Have you ever considered writing goals to increase your spiritual growth?
Although the idea seemed a little odd to me at first, I quickly began to realize that ANY area we want to grow in requires some level of intentionality….including our faith.
After attending a conference years ago, my husband and I began doing yearly life plan retreats where we plan out our year, discuss our dreams and set goals for the new year.
We establish accounts of the areas that are most important to us, create a vision for what we want those accounts to look like and we set goals accordingly.
Naturally faith was high on that list for us. It wasn’t until we sat down and began this process that I realized how fruitful it could be to set goals for my spiritual growth.
I knew I wanted to grow closer to God, but I had never actually put on paper a vision or action plan to achieve the results I was looking for.
Enter…. SMART goals.
In the conference my husband attended he learned about SMART goals. What they are, why they are important and how to incorporate them into your life plan.
This has been a game changer for us!
Specifically in the area of spiritual growth, it gives me a plan to do my part in growing my relationship with God. It helps me to set a plan in place where I position myself to connect with Him and glean from Him.
How to use SMART goals to Increase Spiritual Growth
So what is a SMART goal?
A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based.
Let’s take a look at what each of these mean:
You want your goals to be clear and concise. If you’re aiming to hit a target, you need to know where the bullseye is right? Knowing what you specifically want to accomplish is the same way. How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal unless it’s specific enough to be identified?
Here are a few questions you can ask to create a specific goal:
- What do you want to accomplish in your?
- Why do you want to accomplish it?
- Can you do this on your own or do you need someone else involved?
- What additional resources (if any) will you need to accomplish this goal?
In order to see where you are on the journey to reaching your goal, you’ll need a way to measure it. At any time you’ll be able to see how close you are to attaining it and if you need to modify it along the way.
Here are a few questions to consider to create a measurable goal:
- How much or how many?
- How will I know if I have succeeded in accomplishing it?
In order to accomplish what you really want your goal needs to be realistic. When we set goals that are too high, we feel like failures and end up giving up before we can ever reach the finish line. It’s important to set your goals high enough that they challenge you and push you past your comfort zone, but not so high that they are impossible to achieve.
Here are a few questions to consider when creating a goal that is attainable:
- How can I make this goal become a reality? (If you can lay out a realistic plan to get there, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to accomplish it)
- Based on my other obligations, can I realistically do what it takes to achieve this goal?
Making sure that your goal lines up with your vision is crucial to accomplishing it. This is where a good vision statement comes in. If carefully crafted, you will be able to pull your goals right out of your vision.
- Will this goal help me to accomplish my vision for this area in my life?
Every goal needs to have a time frame. Regardless of whether its a month or a year, a time based goal allows us to move towards our desired outcome. Let’s face it…we can be procrastinators sometimes. What we don’t prioritize will be put off. When it comes to our goals, we want them to have a specific time for completion so that we are motivated to get it accomplished.
Here are a few questions to consider when creating a goal that is time based:
- How often will I do it ? (daily, monthly, quarterly, annually)
- When will I complete it by?
Now that you know what SMART goals are, here are a few examples:
Below is a Spiritual Growth goal that is not SMART:
I want to have a better relationship with God by the end of 2019.
Although this is a great desire and a good start for a vision, it isn’t specific or measurable, so it would be difficult to determine if the goal has been achieved.
Here’s an example of a Spiritual Growth goal that is SMART:
By the end of 2019 I will be spending 30-45 minutes with God each morning, praying and talking to Him. I will have memorized 52 new scripture verses that have helped me grow in my walk with Him.
You can see how this goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to my vision and time based.
So what about you? Are you ready to kick off the new year with SMART goals to help you grow spiritually?
To help you along the way, I’m giving you a FREE SMART goals printable to help you get started.
I also wanted to share with you a resource I came across this week on the topic of goals, faith and the new year. Bailey Stone from This Illustrious Life experienced some of the same frustrations with goals that were not specific and measurable, which caused her to rethink how she set her goals. She had this to say….
I used to set the goal every year of reading the entire Bible. The overarching goal here was a deeper relationship with God. I was convinced that if I could read the entire Bible I would know and understand God on a more intimate and intellectual level. While that goal was well-intentioned, for the life of me, I could never figure out why I failed year in and year out to accomplish the goal of reading the entire Bible. Why wasn’t God showing up? Why wasn’t He reminding me to spend time with him? If God’s Word is really so important wouldn’t it be easy to pick up my Bible and dive into scripture every day?
Looking back I can see that I was secretly making pacts with myself to be a better Christian, but I wasn’t doing much on my end to follow through with my goals. I was almost subconsciously breeding resentment toward God for not being able to follow through with my lofty faith goals.
Knowing what I know now about being in relationship with God and goal-setting, I realize that I made two critical mistakes. One, my goals were not clearly defined. Growing closer to God by reading the Bible is a pretty ambiguous goal. Two, I had no plan or schedule for reading my Bible and no method to track my progress.
>>>Click here to read more of Bailey’s post and what she did to make her goals more specific and measurable<<<