Goals With Soul: How To Set Spiritual New Years Resolutions

Goals With Soul: How To Set Spiritual New Years Resolutions

New Year is a natural time for us to take stock of our life and press the reset button. Simply thinking about the New Year is hugely inspiring. The coming year is a blank slate, just brimming with possibility.

(Of course, you can make new goals for yourself any time of year that you like! But New Year is a popular time for these obvious reasons.)

Since I’m always talking about soul-searching and going after your dreams, I thought I would tackle the subject of resolutions, but from a more spiritual perspective.

This isn’t about simply checking arbitrary events off of a list.

Knowing the reasons behind the desire offers us a chance to better understand ourselves.

Spiritual New Years resolutions are a combination between vows and intentions.

You can concentrate on what you want to see or have more of or what you need less of.

You might come up with some very personal action goals, wishes for the world or a theme word that resonates. The accompanying worksheet allows space for all potential thoughts. This is a personal process and it’s important to make it work for you.

How To Set Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions

There are three basic components of a soul-filled New Years resolution, intention or goal:

Spiritual New Years Resolutions Principle #1:

The What

The easiest way to work through this is by starting with the goal itself. What wishes do you have for yourself for the coming year?

This is a great time to sit down and do some mind-mapping. I like to break this down into four categories, just to get extra clarity:

  • Health: body & wellness
  • Relationships: family, friends & society
  • Livelihood: career & money
  • Miscellany: the world & beyond

But instead of focusing on solid things as with regular goals, I suggest starting off with feelings.

Feelings are a lot different than physical objects or experiences. But feelings are what truly matters in life! When we think about change in our life, we’re usually thinking about the resulting feelings more than the actions themselves.

Try using one sheet of paper for each zone, then allow your mind to wander. Write down any idea that intrigues you! The point is not to hone right on one goal but to open up our channels of creativity and learn what speaks to us the most strongly in this current moment. Then once you’ve emptied your mind of all possibilities, take a closer look at each category and pick what you really want to focus on.

Make a copy of your final list of choices and keep it somewhere that you can reference it easily.

Spiritual New Years Resolutions Principle #2:

The Why

Now that we’ve mapped some basic goals, let’s take another look at them. I’m always very interested in the why behind the goal. No one arrives in adulthood without some emotional or psychological baggage and self-knowledge offers a way for us to be truly ourselves.

For example, we might think we want to improve our career because we love our job. But maybe lately it’s more to do with recovering from a recently broken heart or other let-downs. Perhaps we can fill that need in another more immediate way.

We often operate on old paradigms or subconscious reactions. You’re the only one who can liberate your desire from the past. Your true self might not be at all interested in what you used to think you wanted from life!

I can tell you from personal experience that few things make me more depressed than comparing my current reality to where I used to think I’d be by now! But consciously disregarding that old programming allows me to re-evaluate who I am and what I want from life. It offers freedom.

So while you’re examining your whys, throw away all your old shoulds and all those old outgrown expectations. Remain open to all possibilities and don’t let yourself be attached to one idea of who you should be.

Spiritual New Years Resolutions Principle #3:

The How

Now it’s time to dive in a little deeper still! You’ve got a few inspiring ideas written down; from here it’s time to get specific and make some plans about how to achieve them. Vague desires like feeling “rich” or “loved” can mean vastly different things to different people. But the most important thing is what those ideas mean to you.

Think carefully about what you really need to have in order to feel how you want to feel. Strategy is the only thing that can make most dreams a reality. So if you have a big overarching goal, think about how you can break that down into smaller steps. What can you do today, this week, this month in order to give you more of what you want to feel?

Life isn’t an all-or-nothing game. Getting what we want in life typically involves taking lots of tiny steps towards what we want rather than huge flying leaps. It’s always best to start where you are, with what you can rather than setting out unrealistic expectations for yourself. So make it easy for yourself. Make it doable.

A New Years Resolution Warning

While resolutions have the power to be powerful agents of change, there’s also a darker side to be aware of. It’s important to avoid the trap of thinking you need to achieve something in order to be truly happy.

Resolutions (or goals) are an important part of growth; without growth, we become stagnant. Improving ourselves or our lives is not optional; it’s necessary. But thinking that we can’t be truly happy or that we don’t deserve happiness until we achieve some arbitrary goal, is a damaging belief.

In life, there’s no finish line where you’ll be “done”. That’s just not how it works.

You deserve true happiness, at this moment, exactly as you are. And you are meant to experience your current reality exactly as it is. You need to truly understand that concept in order to go about making life changes in a positive way.

Goals aren’t about punishing yourself or making yourself feel less than whole. Happiness won’t ever become suddenly available to you after you jumped through a certain set of hoops. When viewed through that lens, true happiness is destined to forever remain in the distant future. But true happiness is about learning to accept and thrive in the present, no matter what that happens to be.

I’m wishing you lots of time to rest, celebrate and recuperate this holiday season! Be soft with yourselves my darlings!

I’m taking the next little while off but I’ll be back here in January. Sending merry wishes to you all!

Jenn Stevens The Aligned Life

PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about 7 ways to feel abundant (even when you’re broke!) or this one about Feng Shui and the Law of Attraction.

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Goals With Soul: How To Set Spiritual New Years Resolutions


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