Relationship Goals are Critical (Make Some)

A man and a woman dancing in the forest.

Well defined relationship goals are critical to a healthy relationship.

Learning to set goals as a couple is the first step to making your mutual dreams and goals a reality. Its time to learn how to set relationship goals.

People in relationships face a never ending stream of challenges.

An important component of healthy relationships are mutual dreams. You want to be the couple plans their life together. It is important to reflect on your life and consider where you are heading. Part of being in any sort of relationship is dealing with everyday problems. But you also need to deal with what happened last week. And, you need to resolve issues that just popped up a minute ago.

You are dealing with past problems. You are confronting ongoing challenges. But if you get caught up in the chaos, it can put unbearable stress on your relationship.

Why you need to set relationship goals and form a game plan.

A bunch of notes on a desk that are a game plan.

I can tell what will happen if you do not have a game plan. You will lose hope. You will not have any reasons to justify the work you put yourself through every day. And your problems will begin to hurt your relationship. The effort will not seem worth it. You and your significant other will not be on the same page. You need to learn to keep moving forward no matter what comes your way. And the only way to do that is to have a vision for your life together.

And that can be a challenge. For starters, you may think, “Our current situation could never support our vision." I would be willing to bet that the problem is that you do not have goals as a couple. I would like you to consider what you could do for your relationship. It is difficult to push through life’s challenges if you do not have a vision for where you are going.

Do not become content.

A pig sleeping in straw.

I have met couples who have settled in. These couples are satisfied with the current state of their relationship. And they are okay with that. But they have not considered that they are planning to build an entire life together. If you fail to do that successfully, your relationship will not survive.

You need to brainstorm dreams for your life together. I am going to give you some helpful tips that will facilitate your discussions.

Record your ideas.

Whenever you are discussing the future, write the important details down. Take notes. Whenever you are out running errands, or on a road trip, bring along a pad of paper. Take notes of ideas you and your significant other have brainstormed; include your wishes and wants. Do not forget to emphasize the dreams you hope to make a reality within a year. Then, detail those that you hope to fulfill in years down the road. You are essentially creating a bucket list of relationship goals.

As a couple, you are still discovering what life you want to build together. The big moments and realizations will take place over the course of time. You cannot sit down and squeeze them out of you in one sitting. I promise that it will take more than a few brainstorming moments. It might take a while to triangulate your shared ambitions. But be patient. The goals will come. The secret is to take notes along the way. 

Diversify your dreams.

A woman traveling to a city.

Remember that your life comprises multiple domains. Maybe one of your goals is to go on vacation in the Caribbean. What other goals do you have? Do you have health related goals? Do you have goals relating to how much time you spend together? Maybe you have a goal about wanting to go climb a mountain. Perhaps you want to go visit a country? Maybe you even want to live there for a while. You probably have financial goals. Or maybe you dream about both of you racing in a marathon or a triathlon. There are lots of different possible goals. Some additional examples are taking college classes together, reading a set number of books in the next year, etc. There are a million things to talk about and explore. Remember there are a ton of different areas of your life. There are so many relationship goals to set!

Don’t be shy to bring your ideas up to your significant other. Dreams that remain unspoken tend to die.

Track your progress.

A notebook to track relationship progress.

Up next: How can you track your progress? You need to decide how often are you going to check in and measure the steps you and your significant other have taken.

I suggest you check in every Sunday because it is a great time to sit down and talk. Plan your date around some activity. My parents enjoyed Sunday morning lattes together. I suggest you find something similar!

Pull out your laptops and start asking questions. "Where are we going? What are you doing to move us to those goals? What are our ideas?" If you form a habit of checking in on Sunday afternoons, you will have a perfect amount of time to make sure you are on the same page. That time also gives you an opportunity to track progress.

It is important to not get discouraged if your progress is slow at first. The two of you are calibrating and coordinating to make these things happen. Making relationship goals a reality takes time.

Seven days is the perfect window of time. You will have the space to make progress. Sometimes you will clarify your goals and you can describe them a bit better.

Seven days is a great starting place. Often and frequent meetings keep your goals on your mind. This is important because you must keep these goals in the conversation to fight temptations to forget and ignore them. As I said before, unspoken goals tend to die. Frequent conversations keep them alive and fresh. You are paying attention to the opportunities that will enable you to take the next step towards your goal.

Create visual reminders.

Once you decide on your goals and how you will track and speed up your progress, try creating a visual goal. Incorporate visual reminders in your daily life.

Keep some pictures that represent the goal. You could even try making a collage; that way you both get to contribute to the visual inspiration of the goal. And then post your visual reminder somewhere. Place them on the bedroom wall, the bathroom wall, or the closet door. You will see your reminder every single day. The pressure of the visual reminder and frequent conversations will inspire a higher level of commitment.

You should also outline your progress by keeping track in a word document or in a binder. The reminders that you are making things happen will give you a lot of motivation. Your logs can give you insight into the type of adjustments you need to make.

Remind yourself that you can beat failure.

A book on a desk that says "failed it."

You want to make sure that your failures do not ruin your goals. The easiest way to overcome the temptation to give up is to realize that there are changes you can make that will turn the ship around. Tough moments are usually the ones in which you make the most progress.

If you are not making much progress, I think it is smart to hire a mentor or a coach to help guide you towards your goals.

There are fantastic shortcuts to get your goals. And mentors and coaches can help you discover what they are. That is why you are here reading our blog after all.

Relationship Goals: Educate yourself.

Get educated. Study the strategies other people used to accomplish your goal, and do it together. If you want to travel to another country, study what other people did to make the most out of their vacation. Do you want to build a house? Study all the possible complications. The more information you know about your goal, the easier it will be to make good decisions.

Relationship Goals: Exercise frequently.

Exercise. People who exercise are happier and are better decision makers. People who work out make better decisions because of reduced levels of anxiety.

Relationship Goals: Eat healthy foods.

Eat better foods so your body and mind can function properly. Over consumption of sugar can mess with your head and cloud your ability to make decisions.

Let nature inspire you.

A bridge leading into a rain forest.

Spend time outdoors. Nature will help you relax and inspire creativity. Both of which will help you accomplish your goals. You would be amazed what getting out of your house or apartment and enjoying trees, mountains, rivers, and valleys can inspire.  

When one of my friends feels like they are trapped or incapable of moving forward, I recommend that they take a nature walk. Usually, they come back feeling inspired. Nature never fails.

Spend lots of time together.

The more time you spend together as a couple, the better you will be able to calibrate and coordinate your thinking. And, the quicker you will accomplish your goals. Why? Your significant other has ideas and skills that can only help you. You also have knowledge and skills. When you spend a lot of time together, you can unlock those ideas. You will function better by working together. Why? Because both of you contribute to a relationship; if that is not the case, it is probably not a good relationship. When couples are on the same page, they can produce and create an incredible lifestyle.

Do not get bogged down in what you have right now. Focus on your dreams. Work as a team. You will succeed.

 

RomanceIsaac Therrien