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Spiritual Goals for 2023

Setting Spiritual Goals for 2023

Spiritual Goals for 2023

The New Year brings many opportunities to reflect on our lives and set goals for ourselves. Here are some ideas for setting goals that will bring you closer to awakening, awareness and living from a space of inner peace and love.

So, spiritual goal setting.  Is it something you should do? Is there any benefit to doing it? What are some good ways to start?

The place to start is with the question: What are spiritual goals?  

From my perspective, they are goals that help you get more connected with your true self, and help you understand both your deeper and higher purpose in life. Your spirituality wakens you to the connection to the essence of what you are, to your soul, to your spirit, to God, the Universal Mind, your greater power and love.

The connection has always been there, a spiritual life helps you to recognize it. The more you focus on love, compassion, forgiveness of yourself and others, the more you see, feel and know it. 

Why are spiritual goals important?

Have you ever heard the stories about people who on their deathbed said something to the effect of "I wish I had spent more time at work, I wish I had made more money, had a nicer car or I wish I partied and got drunk more often, I wish I had a bigger house, I wish I had spent more time on the computer or watching TV?

No, what we remember are the stories about people who are saying I wish I had spent more time enjoying nature, I wish I'd spent more time with my children, I wish I had taken time to enjoy the beauty of artwork, to enjoy the sights of the world around me, to help others, to do my best, to be kind, to be loving.

Spiritual goals take you way beyond the goals that you may familiar with setting regarding your income, your job, your relationships with others, physical health. Spiritual goals are helping you focus on  the things that are truly important to you to help you achieve your greatness and focus on your true nature as a spiritual being.

When you're thinking about spiritual goals, you are  prioritizing the growth of your true self. They’re goals that will make a difference in the happiness, joy and love you experience from moment to moment and day to day.  

You can have all the possessions in the world and still be unhappy or you could have absolutely no possessions and be incredibly happy. 

It's not the things that we have that determine our happiness and state of mind, it is what we think and the relationships we have with other people, with nature, with the planet, with animals, and our greater power. 

The bottom line, it is the things inside of us, and the way we think of ourselves and of others. It helps us learn to be forgiving and compassionate to ourselves, which carries naturally to others you encounter during your day.

Setting goals is one thing, achieving them is another.  I typically don't think about setting spiritual goals; it's part of my spiritual practice or my spiritual life. 

However, I have found that there are certain things that I do everyday. The the days that I miss them, I notice it.

The items below are those that can make a big difference in your spiritual growth.

Begin each day with a meditation

  • This helps center yourself and focus on the present moment. You'll find a calming influence remains throughout the day.
  • Read from a spiritual text every morning. I personally start with the reading of a section of A Course in Miracles as well as the Tao Te Ching. 

Live a life of gratitude

  • Start each day by writing three things about which you are grateful. 
  • End each day by writing three things that happened that day for which you are grateful 
  • Writing them down and taking a moment to feel the gratitude makes a big difference

Practice the Four Agreements 

  • Be impeccable with your word - Watch how you speak to others and yourself. Make self-condemnation and criticism a part of your past. Speak without judgment and recognize the power of your words 
  • Don’t take anything personally. Nothing that other people do is because of you, it is because of them. Everybody is living their own lives, with their own internal conversations controlling their thoughts and are living in their own worlds. Even when someone makes a comment about you, it is coming from the world they live in. 
  • Don’t make any assumptions. The assumptions we make are based on limited knowledge of our own world. When we assume we know what others are thinking or the reasons they say certain things, we are incorrect. If you wish to know why someone did or said something, ask them.
  • Do your best. Remember that your best changes from moment to moment. If you have a wonderful night's sleep and awaken joyous and full of love and vigor, your best will be different than if you were up all night because you are very sick. Do your best and when you look back on your day, you will feel a sense of calm.

Recognize and release the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence in your life

  • This is a core teaching of A Course in Miracles and it’s made a big difference in my life. Blocks are thoughts that do not come from love.

    This may seem like a tall order because our days are filled with events and distractions that can easily unleash responses based on fear or anger. However, the more you practice this, the more peace and love you will have in your day and your life.

    Your natural state of being is love. When you recognize the barriers to love, you begin to see them as illusions that were based on stories that you made up. When you learn to let them go, you open yourself up to having more love in your life.

Take one day a week a day to consciously focus on love, gratitude and spiritual growth

  • I don’t go to church and haven’t for many years but the practice of taking one day to focus on what is ultimately the biggest factor on my happiness is well worth the effort. 
    • In addition to beginning the day with meditation and prayer, I add additional time for extended Tai Chi and Qigong practice, which help to balance, strengthen and heal my body. 
    • A walk in the woods with my dog, with a focus on appreciating nature is a wonderful way to complete my morning.
    • I love to cook and it’s a great way to take time later in the day to be creative and make something my wife and I will enjoy.
    • Whatever your reflection day is, be sure to remind yourself frequently that it is your special day, a gift to yourself and everyone you encounter.

Recognize you give meaning to everything you experience

  • You always have choice about how you perceive things. You can perceive anything from love and compassion or fear and anger. It is up to you. When you look back over your day or even your entire life, you will realize that everything that upset or angered you was due to the meaning you gave it. 
  • Practice listening and thinking before responding. The old adage of “Count to ten before responding,” is powerful advice. It provides two benefits:
    • You learn to listen to what another person is saying without making assumptions or snap judgments.
    • It shows the other person that you value them. 


  • When you focus on smiling and looking at others through the eyes of love and gratitude, you will be amazed at the number of people who look at you with a smile. 

Take care of your body

  • I practice Tai Chi and Qigong, which are both powerful physical and energetic exercises. I also hike regularly and lift weights at the gym several times a week. When your body feels better, it’s easier to calm your mind. I also do meditative healing practices during which I focus on perfect health in each part and system of my body. 

    You may enjoy walking, bike riding, jogging, yoga or swimming. Whatever works for you, take the time to do it.

Write in Your Journal

Set aside time regularly to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Journaling is a powerful way to uncover your inner thoughts and feelings. Once you start, you may often be amazed at what flows from your mind to your fingers. Thoughts, feelings and memories often emerge that are quite enlightening. 

    • Journaling also helps show your progress along your spiritual path. When you take time to look at past entries and thoughts, you can see how the inner you and self continues to grow, unfold and bloom into an amazing being of love.

Learn to say no

  • Saying “no” to things that aren’t good for you isn’t easy. As a recovered alcoholic, I’m well aware of the effort it can involve. It takes practice and patience. You need to learn how to recognize when you’re being pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. 

Help another person

  • This provides countless benefits to them and to you. 

Realize everything is connected and that you are are a spiritual being having a physical experience

  • You are formed from the energy of the universe.
    Take a moment to think about that! Pure energy forms atoms that merge and form the molecules that become chemicals and elements that combine to form the highly complex tissues and organs that operate in unison and result in you.

    That is the unique creation that is you! Yes, you. Formed from the same energy that created the galaxies, stars and planets.

    At this particular moment in time, something special brought you into the body you inhabit and conscious awareness. That’s a fact. Your creation was a unique moment in the 15 billion year history of the universe. You are here for a reason. If you’ve followed me this far into this post, I believe it was to help awaken you to your true potential.

LIve each day as if it is your last. Laugh, love, smile, be nice

Use this list as a starting point. I believe that the ultimate spiritual goal is to live a life of love. I do that by recognizing and removing the barriers of the awareness of love's presence in my life. Perhaps I should say, "I continually strive and try." Being human, I'm subject to the same forces as anybody else on the planet but I try to remember that the more I see the barriers, the better I am at removing them and the happier and more loving I feel.


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