Four Actionable Tips For Setting Spiritual Goals for the New Year

Spiritual Goals – A path to success for a new year – because anything that begins with God, will always end with success!

With the start of a new year, most people start thinking about their new year resolutions and goals for the new year. They usually include the standard goals of losing weight, eating healthier, education, etc.

But these are earthly goals! More often than not, our goals for the new year don't include anything in the way of setting spiritual goals!

Year after year we go about setting new goals with little to no results. There is a popular quote by Albert Einstein that says, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' Indeed, this is so true, we can’t be making the same goals every year and use the same old strategies that seem to get us nowhere.

When your main goal involves growing closer to God, you will have much more success with your personal (earthly) goals! Here are some tips for setting spiritual goals.

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What Are Spiritual Goals

Spiritual goals are goals that help us to grow in our relationship with God. Spiritual goals help us become better disciples and be better at shining God's light for the world to see.

What is the goal of spiritual growth?

When you really think about it, spiritual goals aren't about us at all! The overall “goal” (or outcome) of spiritual goals is to get closer to and glorifying God!

In Revelation chapter 3, the Bible speaks about the Church of Laodicea. The Laodicean’s were neither hot nor cold and God wished they were at least one or the other. The passage in the New Living Translation reads: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say ‘I am rich I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked

For a lot of us Christians, we are in the church but in the world at the same time. We treat God like a sugar daddy. We go to him only when we are in need.  In order for us to improve our spiritual health, we need to be intentional with our faith. We can’t be haphazardly living out our faith. Let’s make this year the year of growth in our spiritual lives by setting spiritual goals.

Spiritual Goals Examples

So, what exactly are some examples of spiritual goals that you can set for the new year?

  • Read (and study) the Bible more
  • Pray more (or more consistently and intentionally)
  • Fasting regularly
  • Better develop the Fruits of the Spirit in yourself
  • Serving at church (or serving in more ways)
  • Intentionally being kind to those who persecute you
  • Practice gratitude daily

Setting Spiritual Goals

Setting and achieving spiritual goals can either sound very easy or very hard. Somewhere in between, are some steps to setting SMART goals for spiritual growth that will actually help you grow in your walk with Christ.

I believe that setting any type of goal – personal, spiritual, health, work – requires the same foundation. That foundation is ‘why?’ As we go through the steps to setting spiritual goals, we need to know what is truly motivating us. Is it our own desires or the desire to grow closer to and glorify God?

Here are some tips to help you in setting SMART goals for spiritual growth.

Spiritual Goal-Setting Starts with Prayer

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

The Lord wants only the best for us, but oftentimes, we only seek his help when our plans go sideways. Spend some time in deep prayer and meditation, pouring out your heart to God and asking him to show you the way he has planned for you.  

In prayer express your concerns and your struggles asking him to give you the wisdom to know what to do. If you are struggling with your prayer, here are 5 tips to improve your prayer life.

Set Spiritual Goals by Reflecting on the Past Year

As I mentioned earlier, it is total insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Spend some time reflecting on your past year.

In what areas were you lacking? Were there areas that you felt were empty?

This past year resulted in many churches not having service. That meant many of us weren't able to serve at church. I feel a void because of that so this next year I'm going to get creative in finding ways to serve through the church.

Were there activities or things that you did where you saw spiritual growth as a result? Perhaps you started Bible journaling and as a result, started reading the Bible more consistently.  Using a journal, make note of each accomplishment as well as your failures.

These make great starting points in helping you to get started in setting those SMART goals that will help to grow your spiritual life.

Create a Spiritual Goals Vision Board

Creating a vision board is my absolute favorite part of goal setting.  I love vision boards because I find it a creative way to reflect on my past year as well as envision what I hope to accomplish in the coming year.

I am a visual learner, so I love seeing things laid out. Think about what you would like your spiritual life goals to look like in the current year. Once again reaching for your journal make note of these ideas.

Once you have your vision written down find some pictures that depict your vision, creatively adding them to your poster board. You can then add in bible verses and quotes to further inspire you.

Once done, hang this up in your office or somewhere in your home for a reminder of your goals year-round.

Vance Havner says, “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps- we must step up the stairs”. From your vision board, choose 1-2 goals that you want to focus on. Then write out a plan to accomplish that goal.

Achieve Spiritual Goals with a Solid Plan

Once you have determined where you are lacking in your spiritual health, it is time to create an actual plan of action! Check out this free Spiritual Formation Assessment from Arabah Joy.

This means actually putting into action the things you've listed as areas for improvement. too often, we simply “think” the thoughts of our goals but we don't create an actual plan to achieve them.

Write down the spiritual goals you have for the next year. Then start setting things into motion for them. Some ideas for this might be:

  • If you have a goal to read the Bible more, set a reminder on your phone to read your YouVersion Bible app at a certain time every day! (This has helped me tremendously!)
  • Bonus plan: If you also have a goal of exercising more, download a Christian podcast and listen to that while you workout!
  • If you have a goal of serving more, reach out to your church today and ask about additional serving opportunities and sign up.
  • Start a daily gratitude journal

The key here is to focus on attainability. For example, if you know you aren’t a morning person, don’t make a goal to wake up early to get your devotional completed. The odds of that happening are very unlikely and before you have even started, you are setting yourself up for possible failure.

Another example is simply staying on track and focused on reading your Bible daily. A great resource for helping you accomplish this is a monthly topical reading plan or even a plan for reading the Bible in a year.

Resources for Setting and Achieving Spiritual Goals

Depending on the spiritual goals you've set for yourself this next year, you might need some additional resources to help you to keep track of and achieve them.

Daily Devotionals for Achieving Spiritual Goals

If one of your spiritual goals is to spend more time in the Word, these daily devotionals can help! I keep these handy everywhere – on my desk, in my purse, and in my car!

  • Pretty Little Truths – This is a modern-day devotional for young women. Covers topics such as anxiety, social media, and relationships.  You will find a little dose of encouragement all year-round.
  • Adored: 365 Devotions For Women – I was immediately drawn to this devotional by the lovely artsy book cover. However, this devotional is jam-packed with lots of good stuff. There are easy to read devotionals, scripture verses, and journaling space to reflect on the day’s readings.
  • Live Original Devotional  – Written by A&E’s Duck Dynasty and Dancing with the Stars Sadie Robertson, this year-long devotional is filled with encouragement to help women apply biblical principles to their everyday life.
  • A Book of Prayers For Young Women – A book filled with scripture, praise, and prayers to help young women in their conversations with God.
  • Journey of Faith: A Devotional for Young Women – A devotional centered around walking by faith. He serves to remind young women that the journey won’t always be easy but it will be totally worth it.
  • Beloved: 365 Devotions For Young Women – Topical devotions inspired by girls and women of the Bible.

Spiritual Goals Planners

The key to achieving any goal is to write it down with actionable steps towards achieving it. With setting and achieving faith goals, it is no different. Sure, you can simply write them down on some notebook paper, but having an actual goal planner will make it much easier to track and stay focused. Below are some great Christian Goal planners created by actual Christian women.

Grace Goals Planner and worksheets

Grace Goals – The Biblical Goal-Setting System

Grace Goals helps you steward your one precious life so you don't fall short of the potential given you in Christ. It is a totally unique goal-setting process that lays the spiritual foundation necessary for real transformation in your life.

  • Enable you to live godly and truly transformed (ie stop yelling in anger at your kids, practice discipline and self-denial, etc) (Titus 2:11-14)
  • Empower you to fulfill good works, do hard things, and accomplish your life purposes (2 Thess 1:11-12)
  • Strengthen you beyond your natural ability (2 Timothy 2:1)
  • Always be sufficient, abundant, present, and relevant (applicable) to your situation. (2 Cor 9:8)

Power Sheets Intentional Goal Planner

Created by Cultivate What Matters, this one-year planner will help you lay out a blueprint for achieving all of your goals during the year – no matter what season of life you are in.

  • 12 months of intentional and biblical goal-setting worksheets to make your goals reality.
  • The signature PowerSheets Prep™️ process to uncover the right goals for your season of life.
  • Expert goal coaching on every page so you stay motivated and on track.
  • Exclusive seasonal worksheets to refresh and refocus your goals each season.
  • Inspiring design, a full page of signature goal-setting stickers, and so much more!
  • Monthly goal coaching from Cultivate Team team, straight to your inbox filled with resources, inspiration, and FUN!
  • Video goal coaching guiding you through the PowerSheets Prep Work getting you ready for 2020.
  • Get extra materials in your PowerSheets, including “Word of the Year” card, encouragement postcard, and inspirational desk card.
  • Exclusive access to a free library of downloadable Wildcard pages to help you customize your goals, including a meal planner, finance tracker, reading list, monthly calendar, budget, and more!
  • Join the private community of thousands of women making their goals happen right alongside you.

I hope these tips and resources will inspire and help you in setting spiritual goals to guide you through the next year.

The closer we are to God, the better we can understand His will for our lives and the better we can shine His light to those around us!

Wishing you all the best for the new year.

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