Goal setting is not just for professional growth and development. It is essential to also set personal goals for yourself as an individual and for your relationship with your spouse. You could spend your entire marriage spinning your wheels and feeling like you have not accomplished anything at all together. Think of a few things you have been dreaming of that will benefit your relationship. You can set individual personal goals or couples’ goals to work toward achieving those dreams.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are tangible milestones that you can strive to accomplish over a defined period. SMART is an acronym that represents the five key components of each goal. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Using this method of goal setting increases your likelihood of successfully reaching your milestones and achieving your short-term and long-term goals.
Consider setting a few SMART goals that will allow you and your partner to stretch, expand, and grow in your married life. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Plan Frequent Date Nights
Develop a date night plan that works well for you and your partner. Empty nesters may be able to hang out together on the same night every week, while couples with small children may find a weekly date night to be a bit much. Whether your date night is weekly, monthly, or quarterly, find time to be together doing something you both will enjoy. Consider going to a restaurant you have never been to before. Try a comedy show if you are in the mood for some laughs. If you like sports, go to a game and cheer on your favorite team. Money should not be an obstacle because there are plenty of opportunities to get creative and have some free fun together too. Pack a picnic basket and chill at a nearby park. You can even have an at-home date night. Make some popcorn, grab a blanket, and snuggle on the couch while watching a good movie.
- Payoff Your Debt
Paying debt off can seem a little daunting at first, but setting two or three small milestones will help you to get focused on tackling your debt and getting loans and credit cards paid off quickly. My suggestion is to develop a strategy that works best for you and your spouse. Perhaps it makes sense to pay off one credit card at a time, starting with the card that has the highest interest rate. Another idea is to start paying off cards with the lowest balances first. Minimize your expenses and consider purchasing only items that are must-haves versus those that are nice to have. My husband and I were able to minimize monthly expenses by doing small, simple things that made a big difference, like eliminating our daily coffee run to our favorite coffee shop, choosing to make coffee at home instead.
- Save Money for a Big Splurge
Now that you have paid your bills and you are debt-free set a goal to save some of that excess cash to purchase something extravagant that you have been wanting. Perhaps you have been dreaming of an extended family vacation, a new home, or a fancy new car. My husband and I enjoy using our extra cash to take luxurious family vacations to our favorite places. Sometimes we plan trips to destinations on our bucket list where we have never been before.
- Touch Each Other Every Day
After being married for a long time, it is reasonable to settle into a daily routine of working, doing household chores, helping children with homework, and all those responsibilities that come with ‘adulting.’ But do not forget to make time to nurture your marriage. Make physical touch and intimacy a priority in your relationship. Touching every day can be as simple as taking your morning shower together, or sending each other off to work with a big hug and a kiss. A mini back, shoulder, or neck rub before dinner might be helpful.
<Click Here> for 10 easy tips for making a daily love connection with your spouse.
- Find an Activity That You Both Enjoy Doing
Like many couples, my hubby and I are total opposites. We do not like the same sports. We prefer different television shows. He is a night owl, and I am an early bird. We often find ourselves doing our own thing. But we also committed to finding something we both can enjoy doing together regularly. We play board games together, and sometimes we like to get in the car and go for a long drive while listening to good music and just enjoying each other’s company. Strive to find activities that allow you to be very present and in the moment with each other. This goal can be something just for the two of you or something the entire family can enjoy, like bowling or mini-golf.
- Get Physically Fit
Physical fitness is so vital for your overall health and well-being. Make it a priority to get active and achieve your fitness goals together. Hit the gym, go for a brisk walk or a run. Find a nearby bike trail and take a long bike ride. Working out together is a great way to increase your emotional bond, benefit your health and wellness, and improve the quality of your relationship.
- Communicate Openly & Effectively
Communication is critical in a healthy, happy marriage. Effective communication is not just about talking to each other. It is about connecting, listening, and meeting each other’s needs. Take time to understand your partner’s style of communicating. You may prefer to share your feelings by talking to your husband. He may not be much of a talker, but perhaps he demonstrates how he feels by doing something sweet for you. Whether you are recently married, or you have been together for a long time, you can always learn more about each other. It is worthwhile to set a goal to communicate openly and effectively to minimize frustration and avoid misunderstandings. Open communication will help you and your spouse to listen to each other, understand each person’s perspective, gain greater clarity on what is important to you both, and support one another.
- Forgive Each Other
We all make mistakes simply because we are imperfect human beings. Sometimes we just mess up. A successful relationship requires the ability to show kindness, compassion, grace, and forgiveness. However, this does not mean sweeping issues under the rug, or looking the other way when you have been hurt or mistreated. You do not need to condone terrible behavior to forgive. Work together to express your feelings and resolve conflicts and problems that arise. Choose to let go and avoid holding grudges. Understand that getting over hurt feelings can take time. Evaluating the big picture and making a choice to be a forgiving partner will do wonders for your relationship.
Setting relationship goals as a couple will help you to strengthen your bond and connect on a deeper level. Your goals for your marriage may look completely different than mine, and that is perfectly fine. What is most important is that you and your spouse work together and continue to grow and develop, making your marriage a top priority in both of your lives. I hope these ideas will get you thinking about setting your own achievable goals for your relationship.
Which SMART goal do you plan to work towards with your husband right away? Please leave me a comment to let me know.
<Click Here> to download a SMART Goals Worksheet to get you started.