Soo...when I said I would "post tomorrow" on my goal for December, I actually meant "the tomorrow a couple days away." Apparently...?
But! Late posting aside, I finally decided on what I'm working on in December (in My Healthiest Year Yet).
It was tough! I really wanted to focus on two areas: screen time (mine) and spirituality. Spirituality won out because 1) I just really need to focus on strengthening that part of me right now, and 2) because CHRISTMAS! If there's an extra-appropriate month to spend deepening my love all-around and increasing my desires for good, December is probably it.
(Plus I've already been working on my screen time the past few weeks, so I think I'll continue to keep it a background goal for now).
I'm religious, but I hope it goes without saying that this type of goal (one focusing on spirituality) can totally apply to someone who isn't. To me, "spirit food" looks like studying scripture and spending time praying and thinking deeply about the things I read and experience there. To someone else, spirit food may look like yoga and meditation...or studying and practicing a common human virtue like patience or kindness. The bottom line is that attending to our spiritual health is important, and totally worth spending a little time improving.
So! Here's my specific, measurable goal for December:
spend at least 20 mins a day in focused scripture study/prayer/pondering.
(20 mins is my favourite number...it's a psychological trick because 30mins sounds like an overwhelming commitment to me sometimes...haha!)
From my experience, everything in my life feels better when I'm right with my God, when my heart is in the right place and I'm feeling spiritually nourished. Life may not go the way I want it to, but I'm more patient when it doesn't. I acknowledge bigger things than myself and more readily keep a long-term perspective...and I more easily remember truths like "I don't know everything." Haha!
I am more patient with my husband and enjoy his company more. My love for him inches closer and closer to being truly unconditional. It becomes increasingly easier for me to see marriage as my opportunity to be a better person when things seem unfair instead of a battleground to fight for an even score in all-the-things.
My gaze at the world gets softer. I begin to see others as children of God and want to treat them as such. I can feel His love for them, and how non-dependent that love is on how poorly they are behaving. I get a better sense of how important each and every person is to Him.
I can hear His whispers more clearly. I'm more likely to stop what I'm doing and listen to that quiet suggestion to message a loved one, or offer to bring dinner to a friend. I care less about appearing witty, confident, and forward-thinking (whatever that means) and more about actually being compassionate, wise, and understanding.
Plus! Science says that it's likely that my physical health will be better when my spiritual health is: less stress, lower blood pressure, higher reported levels of life satisfaction, better response to medical treatments, etc....
Knowing what life feels like when I'm feeding my spirit...contrasted with how I'm feeling when I'm not...has me hungry. So that's where my health goals are at this month!
I'm not sure how to post progress with this goal on Instagram...but if my IG posts start to get a lot more philosophical and soul-searching, you'll have this goal to blame..ha!
University of Minnesota Why is Spirituality Important?
UCLA The Psychological and Physical Benefits of Spiritual/Religious Practices
University of Maryland Medical Centre Spirituality
BrainBlogger Spirituality Improves Mental Health