Happy New Year! I always enjoy bringing in another year because it means another year of goals, gratitude, and growth. Sometimes a new year is the perfect time for a fresh start in relationships, finances, and spirituality.
I understand that some individuals don’t like the term “resolution” and that’s okay. Personally I don’t mind the term but I’m also a goal-setter who prefers to set goals throughout the year. I want you to know that the beginning of another year is not the only time that we can set goals – goals can be created, revised, and revamped at any time of the year. For this time of year, I use the terms resolution and goal practically interchangeable – but you can use whatever terminology you prefer!
Is one of your resolutions or goals related to your spiritual life? Is one of your resolutions or goals related to prayer or reading the Bible more?
I’m not ashamed to admit that each year one of my goals is to “grow in my faith.” But how do we “grow in faith?” That can mean so many things to so many people. However, what I intentionally do each year is outline stepping stones that help me reach that finish line of “growing in my faith.”
In order to set a GOAL, you need to give yourself practical ways to get there. It is important to define what it means to “grow in faith.”
Over the years my definition of growing in faith has meant different things. When I first converted to Catholicism, it meant learning more about the Church, the Sacraments, and even myself. As I continued to practice Catholicism, growing in faith turned into diving into Scripture, praying the rosary, and reading spiritual books. When setting out to grow in faith, one must get specific about what that means.
In 2019 I outlined what I would do in order to grow in my faith. My two missions in this area of life were to “read the Bible more” and “pray the rosary more.” But I didn’t stop there!
In order to “read the Bible more,” I grabbed a Bible reading plan and got to work! Each morning I would dive into Scripture so that I could truly learn the Word of God.
In order to “pray the rosary more,” I needed to know where I started out and what more meant exactly. It was also important to be reasonable and practical with what more meant. Therefore I set out to pray the rosary once a week. Now it’s a habit. Now it is something I can build upon.
When you set a GOAL, make sure to outline the steps and quantify things like more. Also, make sure your outlined steps are practical for your life right now and for your start line.
Set your goal…and then outline your stepping stones and don’t be afraid to get really specific.
So how will I “grow in faith” in 2020?? What are my outlined steps?
- Read the daily Mass readings every morning. I use a planner that has the daily readings listed in it for each day but I also like to receive the daily Mass readings from the USCCB in my emails each morning just in case I don’t get in my morning Bible and coffee time. I completed my Bible reading plan in November and so I actually started doing this last year, but it is something I will really work towards continuing since I feel like it’s helped keep me connected to the Church since I started it.
- Learn more about the Saints….but what does more mean? Well to me it means learning a little about a Saint each day of the year. For this resolution I bought the book Lives of the Saints because it highlights a new saint (or saints) each day. Therefore, in order for me to “learn more about the saints,” I will begin with learning a little bit about each saint highlighted in the book!
- Adopt a saint for 2020. This is actually something new I’m doing this year! In order to dive deeper into this idea of “learning more about the saints,” I am actually going to adopt a saint this year. A saint to study, ask for intercession, and truly get to know this year. If I feel like it helps this year then perhaps I will continue to do so! This year I picked St. Therese of Lisieux – I didn’t as much pick her as she just kept coming up in my reading, research, and prayer so perhaps she picked me. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I have decided to study her life, her writings, and truly devote time to learning about her and asking for her intercession in my life and petitions. I started reading her autobiography and I already know that I will read it many times in 2020 because it is already so very powerful!
When setting goals, it is important to outline your action steps so that you have a way to achieve those goals. When setting spiritual goals, it is important you define what your more is. It is also important to know where your start line Is so that you know where your finish line is going to be.
Do you have any spiritual goals or resolutions this year? Feel free to share them with me!