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Blog: Wellness Wednesday – “Will Your Spirituality SOAR In 2024?”

Wellness Wednesday – “Will Your Spirituality SOAR In 2024?” By Chris Wethman

It is meet, right, and salutary to dedicate this Wednesday Wellness Blog to those who have made or are considering making New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, eating healthier, and gaining financial security top the list of the most common promises. Only a small percentage make it past Quitters Day, January 17th. By that day, most well-intentioned resolutions have gone by the wayside.

Weight loss, including more vegetables and fruits in your diet, and coming up with a plan to save money are all worthwhile goals for 2024. However, if you are aiming to successfully achieve these goals, there’s wisdom in viewing them as lifestyle changes by focusing on the process. The good news? It takes only about 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. The not-so-good news, it can take between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit that translates into a lifestyle adjustment.

So, if you’ve got physical and financial wellness on your mind, where does your spiritual wellness rank? How will your life change if you resolve for your spirituality to SOAR[1] in 2024? Don’t know how or where to start? Take time to pray and then consider the questions in the four areas below for guidance:

The Process:

  • You do not have to answer all of them. In fact, you may want to create your own.
  • Begin to fill in the sections. It’s often useful to start with the “Strengths” section.
  • Then move on to fill in the other sections in the order that is easiest for you. This will help you do the more challenging ones.

  • God created us to live in community. That’s why…
    • It’s helpful to identify a family member or friend to serve as an accountability partner to help you focus and act.
    • Working in pairs or even small groups, asking questions and listening to answers, can be helpful.
    • Connecting with a coach through the SED Coaching Network can provide you with guidance, support, and feedback on your progress.

New Year’s resolutions actually go back to ancient times. One common resolution of the Babylonians was to return borrowed farm equipment. The ancient Romans declared January 1st as the start of the new year. The month was named after the two-faced god Janus, who looked forward to new beginnings and back for reflection and resolution. In Medieval times, knights would resolutely renew their vow to chivalry at the end of the year. In the early 1900s in the United States, these resolutions mainly reflected a desire to develop a stronger moral character, a stronger work ethic, and more restraint in the face of earthly treasures.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, one concept or theme that has “staying power and universal voice” can be identified as human flourishing. According to the article entitled, “A Biblical Theology of Human Flourishing”[2] human flourishing is the idea that encompasses all human activity and goals because there is nothing so natural and inescapable as the desire to live, and to live in peace, security, love, health, and happiness. The article further asserts that human flourishing is a key biblical theme woven throughout the Old and New Testaments where we find the very nature and goal of God’s redemption for us in Christ, who promises us eternal and abundant life.

God cares about our happiness and flourishing. His saving work in us entails properly pursuing life and flourishing and being instruments of the same to others. St. Augustine believed that salvation is “the healing of love so that one may rest in God.” He also wrote that, “Salvation is growing into the wisdom of divine love and enjoying yourself in the process.”

Resolve now to grow into the wisdom of divine love and enjoy the process. Let your spirituality soar in 2024!

[1] SOAR is a trademark of Jackie Stavros & Gina Hinrichs, The Thin Book of SOAR: Building Strengths-based strategy, 2009.

[2] Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (Jonathan T. Pennington, PhD)

Compiled by Christine Wethman, Honoring Strengths, LLC from Appreciating Church