December 17, 2021

Get On The Same Page-Set Goals With Your Spouse And Watch How Life Gets Better

If you really want to be on the same page as a couple… and who doesn’t? … then it is essential that you invest the time to set goals together.

  • Taking this time to spend with your spouse to set goals will help you reconnect and learn new things about each other.
  • Your marriage will go stronger if you identify the growth areas in your relationship and address them with realistic goals. You can also identify upcoming challenges and opportunities in the new year and be prepared to face them together.
  • “It isn’t real until you write it down, “the saying goes. Indeed, writing your goals together makes them tangible and serves as a good reminder that you are on the same team.
  • You can better see how your personal goals mesh, not only with each other but with the overall goals for the family. This helps you to have a better plan, and you will accomplish more.
  • You will know when to celebrate! If you don’t know your goals, how will you know when you have reached them?  But if they are clearly defined, you can celebrate when you reach them and feel a great sense of shared- accomplishment.
  • Setting goals will also help you to more easily make course corrections when things don’t go as you planned. You will have a baseline to work from.

Setting Goals with Your Spouse

1.     Put it on the calendar. If you don’t plan to do this and protect the time for it on your calendar, you may never “get around to it.”  Make it a date. Plan on dinner out afterward or some other reward for doing something positive for yourselves and your relationship. It would be ideal if you could make a “retreat” of your goal setting by staying away from home and getting away from distractions.  A good schedule would be a Friday night to unwind and enjoy yourselves and then block out Saturday from 9 AM-3 PM if needed to do the actual goal setting.

2.     Decide on the areas for goal-setting. Together, decide on the areas of your lives in which you want or need to set goals for the coming year. Below are some examples:

·        Marriage/Relationship

·        Family

·        Finances

·        Friends/Social Life

·        Spirituality/Faith

·        Individual Goals/Dreams

  1. Plan and prepare individually. Once you have calendared the date and decided on the areas for goal setting, take at least a week to individually prepare for this crucial time together. Think through the questions below and make notes so that your time of goal setting with your spouse will be productive and show them how much you value them and your relationship.
  1. Think about the previous year.
    • What did you like best about last year personally?
    • What do you think was the high point of our year as a couple/family?
    • What was our biggest challenge?
    • What did we do really well?”
    • What lessons did we learn that we don’t want to forget? 
  1. Think about the coming year:
    • What life changes do we anticipate in this new year? (a wedding, the birth of a child, a move, graduations, empty nest, care of aging parents, retirement, etc.) How will we be affected?
    • What family activities or vacations do we want to plan and prepare for?
    • What is our current financial condition, and what changes do we need to make?
    • Do we anticipate any major purchases this year? (home, remodeling, or upgrade to present home, vacation home, car, etc.)
  1. Think about your personal goals and dreams. What do you want to accomplish this year personally?  These could be educational goals, career goals, health and fitness goals, personal enrichment goals, etc.  Be sure to think about what you will need to be successful and how your spouse can support you in accomplishing your goals.
  1. Set those goals! Here are a few instructions about setting those goals: 
  • Be open-minded. Listen to learn and understand what your spouse’s thoughts and feelings are. Don’t assume that you know.  Don’t judge their ideas or their feelings.
  • Be open-hearted. Remember, this is your life partner, not your co-worker, that you are setting goals with. So be kind and loving in your words and body language and lead from your heart – not your head!
  • Write down the goals that you set. Then, in each of the areas that you have chosen, write down your goals for the coming year. Remember, “It’s not real until you write it down!” 
  1. Get started! If it would be helpful to you, write down the steps you will take to achieve each goal, then take the first step as soon as you can. Stay flexible, but don’t quit.  Periodically assess your progress – once a month or once a quarter, or whatever the particular goal requires. Take time to celebrate the victories when you achieve them and to regroup and adjust when you don’t.

Goal setting as a couple can be extremely rewarding and productive. Still, it can also be frustrating and fraught with emotional land mines.  Good communication is the key.  If you and your spouse struggle with communication, let “improving our communication” be one of your goals.  Recon Coaching and Love Recon seminars can give you the tools to communicate and move forward in every area of your life and relationships.  Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation to learn how we can help you!

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.

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