Goals keep us striving for improvement. We set them, work hard to achieve them and are thrilled when we do. Everyone has personal goals but couple goals are often overlooked. Personal goals are distracting and it’s easy to get consumed by everything you have going on. The year 2016 is still fresh and new so in between your personal goals and resolutions, start goal setting with your partner. Below are five steps to successfully set goals this New Year.
1. Pick a goal. Any goal
Whether goal setting is fairly new to you and your spouse or is something the two of you have been doing for years, start with one. You want this goal to be a biggie like improving your financial situation, talking with one another in a healthier, more respectful way or moving into a new place.
2. Assess it
Setting S.M.A.R.T goals increases a couple’s chance of reaching their goal. S.M.A.R.T goal setting is a more structured approach that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Start by writing down the goal, assess and then edit it until the goal is S.M.A.R.T.
3. Discuss why
After selecting a goal, discuss why that goal was selected. Partners will be more motivated to achieve a goal when they know why it is important to the relationship. Whether the conversation takes place over dinner or in the car, both parties should share why the goal selected is significant and how they think it will benefit the relationship.
4. How will the goal be achieved?
This is the fun part. Developing a plan of action makes the goal more real. A good way to do this is writing down a plan. Create a relaxed setting with the help of some quiet, good food, a nice beverage selection and then get to work. When creating a plan, remain flexible and collectively use each other’s thoughts and ideas to determine how to get closer to the goal.
5. Revisit again and again
After taking the steps above, do not neglect the goal. The fifth step of goal setting with your partner is revisiting it. Check in on a regular basis to make sure the plan is still in motion. It is also important to revisit the goal to ensure that both are actively participating in checking it off the list. Regularly revisiting a goal also gives partners a chance to get and/or provide support to one another if needed.