I love goals. I like planning them, writing them out and ticking them off when I’ve achieved them. Yes, sometimes they change along the way, but personally, I find them very motivating. We set goals in our work lives, and perhaps in our homes (even the to-do list is a set of goals), but what about spiritual goals? Do we set spiritual goals for ourselves?
What do you mean by spiritual goals?
Very simply, I mean areas that we want to grow into. Back when we did our Spiritual Self Assessment , we identified areas we’d like to develop.
This is really personal to you, but I suggested you limit it to three areas. That’s so we don’t get too overwhelmed.
You might have very clear areas for development in your head. Or you might not.
If you’re struggling, I’d suggest thinking of one area that will benefit you personally, and one which will benefit others.
What should my spiritual goals look like?
I think setting spiritual goals can be very different to professional goals. My professional goals can be very number-specific (e.g. x number of students in my class will achieve x grades), and I don’t think we can do that so easily with spiritual things. But I do think if we identify a goal and set ourselves a goal, it makes it more intentional.
Generally speaking, goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific. HOWEVER God is way beyond this, and I would never want to limit what He can do! So make them things that will be a push for you to achieve but that will require a bit of a stretch of faith.
Can you give some examples of spiritual goals?
Here are some goals that I’ve come up with…
I will learn a new memory verse every week.
I will offer to lead my small group Bible study once a month.
I will volunteer with a local litter-pick once a month.
I will attend a talk by an expert in my area of spirituality by May.
I will create something beautiful as an expression of my spiritual life by June.
I will use my Bible journal twice a week.
I will read three books on spirituality this year.
I will visit my lonely neighbour once a fortnight.
I will speak to one new person at playgroup each week.
I will set up a new group at church for…
I will lead worship at my church once a month.
Once you’ve decided on a few goals, I want you to do three specific things:
1. Write them down. You are much more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
2. Pray about them… If you pray, definitely pray about your goals. And listen for any guidance.
3. Work out your first steps… and then do it!