Emotional & Spiritual Goals

Because of how important mutual support of a community can be, You might join with others while working on this area. Other people can see our blind spots and help us recognize if we haven’t made as much change as we think we have. This area has a lot of overlap with social goals because our increasing emotional and spiritual maturity helps us relate to others more honestly, more kindly, and we chose more selective friendships who support our progressions. 

Personal responsibility

It may be someone else’s fault, but blame won’t help you heal or fix your life. It may be legitimate to see yourself as a victim, but in most cases, this won’t push the offender to make things right. Responsibility means you are the one who has the “response-ability” though not the blame. In AA, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. This is an example of taking responsibility because it is acknowledging that while you might not have chosen some situations, you chose the coping mechanism and it became unmanageable. Use the 12 steps or see Pema Chodron’s writings & talks, including the title Getting Unstuck. This is a powerful practical guide for overcoming anger, blame, and anxiety. 

Benefits: Getting unstuck; feeling empowered; seeing your value and potential in a larger context. Find other ways to feel okay instead of ways that will cause crash and burn.


Consider a daily practice that could include the following: Mention when a family member or friend did something well or tried sincerely. Mention to other people any kindness you receive. Send a note of thanks to anyone who helps you, especially if the help seemed beyond their obligation. Write a positive review on Yelp or Google reviews for a company that served you well or kindly. Offer to be a work reference or write a testimonial for a contractor who does a good job. Keep a notebook to record what you are grateful for. Set a regular time to share with a friend or family member what you are grateful for that day or week. 

Benefits: There is solid research on the health and happiness benefits of a gratitude practice. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/GGSC-JTF_White_Paper-Gratitude-FINAL.pdf


A daily practice—prayer, meditation, talks, or journaling—can put you in touch with your intuition. Find a mentor, therapist, or group. Study Brene Brown’s 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.


Start a daily or weekly practice of unpaid service. It could be as simple as a note of encouragement to someone in a challenging situation or a contribution of your expertise to an online wiki. Community service could overlap with your category of talents and interests. An internet search of “types of volunteer service” or “volunteer organizations” will bring up various options. There are also organizations such as volunteermatch.org that can help you locate opportunities related to specific interests. Individuals volunteering with a non-profit or government entity are protected by the Volunteer Protection Act of 1955. “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) is a reminder to find service that we enjoy. Service precedes compassion.

Benefits: Consider the principle of karma referred to by Jesus when he said  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1. Learning, social, or networking opportunities may arise.

Compassion & the bigger picture

See Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life: Karen Armstrong (see the TED talk, the book of the same title, and the podcast of Oprah’s interview with her). Study teachings such as those of Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Llama. For those open to spirituality and/or religion, shifting your worldview to a big-picture focus, one that transcends the material, can help you enter a more meaningful life. If organized religion doesn’t appeal to you, near-death experiences (NDEs) are a growing phenomenon that offers a glimpse into what some experience as the afterlife. The study of these experiences offers a non-denominational way to study what may be the larger context of life. Check out The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth.

Benefits: Compassion for others increases self-compassion. Religion or a spiritual perspective generally points toward a view of cooperation and compassion.

Notes on Anxiety

Need Help Overcoming Beliefs That Hold You Back? Pamela Slim Recommends Asking Yourself These Four Questions  

“Fear-setting” Questions by Tim Ferriss