Man setting spiritual new year's resolutions

Making spiritual new year’s resolutions

There is a power in making spiritual new year’s resolutions. Make promises that go beyond the usual intention to quit smoking or lose weight.

Climb the staircase and engage in your  spiritual growth

As the New Year dawns, many of us engage in the tradition of setting resolutions. While commonly focused on physical or career goals, there’s a profound depth to be explored in spiritual resolutions. These are commitments not just to our actions but to our inner growth and harmony. Let’s journey into the art of crafting resolutions that resonate with our spiritual essence.

Commit to grow your inner soul, spirituality, and sense of being in this universe. This year, make spiritual New Year’s resolutions.

Man making spiritual new year's resolutions

History of New Year’s resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions dates many years and has roots in religious and cultural practices.

Ancient Babylonians

The earliest recorded practice of making resolutions comes from the Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. They were said to have promises to the gods at the start of each year to return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

Ancient Romans

After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar, January 1st became the start of the new year. The first day of the year was dedicated to Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, gates, transitions, and endings, and so people made promises of good behaviour.

Medieval era

In the medieval period, knights took a “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry.

Religious influences

In Judaism, the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serve as a time for reflection on actions and making amends. In Christianity, the practice of making resolutions is often linked to Lent, where we give up certain luxuries like chooclate.

Modern era

Making resolutions around New Year’s Day is generally secular, and all together quite bland. I once worked with someone who vowed to ‘just be better’ as their main resolution. Needless to say, I don’t think they would have seen any success in such a vague intention.

Indeed, we’ve all made the common commitments to exercise more, eat healthier, learn a new skill, or quit a bad habit like smoking.

The essence of spiritual new year’s resolutions

We’ve all done the usual New Year’s resolutions. Promising to achieve vague goals like ‘exercise more’ or ‘cut down on boozing’. These kinds of intentions are not likely to succeed, and are always about achieving things outside of us.

Many new year's resolutions involve giving up craft beer

Spiritual resolutions however are more about your internal growth and understanding. They focus on evolving our thoughts, emotions, and spiritual awareness. A spiritual journey using these commitments is a deeply personal one, and should align with your own spiritual beliefs and practices.

Reflecting on the past year

Before setting your new spiritual resolutions, we recommend taking a moment to reflect on your spiritual journey over the past year.

Engaging in this deep and honest reflection lays the groundwork for meaningful resolutions.

Setting intentions, not just goals

Spiritual resolutions thrive on your intentions for change and action, rather than rigid external goals.

Look out the window at the start of the year and set your spiritual new year's resolutions

It’s about setting a direction for your inner journey. For example, rather than a goal to meditate daily, set an intention to cultivate inner peace and mindfulness. This allows for a more flexible and forgiving approach.

What are some spiritual resolutions?

If you’re struggling to conjour some meaningful spiritual new year’s resolutions, here’s some examples:

Making spiritual new year's resolutions with a pen and paper
  1. Daily meditation: Commit to a daily practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Get into the habit of knowing how you feel, and what your true journey is.
  2. Practicing gratitude: Make mental space to acknowledge the things you’re lucky to have, and what you can be thankful for.
  3. Selfless service: Who are the people around you that need your help? What are the obligations staring you in the face, but you ignore out of fear? Engage in service to your demands, without expecting anything in return.
  4. Spiritual study: Dedicate time to study spiritual texts or teachings that resonate with you. Read more Cultivated Zen!

How to enter New Year spiritually – integrating spiritual New Year’s resolutions into daily life

The key to successful spiritual resolutions is integrating them into any daily routine you have. Our usual resolutions at this time of year fail because we set them lightly without making them part of our of lives.

Start early before New Year’s Eve, considering what you want more of. Set aside specific times for your practices or tie them to existing habits (e.g., meditating for a few minutes after your morning coffee).

On New Year’s Eve, I really dislike being packed into a pub or house party at midnight. The best turns of the year have been done in quiet, either with loved ones, or on my own.

One year I stood in the dark in my garden, on my own, having taken a micro dose of mushrooms. Listening to the fireworks from many directions, I felt the burdens of past shame and trauma die away. Clarity over my priorities washed in, and I was able to make spiritual new year’s resolutions, committing to doing more for my family and serving their needs.

I highly recommend a dark, quiet, and peaceful New Years Eve.

Overcoming challenges and staying committed to spiritual new year’s resolutions

It’s normal to face obstacles in maintaining your resolutions.

Writing down the truths you discover in the darkness of a New Years midnight will act as an engraving of that spiritual moment you unearthed. When challenges arise, return to your original intention.

Remember why you embarked on this journey and allow that purpose to reinvigorate your commitment.

Cultivating community for spiritual new years resolutions

Spiritual journeys can be enriched by community.

Many will seek out like-minded individuals, whether in physical local groups or online communities, to share experiences, challenges, and insights. For us introverts, just reading the thoughts of others on forums like Reddit, or great blogs, can be the support and connection we need.

As we step into 2024, let us do so with a spirit of renewal and introspection. Our spiritual resolutions are not just tasks to be checked off but paths to deeper understanding and connection. We invite you to share your own spiritual resolutions and experiences in the comments below, fostering a community of growth and support.

Embrace the spiritual and stay zen, folks.


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