It is possible to go all out chasing after your life’s dreams and yet neglect a very important part of you: spirituality. This should not be so. Here is a guide to help you discover what spirituality means and how to set spirituality goals to enhance your life.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality can be described as “the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than [oneself], something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature”((Royal College of Psychiatrists: What Is Spirituality? A Personal Exploration)).
The issue of spirituality is something that cannot be ignored. Although it is natural to question the existence of something intangible like a soul or spirit, one way or another, people still “try to attend to their inner life — to their mental and emotional states — in the hopes of gaining a certain kind of self-knowledge”((The Conversation: What Does It Mean To Be Spiritual)). This is still spirituality, even if the belief in a soul, spirit, or higher power is absent.
Benefits of Spirituality
Having a “spiritual life” is important to your quest towards attaining fulfillment and living a balanced life. Here are some ways spirituality can benefit your life:
Gain a Deeper Knowledge of Yourself
We take so much time to learn about our world and how to survive but less time to learn about ourselves: who we are and what we want. Spirituality can help you reflect and connect to your source in order to gain deeper knowledge about the purpose of your existence.
Create a Broader Knowledge of the World
Humans have become sophisticated in knowledge, and this is evident in how the world is continually shaped by innovation. However, there is some knowledge about the universe that only deep spirituality can reveal. Being a spiritual person will give you a “third eye,” a sense of insight, with which you can see things differently.
Keep Your Body and Soul Healthy
Worry, anxiety, and depression can set in when the weight of life’s challenges becomes too heavy to bear. Spirituality can help you liberate greater energy from within yourself to overcome physical stress. Furthermore, research shows that spirituality can help improve later life health((SSM – Population Health: Spirituality, religiosity, aging and health in global perspective: A review)), so it’s a good idea to get started now.
Spirituality can help you become more compassionate as you see the need to be sensitive to the needy and afflicted around you. When you look into yourself, you see a reflection of everyone around you. This will help you connect on a deeper level.
Find Alternative Ways of Solving Life’s Problems
Some situations in life might require divine intervention. When you are spiritually conscious, you will find alternative ways of approaching and solving life’s problems.
How to Set Spiritual Goals
Whether it’s based on a belief in a higher power or a simple desire to engage in introspection, spirituality is useful to everyone. Here’s how to begin setting spiritual goals.
1. Define What Spirituality Means to You
Spirituality means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the practice of a particular religion, while to others it’s about the practice of charity, humanitarian services, and caring for the poor and sick in society. Some others regard spirituality as reaching higher levels of consciousness such as is found in the practice of yoga, meditation, and others like them((Essential Life Skills: What Is Spirituality)).
Defining and clarifying what spirituality means to you is the first step towards setting spiritual goals.
2. Identify Your Areas of Deficiency
After you have clarified your spiritual beliefs and commitments, the next thing is to identify where you have been deficient. For example, if you believe in having daily devotion and prayer and find that you have not been observing that for some time, it shows that is an area of deficiency that needs to be worked on.
3. Itemize the Essential Practices
Write out all the spiritual practices that are important to you, which you know you should be practicing. This can include meditation, yoga, prayer, volunteering, and any other practice that helps you connect to your deepest self.
4. Turn Your Essential Practices Into Goals
Turning those essential practices you have identified to goals means that you are ready to take them on by creating a strategy to achieve them. What makes goals different from ordinary desires is that you are intentionally committed to setting and achieving them.
5. Prioritize Your Goals and Start With One First
In order to be able to achieve your spiritual goals, you have to take them on, one by one. This means that you will start with the goal that is most important to you first.
20 Examples of Spirituality Goals
If you’re having trouble finding a good place to start, try using one of the following spirituality goals.
1. Become More Discerning
Discernment is the ability to spot the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Discernment is required when dealing with people who are cunning or people who are interested in misleading others. Being able to discern will require gaining some spiritual sense and understanding motives. This might be achieved by spending quality time in devotion and meditation.
2. Become More Intuitive
Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. Intuition is a good guide when you need to make fast decisions or solve a difficult problem. Maintaining a relationship with the divine through devotion can help you become more intuitive.
3. Learn How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety
Everyone confronts fear and anxiety, and one of the ways spirituality helps is to find hope and comfort in the midst of uncertainties. Your goal can be to find how to maintain balance in the midst of chaos.
4. Observe Daily Devotion or Meditation
Spirituality demands commitment, and one of such commitments is participating in a daily devotion or meditation. Start with 5 or 10 minutes and work your way up from there.
5. Organize Family Devotion
Leading your family to be committed spiritually is a worthy goal. This can be daily or weekly time of family devotion whereby family members jointly observe religious practices or meditate together.
6. Create a Prayer Routine
Prayer is communication between humans and God. Having a special time of prayer, daily or weekly, to unload your burdens in prayer or pray for other people is a worthy goal. If you don’t believe in God, prayers can simply be offered to the universe or the energy around you.
7. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Unlock your inner guidance by creating time to listen to your inner voice. Plan alone time, whereby you’ll shut out every noise and distraction and go into a space where you can be alone and listen to your thoughts and intuition.
8. Feed the Hungry
One of the marks of true spirituality is caring for the poor. While you may not own so much yourself, you can still share what you have with the poor. You can set a goal to provide food items for the needy on a monthly basis or send your support through a charitable organization.
9. Show More Kindness
Being kind in this regard has to do with showing kindness to all people that come your way. It is about showing that you care, being approachable, and helping others whenever the opportunity arises.
10. Join a Place of Worship
If you are interested in improving your spirituality, then connecting with others who have similar beliefs as yours will be a step in the right direction.
11. Let Go of Control
You will get exhausted quickly if you always want to fix everything. There are some things that are beyond you that you just simply need to let go of. Set a goal to not always want to be in control. It will help you to unburden yourself. Not being in control means learning to surrender to something or someone greater than you and trusting that things will happen as they need to.
12. Apply Spirituality to Solving Problems
One of the identified benefits of spirituality is having an alternative way of attempting to solve life’s problems. However, spiritual capital will only remain a potential when it is untapped. Therefore, a goal to check for spiritual solutions in some circumstances is a good one.
13. Observe Fasting
Fasting has been known to help maintain focus when observing spiritual commitments, as well as improve health in some cases((Ageing Res. Rev.: Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes)). Besides the spiritual benefits, fasting is also a good way to detoxify your body. You can plan to fast once or twice every week or join a general religious fast. Keep in mind that you should consult a doctor before engaging in this practice just to make sure your body is ready for it.
14. Sponsor the Education of Needy Children
Giving is one of the expressions of spirituality. If you have the means, you can set a goal of sponsoring the education of one or more needy children or send regular contributions to a charity already involved with this.
15. Adopt a Child
You can express spirituality by taking responsibility for raising a child under your roof. This is a great expression of love, and you will be proud to give someone a chance in life.
16. Learn More About God
Knowing more about God is one of the hallmarks of spirituality. You can set a goal to read and study books and publications that have expositions about God and how you can get to know God better.
17. Study the Universe
Getting to know more about how the universe works can open you up to some new understanding about life. Devote some time weekly to read a book or watch a documentary about the universe.
18. Learn About Other World Religions
Learning about other religions wouldn’t be a bad idea. It can broaden your perspectives about religious beliefs and also help you to be more tolerant of people with different religious views. You can plan to study about two or more of the world’s religions with the objective of knowing the similarities and differences between them.
19. Plan a Visit to Religious Sites
Most of the world’s religions have holy places or places of historical significance attached to them. Planning a pilgrimage or tour to such sites can help you connect deeper with the stories that form the bulk of the practices of such religions.
20. Seek Spiritual Answers to Life’s Questions
There are several questions that often come up in the human mind. These include: Where do people go when they die? Will the world come to an end? Is there judgment after death? Is Heaven real? Is Hell real? You can set a goal to unravel the truths to such questions or at least form your own opinion about them.
Being spiritually conscious can improve your sense of peace and personal acceptance. Being spiritual is about being able to leverage on the privileges of the divine to live an upright life, be sensitive and respond to the needs around you, solve some of life’s problems, and prepare to face life’s most difficult challenges.