10 Spiritual Goals to Have and How to Work Toward Them

We set goals for our careers, our homes, our health and our finances. Why wouldn’t we then set spiritual goals?

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

As a child I was shy and withdrawn, insecure and anxious. I was a sensitive kid that was afraid of the dark and meeting new people. But I loved to teach my younger brother, read funny books, write stories, make crafts and create neighborhood clubs.

When I grew older, my talents grew, as did my weaknesses. With big changes came bigger challenges. Marrying young and living across the country from my family, death of my mother-in-law, post-partum depression, a chronic illness and an aggressive toddler.

I walked through many days of confusion and exhaustion, until I learned that even doctors have their limits on how much they can help. I learned in each of these areas, that my spiritual growth had to be part of the equation. Learning to trust, leaning to hope, learning to pray.

Even in my talents, came trials.

After I got a job teaching second grade, I thought my biggest worry would be classroom management. It ended up being things like dealing with CPS, a year where 60% of my kids had recently gone through divorce, or two of my kids losing their parents during the time in my class.

Again I had to turn to my Father, the only one who could give me true peace and wisdom in a world where things often don’t make sense.

LEARNING TO LET GO OF CONTROL

Life is so much more complicated as an adult than it was as a child.

Some things can be helped from self-help books or experience. Others can be helped through community, such as a friend reaching out, or a doctor prescribing medicine. But some come at a harder price. Complete surrender. Loss of control in a situation where the only option you have left is to give it to God.

Life is full of twists and turns and lessons we may have never wanted to learn in the way we did. And so, as I train myself to grow in the ways God calls me to, I find myself taking my problems to Him much faster and with much more trust than I have in the past.

GROWING IN FAITH

No matter where you are in this journey, you my friend, need to set some spiritual goals. We set goals for our careers, our health and our finances. Why wouldn’t we then set them for our spirituality–the one thing we claim matters the most in life?

When I need to grow in confidence, I focus on surrender and study. When I need to grow in positivity and hope, I focus on prayer and worship.

Where are you struggling? Set your goals in these areas and look for ways God is growing you spiritually. Don’t see your trials as a roadblock, but as an opportunity.

Ready to get started? Me too!

10 AREAS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

1. CELEBRATION/WORSHIP

“His praise shall be continually in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

2. CONFESSION/FORGIVENESS

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.” 1 John 1:9

  • Repent of a sin and list tangible ways to improve
  • Find a mentor or accountability partner to encourage you
  • Attend counseling to work through forgiveness issues

3. FASTING/SACRIFICE

“She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.” Luke 2:37

  • Fast from a type of technology (TV, social media, phone)
  • Cut out food indulges (sweets, carbs)
  • Fast from spending money (impulse buys, extra purchases, treats)
  • Take a break from a hobby (use the time in study and prayer)

4. FELLOWSHIP/COMMUNITY

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

  • Host a get together with family or friends
  • Join a small group at church
  • Join a women’s Bible study
  • Pray with others

5. GUIDANCE/TRUST

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5

  • Commit to reading your Bible daily
  • Commit to daily prayer
  • Seek out spiritual mentors at your church
  • Fast and pray over a specific decision

6. MEDITATION/STUDY

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

7. PRAYER/RELATIONSHIP

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12

  • Pray as a family at the dinner table
  • Pray during an activity (brushing teeth, in traffic)
  • Read a book about prayers
  • Pray with your kids at bedtime
  • Write your prayers in a journal
  • Ask for and keep track of prayer requests

8. SECRECY/SOLITUDE

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them…when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4

  • Give money to a homeless person
  • Buy the meal for the person behind you in the drive thru
  • Participate in Toys for Tots, MAGI boxes, or Angel Tree
  • Go on a personal retreat to read, fast and pray

9. SERVICE/COMPASSION

“Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

  • Visit a nursing home (teach something, play music, pass out cards)
  • Bring cookies to a Fire/Police Station
  • Buy/make items for kids in the hospital
  • Bring a meal or help clean a sick person’s home

10. STILLNESS/SURRENDER

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

  • Wake early to spend quiet time with God
  • Go somewhere to sit still and enjoy nature
  • Let the little things go
  • Have a tech free day and be present with your family

SET ONE SPIRITUAL GOAL RIGHT NOW

Pick ONE area that sticks out to you the most right now. Then write down the action steps you need to get there. Work your way through them. Then move onto the next, building and growing in your spiritual walk. Click the image to print your goal sheet:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Dig deep on goal setting in your life in this Goal Setting Workbook I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:

Check out these other posts on spiritual growth:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

What I Learned About Courage from “Imperfect Courage” by Jessica Honegger

Written by the creator of Noonday, the world’s largest fair trade jewelry company, “Imperfect Courage” goes through the journey of one woman’s mission to follow what she felt God was leading her to do.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclaimer for details.

FROM ADOPTION TO AMBASSADOR

I first heard of Jessica Honegger at a women’s conference my church hosted a few years ago. She spoke about her desire years earlier to adopt a child, but with the staggering adoption fees, and a tanking house-flipping business, she needed a way to raise money to make this possible.

Jessica and her husband had always shared a passion for helping those in poverty when they met through a relief organization. But between raising kids and trying to turn a profit on houses during a recession, any plans of adoption were taking a back seat.

On a trip to visit some friends working for a nonprofit in Uganda, they were introduced to Jalia and Daniel. They were a local artisan couple trying to support their family with handmade goods. While the products were unique and beautiful, there just wasn’t a big enough market in order to make ends meet.

When Jessica received a few signs of her own that she still needed to pursue adoption, she decided to have a sale in her home of her own things to raise money, and reached out to Jalia and Daniel to send the items for her to sell that night to help them out as well.

The items were a hit. 90% were sold in the first hour and she recognized the potential their products had in the U.S. market. She asked others to host their own trunk shows and found ways to send materials and organize shipping so that more items could be sold. Soon the operation was so big that Jalia and Daniel needed help too! They hired employees and expanded the operation.

Not only was Jessica’s dream of international adoption realized, but a company that provided income for hundreds of families in poverty was born as well.

THE NOONDAY COLLECTION

In five years, Noonday became the largest fair-trade jewelry company in the world, also earning Inc. Magazine’s 45th fastest growing business in the U.S.! Today, they have 4,000 Noonday business owners, and 4,500 artisan partners worldwide! The original artisans, Jalia and Daniel, now employ 300 locals and no longer worry about their next meal, living a middle-class lifestyle.

Noonday is the kind of company I love–one that directly benefits the artists and people in need. And Jessica’s story is one that empowers me as a mom, a woman, a Christian and a creative. It proves that together we can do big things. That we can make a difference and make real change in the world!

Jessica encourages us to believe bigger–to fight against our fears and go anyway–to simply go scared. Courage isn’t about having your stuff together, it’s about trusting in God and going anyway.

BUT THAT’S JUST THE INTRO…

The rest of “Imperfect Courage” is about relating her story to yours. To empower you to be brave and courageous. To fight for what you want, what is right and how to get there.

In Part 1, she goes over getting started and taking the first steps on your own. Part 2 is about the importance of community and collaboration. She ends with Part 3 where you broaden your view, your impact, and think beyond yourself and your bubble.

“There is a whole world out there begging for us to use the opportunity we have been given, to create opportunity for others, so that we–all of us–can flourish. So, while comfort may beckon us, choosing courage will always be the route to impact.” -Jessica Honegger

ON A PERSONAL LEVEL…

I remember reading about her internal struggle with needing a nanny and the mommy guilt she had over it. I had my own nanny at the time (because of health issues where I didn’t have the energy to do what I needed to do) and the massive guilt I was struggling with. She went on to talk about how you would think that having a nanny would make you feel so appreciative of the help, but it became a reminder of all the areas she was “failing” as a mom. I couldn’t have related more.

But the truth is, that needing help and asking for it, doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you clever. There is no one size fits all when it comes to parenting, and being a working mom isn’t a sin. I am a stay-at-home mom myself and still couldn’t do it alone! I love the part in the book when she texts a friend about all the guilt she is feeling, and her encouraging, loving friend replies, “Knock off that crazy thinking and go. Your kids will be better, not worse for having a mama who got on planes and flew around the world to serve. Way better than if you’d have never left your house every day of their lives to meet their every first-world need.”

That woman spoke truth into a friend that desperately needed it. And in doing so, I had a reminder that a nanny taking care of my kids so that I could get healthy and be the mom I needed to be for those kids was a good thing, not something to feel guilty about.

Jessica has a gift of wisdom, vision and passion. I hope you are encouraged as much by her as I was in these pages.

BUY THE BOOK!

Want to pick up a copy of “Imperfect Courage” for yourself? Click the image to order:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Are you struggling with fear and anxiety? I’ve got some more encouragement for you today friend. See what the Bible has to say about it in this printable study and take the first steps toward your own imperfect courage today!

For more notes on books I love, check out these other posts:

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

What I Learned About the Enneagram from “The Road Back to You”

The Enneagram is more than a personality test. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses, while analyzing the best way for you to adapt to situations throughout your life.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

WHAT’S YOUR ENNEAGRAM TYPE?

I’ve always been hesitant to jump in on the trends. I’ll get there, but I want to do it on my own terms. I also get bored easily, and bounce from one creative idea to the next. I tend to procrastinate, but I always complete the project. I’m usually “fashionably late” but enjoy bringing humor to the group. I like to think I’m optimistic and encouraging to others. Sometimes I get bogged down by my own emotions, and get energized from time spent alone.

Why is this?

You may have your own list of things you recognize in yourself (your strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, tendencies) or you may have no idea what your inclinations are.

The Enneagram is a popular system that really began centuries ago, but became “trendy” a few years back. It is more than a personality test, in that it doesn’t just tell you what your tendencies are, but analyzes how you adapt to stress, and how you thrive. It digs deep into what makes you who you are and gives advice on how to deal with your ups and downs, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

What I enjoyed about “The Road Back to You” is it is specifically written for Christian readers and connects your “type” to your spirituality. It addresses what pitfalls (or sins) you are most prone to, and what your spiritual gifts are.

THE 9 TYPES ON THE ENNEAGRAM

I’ll bet you’re wondering what type you are! Here’s a very basic overview of the 9 Enneagram types:

1. THE PERFECTIONIST

“Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame”

2. THE HELPER

“Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.”

3. THE PERFORMER

“Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and avoid failure.”

4. THE ROMANTIC

“Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings and avoid being ordinary.”

5. THE INVESTIGATOR

“Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.”

6. THE LOYALIST

“Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.”

7. THE ENTHUSIAST

“Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.”

8. THE CHALLENGER

“Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.”

9. THE PEACEMAKER

“Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.”

WHAT ARE MY OWN TENDENCIES?

I was most surprised that I could pinpoint almost everyone in my life immediately to their type as I was reading their section, but couldn’t identify what my dominant type was! Quickly, I began to recognize my friends and family in these pages and understand why they are the way they are. I gained compassion and insight reading what they struggle with and got excited when I noticed their strengths. The Enneagram is also a great tool for relationships!

As I was reading, here are a few tendencies I recognized in myself (and maybe you will too!):

  • “I don’t enjoy big social gatherings as much as a quiet evening at home with the ones I love.” (9)
  • “I think it is my responsibility to leave the world better than I found it.” (5)
  • “I’d rather lead than follow any day.” (3)
  • “I like my home to feel like a safe and welcoming place for my family and others.” (2)
  • “I trust myself. That means I think about things for awhile and then I make my own decisions.” (5)
  • “It helps me to have things in some kind of order.” (6)
  • “I tend to procrastinate.” (9)
  • “I notice immediately when things are wrong or out of place.” (1)
  • Almost everything can be more fun and entertaining with a little effort.” (7)
  • “I am anxious to overcome misunderstandings in a relationship.” (2)
  • “I don’t like it when people slow me down.” (3)
  • “I’m very sensitive to criticism, and it takes me awhile to get over it.” (4)
  • “I need time alone.” (5)
  • I’m either an artist or highly creative.” (4)
  • “I find it hard to stop thinking about the things I am worried about.” (6)
  • “I quickly get bored with the same routine and like to try new things.” (7)

NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE?

In addition to giving you insight into what type you are, it details what it looks like to be the healthy, average and unhealthy version of this type. It pinpoints your bad habits, and give advice on how to grow as a person according to your Enneagram type. Each chapter ends with 10 suggestions for you to implement right away.

You may identify with your type right away, or you may need to dig a little further (like me) to understand what makes you the way you are. However, just being able to recognize myself among the pages (good and bad) was very helpful into recognizing areas where I need to grow, and what’s holding me back.

Here are a few things I am challenging myself with since reading “The Road Back to You”:

  • “Resist the urge to fall back on passive-aggressive behaviors like procrastination and avoidance.” (9)
  • “Be aware of how you receive criticism from others, and try to accept it without being defensive.” (1)
  • “Take an inventory of who and what gets sacrificed while you’re frantically racing to cross the finish line first–spouse, kids, health, friendships. (3)
  • “When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. It has nothing new to say to you.” (4)
  • “Allow your feelings to arise naturally and experience them in the present moment, and then you can let them go.” (5)
  • “Learn to recognize the difference between legitimate fear and free-floating anxiety, and ascribe different values to them.” (6)

ORDER “THE ROAD BACK TO YOU”

Since reading this book, I’ve really been motivated to look into other personality tests to learn more about myself. I recommend this book as the perfect starting place for anyone interested in self-improvement. You can order it here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Now that you’ve learned your “type”, it’s time to set some goals! You can grab my printable Goal Setting Workbook here:

For more posts like this, check out:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: