Setting spiritual goals is important, just as setting everyday goals is. It gives us something to aim for, even if we fall short. Having goals lets us reach for the moon, even if we only land among the stars. Strong, Christian spiritual goals have the power to ignite profound change and elevate our lives to new heights of purpose and fulfillment.
By setting strong spiritual goals, we open ourselves to transformation and growth. We become intentional in our pursuit of spiritual maturity. These goals serve as beacons, guiding our choices and actions in a way that is consistent with our beliefs and values.
In this blog, you can find tips and examples that can help in setting spiritual goals for growth. See how Christian spiritual goals benefit your relationships, character, and well-being.
What are spiritual goals?
As Christ’s followers, spiritual goals are not merely something that we will check off as our religious requirements. They are goals that are meant to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
If we do not have goals or a vision, we rarely reach as high as we would if we had a plan. I am a huge fan of planning ahead, and a quote that I love is:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”H. K. Williams
7 Tips to setting spiritual goals
Setting spiritual goals as a Christian is important. They help us stay on track and focus on what’s important. Goal setting has many benefits.
Write your goals down in a place that you access often. You could slip your paper into your Bible as a bookmark.
Here are my seven favorite tips for setting goals:
- Share them with an accountability partner. Ask them to check in with you periodically to see how you are doing.
- Think about what the goal will take internally for you to accomplish it. Will it require changing habits? Working on things with a therapist? Will it require a lot of mental/emotional/physical energy?
- Review and revise goals regularly. What went well? What progress was made? What still needs improvement? Are these goals still most relevant to my life and walk with the Lord? What needs to be adjusted?
- Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Brain-dump everything, and start with the most impactful. As you make progress, you can start on other goals on your list.
- Give yourself grace and do not give up if you miss a day/week. Just pick up where you are.
- Set up a habit tracker for your goals.
- Make sure that your spiritual goals are S.M.A.R.T. (See further in this article).
Know Why You Want to Set Spiritual Goals
Knowing your why is important in so many areas of life, and goal-setting is no different. The “why” is our motivation.
Setting of spiritual goals should be about our desire for growth, not an obligation or because everyone is doing it. Overflow of love, not trying to win God’s favor. Humbly seeking to grow to be more like Christ is not something that we can take pride in or brag about.
If any of those things are why you are looking to set goals, take a step back and rest in the Lord. Seek His will in the matter. Be sure that your heart and motivation for setting spiritual goals are in the right place.
The Bible speaks much about goals and has helpful instructions and guidelines. Open your Bible and look for Bible verses about goals.
What is a spiritual SMART goal?
A Spiritual smart goal is something that challenges you and stretches your faith muscles, causing growth and change. God is the God of change—with Him on your side, you can set smart goals and achieve lasting change.
With that said, they should be fairly attainable. Something that you must reach for, but can realistically reach, even if a slight stretch. Stepping out of our comfort zone and requiring us to trust the Lord more.
As Christians, it is vital to set smart, spiritual goals in line with the Scriptures. Aligning your spiritual goals with the Bible will propel you in changing yourself for the better.
So, what are spiritual smart goals?
Spiritual smart goals should be compliant
- Specific-Write the what, why, who, and where of your goal. Pay attention to even the smallest details and create a list of resources that you will need to reach this goal.
- Measurable-How can you tell that you are progressing in your goal? Habit trackers can help a lot. Seeing how far you have come really helps you stay motivated.
- Attainable–Goals should stretch you, but not discourage you when you cannot reach them. Consider your time/schedule, your resources/money, your skill set, and how much emotional/physical/mental energy they will require. Of course, God can have plans that we sometimes cannot see as possible, so follow His leading above everything.
- Relevant–Goals should be relevant to you and your growth. You may already have an awesome Bible study habit established, but you really need to get better about spending time in prayer. What does this season of your life need most?
- Time-bound-Goals are best when they have a deadline. It really helps you stay on track. Will your goals be daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/half yearly? This gives you a good check-up point. How have you done on the last day/week/month, etc?
Spiritual smart goals examples
There are many things that you could choose to set as spiritual goals. You can set goals relating to your walk with the Lord, your personal growth and maturity, as well as your relationships with others.
Christian spiritual goals can come in many forms. The below spiritual smart goals are some examples and give a wonderful insight into what spiritual goals are.
The top 13 Relationship Goals with God / Abiding in Christ
- Regular Bible study on your own (Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 2:15, Acts 17:10-11)
- Daily Prayer Time (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18, Psalm 145:18, Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 5:3, Mark 1:35)
- Relationship, not religion; the overflow of love and worship, not requirement or fear (Psalm 130:6, 119:2, 25, 145:18; James 4:8, Deuteronomy 4:29, Matthew 15:8)
- When deciding, seek God’s will first and foremost (Matthew 6:33, Luke 22:42, James 4:15)
- Trusting God’s provision in hard times (Philippians 4:11-19, Matthew 6:31-34, Romans 8:28)
- Not forsaking the assembly/taking part in corporate worship and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ (Hebrews 3:13, 10:23-25; Acts 2:42)
- Become more open about your faith and what the Lord is teaching you (Mark 16:15-16, Philemon 1:6, 1 Peter 3:15-16, Galatians 6:6)
- Try a new Bible study method (Psalm 119:27, 33-40; 2 Timothy 2:15)
- Take more time to be still before the Lord (Psalm 46:10, Psalm 119:15)
- Seek a mentor in the faith (Proverbs 1:5, 12:15, 27:17; Titus 2:1-8)
- Memorise Scripture weekly/monthly (Psalms 119:11, 97; Joshua 1:8, Colossians 3:16)
- Allowing God to refine the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Being able to substitute your name for the word love in 1 Corinthians 13
The top 15 Personal Growth Goals
- Improve communication skills (Colossians 4:2-6, Proverbs 16:23, James 1:19)
- Work on emotional maturity and health (Romans 12:12-19, Ephesians 4:26)
- Deal with trauma, grief, depression, or anxiety with a licensed Christian therapist who has training in trauma, grief, etc (Mark 2:17 Jesus comments that those who are ailing need a physician, and all of these things can have a profound impact on your body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Listen to more worship/Christian music (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19, Philippians 4:8)
- Begin a journal (Pouring your heart out to the Lord as the Psalmists)
- Change a bad habit (Ephesians 4:1)
- Learning new skills (Proverbs 9:9)
- Keep a gratitude journal or prayer journal (Colossians 2:7, 3:15; Hebrews 12:28, Psalm 9:1)
- Examine your money habits/make a budget/get out of debt (1 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Luke 6:38, Psalm 37: 21)
- Learn about nutrition/eat more nutritious meals (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Get more physically active/start working out (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Be more aware of how you use your time (Psalm 27:1, 90:12, Ephesians 5:15-17)
- Change your focus/toxic thoughts (Philippians 4:8)
- Get better sleep (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Read a book about finding your purpose (Psalm 57:2)
The top 11 Relationship Goals with Others
- Improve communication skills (Colossians 4:2-6, Proverbs 16:23, James 1:19, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Being more intentional about teaching your children about the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
- Share the Gospel with one person each day (2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Peter 3:15, Colossians 4:2-6)
- Be more intentional about building friendships (Proverbs 18:24, 27:17)
- Be more intentional about scheduling hospitality (Hebrew 13:1-2, Romans 12:9-13, 1 Peter 4:9)
- Organise neighborhood seasonal events (2 Timothy 4:2, Hebrew 13:1-2, Romans 12:9-13, 1 Peter 4:9)
- Host/organize a small Bible study group (Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42-47)
- Volunteer your skills in your community (1 Peter 4:10)
- Mentor someone and seek a mentor (Titus 2)
- Date your spouse (Song of Solomon)
- Volunteer at church (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:3-8)
How to set and reach spiritual goals
Want to know how to set and achieve personal faith goals?
Follow these 4 steps to setting and reaching your spiritual goals.
- Pray. Prayer is the first step in setting goals, spiritual or otherwise. Pray that God would guide you in setting goals and challenge you to grow in them.
- Write it down. Vision boards are rooted in the New Age movement, but write your goals on a piece of paper that you can keep in your Bible and review often to see how you are doing.
- Think through and write what it will take to reach these goals. What resources are needed? What do you need to change?
- Step out in faith. God may call you to step out of the boat and into the waters. Do not be afraid. If God is calling you, you may not see the next step, and that is where faith comes in.
Prayer for setting spiritual goals
Father God, I pray you would give me a clear direction in setting some spiritual goals. I desire to know You and others more. Stretch me, grow me. Call me out of my comfort zone and help me trust You more.
I desire to be more like You in the fallen world. Open my eyes to what You would have me change or add to my life to accomplish Your will.
In Jesus’ precious Name, I pray. Amen.
GUEST BLOG BY: ROBBI BITTLE
Robbi is a Christ-follower, wife, and homeschool mom that is passionate about natural living and homemaking for the glory of God.
She recently launched The Timeless Mama Podcast.