6 steps to set spiritual goals in the new year

As you’re setting goals for the new year, don’t forget to prioritize spiritual ones!

Using these steps has revolutionized my understanding of goal setting and helped me realize that pursuing godliness is greater than any tangible betterment we can pursue.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come,” 1 Timothy 4:8.

Step 1: Remind myself why I’m setting goals – not to “better” myself, but to better reflect Christ in all parts of my life.

When we set goals for our own betterment, they succeed or fail based on our own abilities and strength. But when we rely on Christ to develop our heart, mind and body into that which reflects Him best, our lifestyles are revolutionized for His glory.

Step 2: Ask myself, “What sins are standing in the way of my spiritual growth?”

Once you identify those sins, strategize ways to rid them from your life. Confession, accountability, and remembering your new identity are all important in this process.

Step 3: Dig into Scripture to unpack what the purpose of goal setting truly is.

The Bible has specific things to say about goal setting. One place I started was a simple Bible Gateway search with the word “goal,” where I was able to study what goal means in a spiritual sense and what categories of goals might be helpful to set.

Step 4: Write out goals based on these reflections and make sure they are realistic, measurable, and specific.

Many of our goals never get accomplished primarily because they aren’t realistic. Break down bigger goals into measurable and specific components. It’s always helpful to start small.

Step 5: Integrate accountability and anticipate temptations and setbacks.

There will be obstacles and mayhem when you’re working towards goals. Having someone keep you accountable is helpful. It’s also good to have a game plan for when those setbacks do happen.

Step 6: Make a plan and follow through.

Follow through is probably the hardest part of goal setting. But God’s strength will help you even when your own runs out. Don’t forget that the spiritual goals you’re working towards aren’t temporary or pointless. They have eternal repercussions.

This post was adapted from The Pursuit of Change by Marina Shelton. Learn more by reading that 7-day goal-setting devotional.

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