If you’ve been around here the last few weeks, you’ve heard me talk quite a bit about goal setting. First, I posted about my one word and focus for 2018. Then, we talked about having a solid foundation and aligning your goals with your priorities – aka making sure you set goals you’ll accomplish.
I’d like to continue the goal setting conversation today with one last post – setting goals with your spouse. Individual goals are important and necessary, but all too often, we forget to include our spouse in those goals.
Hubs and I usually sit down at the beginning of this year to go over the prior year’s goals and update for the new year. We did things a little differently this year – by individually answering a list of questions we wrote ahead of time. It truly was the best goal setting session we’ve had. We were able to identify areas we’d both like to improve in our marriage, celebrate our favorite parts of 2017 and dream a little about what we’d like to accomplish in 2018.
It was such a great meeting in fact, that I want to share some of the how-to with you all.
So then, today I want to talk about some of the benefits of taking the time to set goals together with your spouse, some tips to make that time effective, as well as provide you with some of the questions that Hubs and I went over this year to help get you started.
Setting Goals with Your Spouse: Why You Should Do It
- Intentionally taking time to spend with your spouse to set goals gives you the opportunity to reconnect and intentionally take time to learn about your spouse.
- Setting goals with your spouse allows you to strengthen your marriage by giving time to identify and address possible areas of weakness, challenges, and opportunities for growth in the new year.
- Writing your goals together allows you to have a tangible list of things that you are working towards TOGETHER. This is so helpful to remind you both that you are in this thing called life together – you’re on the same team.
- By setting goals with your spouse, you allow yourself to put your individual goals in larger context of your marriage and family. This allows you to create a better working plan to get both family and individual goals accomplished.
- Your spouse can be your best accountability partner and cheerleader in accomplishing your goals.
- When you are working towards something together, you are able to celebrate all the big [and small] victories together.
- Setting goals together allows you the opportunity to re-asses and update your goals as needed throughout the year.
Setting Goals with Your Spouse: How to Make Your Time Effective
- Decide which areas of your lives are relevant or most important to set goals in for the year. Some ideas include:
- Personal Goals/Dreams
- Create a shared list of questions that you will work through together.
- About a week ahead of our goal setting date, we created a shared list of questions to cover the topics above. I wrote the questions and then sent to Hubs for review and commenting so he could add questions that he wanted to work through together. [You can download the questions that we used here!]
- Make it a date!
- This should be fun! Pick a date and a place that you both like to go over your goals. Maybe it’s your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or book store. Wherever it is, pick a place that you’ll both be excited to visit and will be able to sit and have good conversation.
- Prepare individually.
- Come to your date prepared. You wouldn’t go to a meeting with your boss unprepared. Don’t go into this meeting unprepared either. Preparing ahead ensures that you’ll be able to have a productive conversation (and tells your spouse that you value the opportunity to plan together.)
- Celebrate all the good of the year before.
- A good way to get started is to take some time in the beginning to remember some of the highlights of the previous year. Accomplishments, fun vacations, favorite memories, etc. Remembering these things together will help get your wheels turning for some of the things you’d like to do in the new year.
- Listen with an open mind and heart.
- This one is HUGE. This time is not only about remembering the good times, it’s also about identifying areas for improvement in your marriage. Frankly – this can be tough and uncomfortable to work through. Discuss areas of your marriage that could use some work and then work together to create a plan to safeguard against those in the new year.
- Hubs and I both individually agreed that communication was one of our biggest areas of weakness in 2017. It was helpful to have both of our perspectives on some of the causes and ways that we could improve in 2018. I cannot tell you how good it was to just listen to one another in a safe place where our concerns could also be heard.
- Take notes, write it down and get started.
- Writing your goals down significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to them. Take notes on what the other person is saying. Work together then to write your new goals for the year. Writing these down will allow you to go back and reference them throughout the year, and keep on track.
- Finally, just get started. Decide on your first action steps and just dive in.
Get Your FREE Goal Setting Worksheet HERE!
Thank you so much! Your Worksheet is on it’s way!