourself. You have remarkable spiritual potential. But recognize that mistakes may happen and your goal may not be met “perfectly.” The University of Michigan Counseling Services encourages us to be filled with faith and hope regarding our goals: “By setting more realistic goals, you will gradually realize that “imperfect” results do not lead to the punitive consequences you expect and fear.” Connect to your spiritual core, take a faith-filled breath, and move forward with setting your attainable spiritual goals.
Tap Into Heavenly Help
I believe the Creator of my soul wants to see me progress. Progression is an important spiritual principle, and I am confident we can seek for guidance and strength as we pursue our spiritual goals. Start each day with a morning routine that fuels your soul—prayer, meditation, yoga, nature walk. And then trust that God will be there to assist you.
I try to live each day with a prayer in my heart–an upward, silent cry for help in the moments that stretch me and seek to break me down. This works for regular, day-to-day moments too. Moments where you need an extra boost of energy or a new insight to share with co-workers. Lonely moments in the middle of the night or times when life feels like a tornado. God cares about each of these. He cares about you and desires to help you reach your spiritual potential.
This heavenly help can come through other people as well. We are all spiritual beings, interconnected by our belief in a greater power and a desire to progress. Sometimes a simple smile or a kind gesture is all I need to remember that I can keep going. That I can continue step by step, working on the goals that strengthen my spirituality.