I always love the start of a new year, as it welcomes a fresh new perspective. It can be fun to set new goals, write out bigger dreams and craft a daily rhythm to achieve all the things we set out. Of course, I also know this time of year can be incredibly frustrating and disappointing, too. Wanting to grow, mature, adopt better habits, and spend more time with God, but faced with constant distractions and pressures.
However you’ve dealt with New Year’s resolutions in the past, I invite you to keep an open heart in 2022. There is always room for growth and improvement. Who knows, this could be the year you smash your goals! Keep in mind that these disciplines are meant to be enjoyable. I’ve put together some spiritual goals worth introducing to your schedule (and keeping!) this new year—note that if these spiritual goals are not right for you, feel free to take inspiration and create your own!
- Pray regularly
Of course, it’s helpful to have scheduled prayer times in your day, like first thing in the morning or before a meal. But I’ve also found it to be helpful to pray throughout the day, too. Prayer is such a powerful tool and connecting point between us and God. We’re meant to have a constant relationship with Him, not just on Sunday mornings or when it’s convenient for us. So the next time have your own trials that pop up during the day, turn to Jesus right away—take a moment to connect with Him and ask Him to carry those heavy burdens. You may not receive an answer right away, or the one you want, but your relationship with Him will be strengthened, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
2. Give back
Make connections, share your heart, and spread encouragement. Not only will you be a source of joy to others, but you’ll feel better, too. If you don’t have anything else to give but time, then wonderful! Dedicate your time to serving those around you—that’s a precious gift.
3. Practice gratitude
I found having a gratitude jar great last year (and it is something I’m doing again this year). We can often overthink gratitude, at its core— it’s to give goodness and grace to others. Choosing what to be thankful for doesn’t have to be complicated. Many times my gratefulness comes from simple things. Take time to pause at the start/end of each day to reflect on 1-3 times you are grateful for.
4. Mornings with God
There truly is something special about getting up early and carving out time for God first thing in the morning. Not only does it help put you in a correct mindset right away, but you’re starting your day off reminded of truth and light, which is necessary in our world. That instant connection with God can’t be overestimated. Perhaps start with the YouVersion App in the morning, reflecting on the verse of the day.