The How-To of Holistic SMART Goals: Spiritual Goals
In our last blog post, we talked about holistic SMART goals. As a reminder, we talked about how SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timed. We discussed how the SMART goal format sets us up for success rather than confusion. Then, we saw 24 examples of SMART goals that aligned with the Wellness Wheel (review our blog series on the Wellness Wheel here).
Over the next few months, we’ll be discussing the “how-tos” of holistic SMART goals, showing you how to (1) identify your values in a given area, (2) examples of SMART goals in that same area, and (3) how to put your plan in action. Today’s topic is spiritual goals.
Spirituality in a holistic sense encompasses the profound exploration and connection to something larger than ourselves, whether that be a deity, ideal, value, or supernatural being. It involves a deep understanding of one's inner self, fostering a sense of purpose, meaning, and interconnectedness with the universe or the things in it. Embracing spirituality holistically often involves practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and cultivating empathy, contributing to a harmonious balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of life.
Want to set some holistic SMART goals for spirituality? The counselors at Rise and Thrive Counseling are here to help with three easy steps below!
Step #1: Identify Your Values
Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some folx, spirituality is participation in an organized religion. For others, no deity/higher power is needed, and the focus is on exploring the self or nature. For others still, spirituality is just a feeling of connection to a value (like social justice or success).
To determine your values in this area, consider these reflection prompts:
How important are spiritual beliefs to you? (Note, there’s not a wrong answer here!)
What would stepping into a spiritual practice or belief look like for you?
Have you engaged in a spiritual practice before? What worked, and what didn’t?
Are you currently engaging in a spiritual practice? What is going well, and what would you like to change?
Regardless of where you are now, what would your perfect spiritual routine/belief/practice look like to you? How would you know you’re being successful in this dimension?
Hopefully, these reflection questions help determine (1) if this should even be a goal for you (for example, if you answered “not at all” to question one, it’s likely this isn’t relevant to you) and (2) the beginnings of a goal of what your spiritual practice/beliefs could look like.
Step #2: Set a SMART Goal
Use the answers to step one to determine what your goal should look like. Here are some examples to help inspire you:
Over the next three months, I will journal regarding my spiritual beliefs every Saturday night.
By July, I will find a church/mosque/synagogue/meditation group that I connect with and become a member.
By the end of February, I will have purchased and read one book regarding a spiritual belief that is interesting to me.
Every Sunday for the next six months, I will do a 15 minute yoga practice followed by 10 minutes of meditation.
Every morning for the next six months, I will pray/say affirmations/manifest before I begin work.
Step #3: Your Plan in Action
After you form a SMART goal based on your values and intentions, it's time to put that goal into action. Based on the examples above, here are some ways to move towards your goal:
Goal 1: working towards this goal may look like purchasing a journal, adding a journaling time to your calendar, telling a housemate your plan to keep you accountable, and/or setting up a journaling space for easy access.
Goal 2: working towards this goal may look like researching local groups/establishments that match your spiritual preference, reading about those establishments, asking friends or the local community Facebook page for recommendations, and/or trying out a few places.
Goal 3: working towards this goal may look like researching a variety of spiritual beliefs and writing down those that interest you, finding recommendations for books that align with that spiritual belief, saving up money to buy that book, and/or purchasing the book.
Goal 4: working towards this goal may look like blocking 25 minutes each Sunday on your calendar, grabbing a friend with a similar goal to complete this plan with you, finding YouTube videos for guided yoga and meditation, and/or securing a yoga mat/meditation pillow.
Goal 5: working towards this goal may look like researching what prayers/manifestations/affirmations typically sound like, writing some down ahead of time, making a consistent mental note after waking up to immediately complete your task, and/or planning a convenient time (like while brushing teeth or drinking coffee) to complete your task.
We hope this blog post helps you reflect on, set, and execute holistic spiritual SMART goals in 2024! If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!