A spiritual development plan is an important addition to your self-care routine if you are looking for ways to add more meaning and fulfillment to your everyday life. But like any self-care routine, a successful spiritual growth plan has to fit in with your beliefs, lifestyle, and comfort level.
The following ideas are here to help you tailor your plan for personal spiritual development to your individual needs. After implementing some of these ideas, you may find that your spiritual self-care routine feels easier and more satisfying.
What Is A Personal Spiritual Development Plan?
Ideally, a personal spiritual development plan is a structured exploration of key aspects of your relationship with both your true self and a higher power, cultivated in a way that will help you feel supported and guided.
But keep in mind that spirituality is incredibly personal and unique to each individual. So, what may work for your spiritual practice may not work for everyone. That’s why it’s important to consider different elements of spiritual growth and consider their value to you as a person before trying to implement your own spiritual development routine.
How To Create Your Spiritual Development Plan?
The best way to create a spiritual growth plan that is unique to your needs and desires is to take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. There are a few basic guidelines to follow when planning your spiritual development but overall, the best plan will be tailored to your interests and comfort level.
There are many ways to enhance your spiritual maturity and wisdom. Encouraging that sense that there is something greater than you is something that can add deeper meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction to your spiritual life. Mindfulness, self-reflection, connecting with a higher power, creativity, gratitude, and positive affirmations are important ingredients in your spiritual plan but how you execute them is completely up to you.
What To Include In Your Spiritual Development Plan – 6 Practical Tips
The following are some helpful ideas on what to include within your spiritual development plan. While all these components are helpful additions to your toolkit, it’s important to remember that the best spiritual development program is one that is unique to your needs and tailored to your personal values and spiritual gifts. So, please take the following points as possible suggestions to take into consideration rather than as obligatory elements in your spiritual development.
# 1 – Time To Meditate And Be Mindful
Mindfulness and meditation are the cornerstones of any spiritual practice and can be a great first step to spiritual learning. Many studies have been conducted that prove meditation promotes inner peace . When you meditate, you are are activating your body’s relaxation response. Most of us are so used to living with chronic stress that we often don’t realize just how tightly wound we are until something tips the scale and causes us to lose our cool. But a consistent meditation practice can help deactivate your body’s stress response and the parts of your brain and nervous system that are responsible for fight or flight.
Mindfulness and meditation are important for your spiritual growth plan because they focus on present moment awareness. Being in the present moment means that you are aware of all that is going on around and within you at the time that you’re actually experiencing it.
There are a number of benefits to present-moment awareness including an improved ability to adapt to stress and increased overall well-being . Often, our minds are bombarded with a random movie reel of thoughts that we get swept up in. We experience slivers of present moment awareness but mostly spend our time listening to the streaming narrative that is always playing in the background of our minds.
Consistently practicing mindfulness and meditation will help those slivers of present-moment awareness expand to where you are no longer controlled by your thoughts and emotions, which helps you to grow spiritually. When you can disidentify with your thoughts it makes way for a deep sense of spiritual peace and harmony within. A great way to get started with mindfulness and meditation is by following along with easy guided meditations like THESE MEDITATIONS FOR STRESS RELIEF.
# 2 – Time For Soul-Searching And Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is an important tool to include in your spiritual development plan because it allows you to take a more neutral look at the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that make you who you are, for better or for worse. By taking time to self-reflect, you avoid the lack of spiritual growth associated with complacency.
Self-reflection helps you to understand your strengths and needs by assessing yourself, your goals, and the personal obstacles you may need to overcome to achieve those goals. Instead of just carrying on as you always have, self-reflecting gives you a multidimensional perspective of who you are and where you are in this moment. When you are able to objectively observe yourself, you can more easily pinpoint and neutralize the barriers that are preventing you from achieving your highest potential and alignment with your higher self.
One self-reflection practice that will help you grow spiritually is journaling to and about your future self. Future-self journaling is gaining in popularity because it’s an effective way to gauge where you are in relation to where you want to be.
Journaling is more effective than just daydreaming about the future you want because the act of writing something down has been proven to improve your beliefs in your abilities and your locus of control . Locus of control refers to how strongly you believe you have control over the circumstances of your life. This is an important aspect of spirituality to reflect on because it allows you to become aware of the relationship you have with your higher self.
It can be difficult to figure out how to incorporate journaling into your spiritual growth plan. But there are plenty of resources that take you step by step through the process. For instance, our popular LETTERS TO MY FUTURE SELF BOOKLET is an interactive e-book that gives you all the prompts, tools, and instructions to help you get started on your self-reflection journey to more spiritual growth and well-being.
# 3 – Time To Connect To God Or Your Higher Power
An effective spiritual development plan is going to include ways to connect to a higher power. People find their alignment with their inner beings in many different ways. A great way for you to connect with God, the Universe, or whatever you call that higher power is by finding what feels most comfortable to you.
Some people find that being a part of an organized religion and going to church helps them feel closest to God. Others may find that fishing, meditation, practicing yoga, playing an instrument, or being in nature makes them feel one with all that is. Whatever activity you decide on, you’ll know you’re doing it right if it helps you feel joy, gratitude, peace, and love.
# 4 – Time For Creativity And Joy
Pursuing creative pleasure is a great addition to your spiritual development plan. Creativity and spirituality are inextricably linked because they both involve entering an inner realm of the mind where inspiration and the creative process live.
There are many different ways you can flex your creative muscles. You may enjoy writing – this could be in the form of personal essays or poetry. Or maybe you like to sing or play an instrument. Engaging in any kind of creative activity is great as long as it feels right for you. This doesn’t have to be a serious endeavor, either. You aren’t getting judged on how artistic or creative you are – what matters is that what you are doing feels satisfying and enriching. Writing funny limericks or singing silly jingles counts as creativity time.
If you’re feeling lost on how to incorporate creativity into your spiritual growth plan, you might consider mindfulness coloring. Coloring is an incredible way to create present moment awareness and encourage mindful thoughts and actions. There are a ton of free coloring pages you can find online, like THESE FREE MANDALA COLORING PAGES.
# 5 – Time For Gratitude-Based Self-Care
Gratitude is an incredibly important component of any spiritual development plan. When you focus upon an attitude of appreciation, this puts you in a state of being that is present and peaceful. Gratitude is the ultimate spiritual practice because the act of praising and celebrating what you have and who you are means to be aligned with a divine higher power. When we consistently practice gratitude, we are better able to see the value and virtue in everything around us. This loving state of being is that slice of the Divine that many of us are searching for in one way or another.
A great way to incorporate gratitude into your spiritual growth plan is to start a gratitude journal. There are many guided gratitude journals out there that offer prompts or instructions for how to get the most out of this practice. THIS 52-WEEK GRATITUDE JOURNAL is great if you are looking for expert advice and guidance on gratitude journaling. A different set of prompts for each week helps you to build on your practice and is an excellent tool to include in your personal spiritual development.
Or: if you have a Christian perspective on life, you might be interested in a GRATITUDE JOURNAL WITH PRAYER SECTIONS that includes prayers in addition to the weekly guided prompts and instructions.
# 6 – Time For Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can be a helpful tool for your spiritual practice because the more you use them, the greater of an effect they tend to have on your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and decisions. Affirmations also help with spiritual alignment because they remind you of the love that is always around you, of the power you hold within you, and the fact that the Universe has your back.
Affirmations are powerful because they help you to relearn how to speak to yourself. Our self-talk usually veers on the negative and critical side, which leads to low self-worth and feelings of not being enough. These limiting beliefs end up negatively impacting your relationships, careers, and goals.
But when you are able to retrain yourself to engage in positive self-talk, you experience less stress and improved problem-solving abilities . There are a ton of positive affirmation resources out there but if you have (or are open to) a Christian perspective, you might be interested in THESE BIBLE-BASED AFFIRMATION CARDS, specifically designed to support a God-centered affirmation practice.
The Bottom Line
Creating a spiritual development plan doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. By understanding the basic components of what goes into such a plan, you can begin to come up with your own creative methods for incorporating more spiritual peace and harmony into your life. Or, if you want a little more guidance, you can draw on RESOURCES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH to compose your own spiritual development program as an integral part of your personal self-care routine.
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