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This isn’t the typical article about which backyard flowers are best for bees or how to grow the juiciest tomatoes. As we all know, spring is for new beginnings. Just like the Earth grows new plants, I want to grow in new areas of my life. These are seeds that might have been planted in early childhood, yet nothing has grown. Here are my goals and tips for spiritual, mental, and emotional growth for the months to come.

Seeds won’t grow in the sand.

It all starts with the foundation. Seeds grow best in rich, healthy soil. I’ve been learning to make Jesus and my faith the foundation of my life. I notice that when I get lazy with praying or I start prioritizing other parts of my life before God, life seems to slowly fall apart. Rely on God as your stronghold, and He won’t alter. It can be difficult to make God your first priority if you aren’t deep in your faith, but I encourage you to put all your purpose in a higher power.

Seeds need water and sun.

To start a new beginning, it’s important to be in your fittest state (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, environmentally, and occupationally). To put out your best self, you need to take care of yourself. This could be making sure you eat at every meal, get quality sleep every night, or are even taking time to pray every morning before all else. As for my new spring, I need to spend my time more wisely. I often find myself on social media when I get bored or unmotivated to do anything else. A goal for me is to spend less time on Insta captions and scrolling through Facebook every other day. When I spend my free time reading a book or creating artwork, I find myself in a much happier state of mind. This is essential for all other dimensions of wellness—water down before watering out.

Remove/treat pests.

I’m sure you can guess what this is about. Your plant can easily become infected or even die from bugs and their diseases. Same to us: we can start to act like or get weighed down by the toxic people in our life if they’re attached to us. I’ve definitely had friends who say or do things I don’t agree with. This is common; in fact, I think it would be rare to find someone you never have a disagreement with. Keep your distance from iffy people to ensure you aren’t becoming someone you don’t want to be. By doing so, you can save yourself from potential emotional breakdowns or even anger-related outbursts. Don’t undermine your morals.

Now that we have our bases down, I’ll share my goals for this upcoming season. I encourage you to make goals of your own (or steal mine)!

1.     Spiritual Growth

I have numerous goals in this area, but my main one is getting closer to God. Even though I read my Bible every day, it’s a challenge for me to completely comprehend what I just read or to even apply it to my life. As I continue reading the Bible, I continue to learn more about God. By applying my daily readings to my life, I learn more about myself. I’m starting to see who I am in God’s eyes. And that’s all that matters. My goal is to seek assistance from Google or elders in the church when I don’t understand the Bible. I will then have an easier time knowing how to apply His word to my life.

2.     Mental Growth

Moving to college and the separation from home have sparked numerous anxiety-induced situations. I am not diagnosed with anxiety, but I’ve definitely had feelings of nervousness, worry, and doubt. With those come shortness of breath, a racing mind, and a sick-to-my-stomach feel. A lot of the time, there is no cause to these feelings. I’m sure everyone can relate. My goal is to do more research on what is happening in the body during these situations. After understanding the body a bit better, I will see what I can do to take better care of myself to prevent these feelings. I will also research ways to calm myself during the situation. A personal approach I learned from my mom is to touch each finger to the thumb while saying, “My God loves me.” The physical touch and the words take my mind off of my worries.

3.     Emotional Growth

Believe it or not, I have a hard time communicating my deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s easy for me to shake things off because I can’t hold grudges. Where do I struggle? Telling people if something deeply bothers me. Do you ever feel like your problems aren’t big enough to share? Or you’re worried your friends won’t take these issues as seriously as you do? Me too. My goal for this new season is to identify my feelings and use the proper reaction to situations. Softening my heart might take a while, but I want it! Learn how to use my words in an appropriate manner…a.k.a. no pouting or yelling out of frustration. Sorry, Dad. :)

It may seem this article is too personal and might be just a short read for your evening, but I hope you take at least one thing out of it. I hope you have goals of your own and are constantly striving to be better in one way or another. What’re you planting in your garden this spring?

Gretchen is a junior at Winona State University majoring in Health Ed and Phy Ed with minors in Adaptive PE and Adventure Ed! She enjoys all things outdoors, she's a peanut butter fanatic, and Proverbs 31:26 is her favorite Bible verse. Gretchen is an RA in the resident halls and a Small Group Leader for a campus ministry, and she enjoys all the Lord equips her to do!
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