People set spiritual goals in order to connect to something that is considered more important than the individual and to meet specific social, emotional and mental needs. According to Psychology Today, people with spiritual goals are happier and experience greater feelings of well-being than those without a spiritual lifestyle.
Setting spiritual goals does not require attending formal religious services. Spiritual goals are often determined by examining a personal ethical or moral code and making changes to improve that code. For instance, setting the goal of giving back to the community is accomplished by volunteering at local charities or nonprofit organizations. Spiritual goals allow people to identify their personal beliefs and determine whether current goals match those beliefs.
According to Educational Psychology Interactive, spiritual goals are tools that aid people in reaching self fulfillment and transcendence based on Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. The hierarchy of human needs lists physiological needs as the most important, followed by safety, acceptance and belonging. Spiritual goals assist people in fulfilling several of these basic needs by providing a social network and sense of belonging within the community.
For example, attending religious services allows people to feel accepted among peers. Based on Maslow's pyramid of human needs, self transcendence is achievable by connecting to something greater than the self. Connecting to something greater than the self is accomplished by accepting a divine personality or by realizing the importance of caring for others in the world. Both religion and volunteering are methods of connecting to something greater than the self that also give meaning and purpose to life.