Did you set the spiritual goal to grow in gratitude this year? Do you want to grow in gratitude, but you just aren’t sure where to start? Then this intentional, focused spiritual growth plan for gratitude is just what you need to achieve your spiritual goal. The best part? It’s totally free!
“I’ve had it. Something has to change.”
A few years ago I found myself plagued by discontent. I was grumbling and complaining about everything, and I was seeing the same behavior in my kids.
Nothing seemed to satisfy me.
Everything seemed wrong.
Nothing felt good enough.
Yet at the same time I knew I had so much I should be thankful for, could be thankful for. My heart just wasn’t in it.
I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know where to start. It seemed everything I had tried failed, and no amount of wishing to be more grateful got me past surface level obedience to obey the command to do all things without grumbling or complaining (Philippians 2:14).
There were times I would start a gratitude journal only to find myself forgetting to fill it in on day two.
I tried reading some Scriptures on gratitude, but I felt like I just read the same ones over and over.
I tried to make myself publicly proclaim what I was thankful for through social media challenges.
I made a thankful tree, gratitude jar, and I even tried reading a book on gratitude.
Let me tell you, in the years leading up to this “I’ve had it with my lack of gratitude moment,” I felt like I tried everything.
But what I never actually did was make an intentional plan to pursue a heart of gratitude.
Setting a spiritual goal to grow in gratitude is the first step in pursuing growth in gratitude.
However, if all you do is set the spiritual goal and not outline a plan for achieving the goal, then it’s not likely you’ll see any change in your heart toward gratitude.
The truth is we don’t want to simply be hearers of the Word and not doers of the Word also, right (James 1:22)?
Plus, what does it actually mean to achieve your spiritual goal?
In hindsight, it was likely that all of these little efforts to focus on gratitude were adding up, but I didn’t outline how I would measure my spiritual goal to grow in gratitude, so it just never felt good enough.
Have you ever felt like this?
Have you ever felt like you want to grow in an area of your spiritual life, but you just never measure up to what you think you’re supposed to be?
But then again, you never define what growth looks like, what “achievement” looks like, so you just keep setting the bar higher and higher for yourself? Or worse, you compare yourself to others…
Well, that’s what I hope to help you with today.
It wasn’t until I made a spiritual goal action plan that I began to truly make progress on my spiritual goal to grow in gratitude.
What is a Spiritual Goal Action Plan?
A spiritual goal plan is a simple process for outlining all the steps you need to take to accomplish your spiritual goal.
It’s that simple. But let me explain a little more.
A spiritual goal action plan can help you take your spiritual goal (what you know you need to grow in) and put some actionable steps to it (to apply what you know in your everyday life).
Then, it gives space for you to define what growth would look like.
It’s clear. It’s practical. It’s doable. It’s measurable.
How to create a Spiritual Goal Action Plan for Gratitude?
Don’t miss the FREE Gratitude Goal Action Plan Printable at the bottom of this post!
1. Start with writing down your spiritual goal.
Writing down your spiritual goal is powerful. You can read more about why we write down our goals here.
2. Then, write down why you want to grow in gratitude.
Writing down your why helps you to remember when the going gets tough why you started down this path in the first place.
Isaiah 25:1 says, “O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to your name; For you have worked wonders, Plan formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”
…plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness.
We are image bearers of the living God. And though I’m not cherry picking Scripture to make a point, I love how this verse shows that God had a plan, and He faithfully made good on that plan.
God is always faithful to complete His plans.
Are you faithful to complete the plans God has set before you to do?
If you struggle with this, then writing down your why for setting your spiritual goal to grow in gratitude can be a good step to helping you remain faithful to pursuing your goal.
You could have a number of reasons, but here are some to get you started:
- I want to be known as a grateful person.
- Gratitude is a command of Scripture; therefore, I want to seek growth for the glory of God.
- I don’t want to allow room in my heart for bitterness to take root.
3. Next, write down how you are going to seek growth in gratitude.
Make a list of everything you need to do to accomplish your spiritual goal to grow in gratitude.
It doesn’t have to be in any certain order, just list out all the steps you need to take to complete your spiritual goal.
Just ask yourself: What are the steps I need to take to grow in gratitude?
Here are some suggestions for action items related to your spiritual goal of growing in gratitude:
Read Scriptures related to gratitude
This was one of my favorite things to do as a teenager just learning to get into the Word of God.
If I was struggling with anger, I would look in the back of my Bible at the concordance and read all the Scripture references on anger.
If I was having a hard time being patient with my teammates or coaches, I would go to the concordance and read all the Scriptures listed under patience.
This has been incredibly helpful to me over the years. Not as a way of “cherry-picking” the Scriptures, but to get a concentrated look at the fact that the Word speaks to where I’m at.
As I let the Word wash over me, renewing my mind, it can help me move from where I am now to where I want to be (which is more like Jesus).
So, if your spiritual goal is to grow in gratitude, the best place to start is with the Word of God.
There are a couple ways you can go about this:
- You can look up Scripture references on gratitude in the concordance of your Bible.
- You can find a Gratitude Study or Bible Reading Plan on the topic already put together for you.
Both of these are totally valid options and just depend on what you need.
If you want something already put together for you, I created a 7-Day Scripture Study on Pursuing a Heart of Gratitude.
This 7-Day Scripture Study on Pursuing a Heart of Gratitude is designed to kick-start your growth in gratitude.
I don’t know about you, but before I’m convinced to give anything a try, I need to know WHY it matters.
This Scripture study will help you uncover the WHY of growing in gratitude, and then give you a jump-start into the HOW TO grow in gratitude.
It’s just 7-days, so you’ll get a quick win under your belt to propel you even further into growth in gratitude.
Once you’ve completed the 7-Day Scripture Study on Pursuing a Heart of Gratitude, you can dive into a more concentrated study of what the Bible has to say about gratitude with our Pursuing a Heart of Gratitude 21-Day Bible Reading Plan Journal.
This 21-day Bible reading plan will help you renew your mind in the Scriptures and propel you into active pursuit of gratitude in your life.
Through daily reading and journaling answers to the daily questions, you’ll be guided into a deeper understanding of what it means to pursue thankfulness and gratitude in your everyday life.
If you just want a list of Scriptures to read on gratitude without the guided prompts and Scripture Memory Cards, then you can download our free 21-Day Bible Reading Plan on Gratitude here.
Start a gratitude journal
Another simple, but effective way to grow in gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. Writing things down is incredibly powerful.
Research has shown that writing down what you are thankful for can literally rewire your brain toward more positive thinking long-term.
There are several ways you can go about this as well:
- Grab your journal and just start writing down things you’re thankful for. This is where a prayer journal or a prayer notebook can come in handy.
- Purpose to write something you’re thankful for at the bottom of your daily planner. My Made to Give Life Planner is a great planner for this.
- Use a a set of gratitude prompts to help you dig deeper.
I put together a 21-day Gratitude Journal with Scripture and prompts to help you pursue a heart of gratitude more deeply.
Through your daily time of journaling, you will learn how to use your daily Scripture reading as an opportunity to praise and bless God.
Plus you can download some beautiful Thank You cards to take your gratitude a step further!
If you just want the gratitude prompts without the Scripture and Thank You cards, you can download our free gratitude prompts version here.
Read books on gratitude
Next to reading God’s Word and prayer, reading books written by other people is a great way to seek growth in gratitude.
We put together a collection of books on gratitude you can check out here, but here are a few to add to your list now:
Growing in Gratitude by Mary K Mohler
One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp
Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
These are just a few ideas for getting you started creating your action plan to grow in gratitude!
For a complete Spiritual Goal Action Plan for Gratitude, scroll to the bottom of this post for a free download.
In the free download, I include several more actionable steps you can take to grow in gratitude.
4. Next, write how much time each action item will take.
After you’ve made a list of the actions that will help you grow in gratitude, beside each of those steps write how much time each task will take.
- If reading Scriptures on gratitude is part of your spiritual goal action plan, then perhaps you can spend 15 minutes a day devoted to reading Scripture on gratitude.
- Or if keeping a gratitude journal is part of your spiritual goal plan, then maybe estimate spending 5 minutes a day making an entry into your journal.
Whatever action items you list for growing in gratitude, the next step is to be realistic about how much time you will need to (or can) devote to actually doing it.
5. Then, it’s time to break your spiritual goal action items to grow in gratitude into monthly, weekly, and daily habits.
Having a plan is good, but if you don’t schedule the action items into your calendar, then it’s just a pretty sheet of paper.
Scheduling your action items is built into the Made to Give Life Planner, but however you manage your monthly, weekly, and daily planning, you’ll insert your goal action items into your agenda.
6. Finally, write down where you are now and what growth would look like.
Spiritual growth can be hard to measure, but writing down where you are now and what life will be like if you made these changes can be a helpful way to measure your growth in gratitude.
That’s it. That’s my simple process for outlining a spiritual goal plan to grow in gratitude.
Now you just have to start acting on your plans. This is truly the hardest part. I always tell people making the plan is easy, it’s the follow through that will get you.
But by grace, you can do this.
Remember, you are an image bearer of the One who is faithful to all of His plans. By His grace, and through the power of His Spirit at work in your, you can follow through on the plans He has for you.
Make it a habit to look at your goal action plan every day, or at least every week. Commit yourself to this, and see what He will do.
Download My Free Goal Action Plan to Grow in Gratitude
If you want the exact plan I followed when I set out to pursue growth in gratitude, then pop you email into the box below and I’ll send it right over.
I know a post like this can be hard to implement when you can’t take it with you, so I wanted to make it available it PDF format for you to use.
Plus, I do a lot of thinking for you!