A large number of individuals begin the year with excellent goals on things they want to do differently from the previous year. As people all over the world make resolutions regarding their health, finances, and career, you and your partner should also set several goals and ambitions to bring the new year! It does not matter if you have been together for just six months or twenty years; there are some strategies you could incorporate to advance as a couple. Therefore, planning for New Year couple goals is worthwhile.
The great aspect about couples goals is that we have our partner to keep us motivated and on track with the goals. This is not to say that spouses should not set their individual goals. Instead, each should have them and ask their partner for support in the execution process. For instance, one partner can plan to further their education or career whereby the partner would benefit from help and support from the other spouse, such as by taking care of the children, helping with cleaning and cooking.
Setting goals as a couple can help have a more satisfying relationship. Studies have shown that couples who set goals together enjoy great success in their relationship and family matters because they have solid intentions that they have visualized jointly and seek to accomplish them. On the other hand, not setting goals may result in feeling on different pages and “not getting each other.” When setting goals with your partner, it’s helpful to use S.M.A.R.T goals to maximize the chances of success.
What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific: Well defined, clear, and unambiguous.
Measurable: With specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of the goal.
Achievable: Attainable and not impossible to achieve.
Realistic: Within reach and relevant to your stage in life.
Timely: With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and an end date. The purpose is to create urgency.
S.M.A.R.T relationship goals should cover all views of your union. This includes how you are connecting, socializing, managing finances, parenting, or practicing spirituality. Write down big or small goals that you want to implement by the end of the year and take continuous steps towards accomplishing them. And while at it, make sure you are both on the same page for proper implementation. S.M.A.R.T spouse goals should include:
Money management is one of the top reasons for conflict between spouses. Therefore, it is crucial to have resolutions regarding financial matters so that you are on the same page on how to make, spend, and save money. Plan on formulating a reasonable budget and adhere to it for better outcomes and accountability.
Relationship Goals (How you are connecting)
It is critical to set goals related to the relationship as it will assist you and your partner in maintaining a close connection, intimacy, and a feeling of security. Set goals towards spending more time together for your relationship to thrive because neglecting companionship will lead to disconnection. Here are some examples: Schedule a romantic get-away in-between your busy life to enjoy each others' company and shower each other with love, strengthen your union by practicing open communication; or work towards nurturing your friendship so that you can talk to each other about anything and everything.
Settle on family projects such as building or buying a home, or buying a car as a couple. As these will require a lot of money to execute, couples should plan on how to finance them and set a timeline on the period they wish to complete the projects.
If you have kids, incorporate your kids' goals to include them in your plans. Below are some of the goals to consider as a family:
Exercise- Exercising is ideal for the entire family to stay active and healthy. It is also fun and helps to keep the family close. Activities such as walks, dance, ball games, or hiking are great for the family.
Agreeing on parenting- Evaluate ways to keep your children in check and how to discipline them whenever needed. Also, plan on things you can do to encourage them to behave well and how to reward them when they are obedient.
Be good to others- Since children learn from parents, treat your partner with respect in their presence. Consider assisting other people in the community that are less privileged, like visiting children's homes with food and playing with them.
Eat well- Having a healthy and balanced diet as a family can be a great goal, as this will help teach the children how to have a healthy diet and also promote a healthy life.
Teach them about money- Educate your children how to manage money as this will make them better spenders of their money in the future.
Household chores- Household chores can be a source of conflict among family members. To avoid this, implement a system whereby each spouse is involved in household work. Make sure to assign age appropriate chores to your kids as well to teach them to be responsible. By doing this, no family member will feel overwhelmed by all the work.
Here are a couple of examples on how to set S.M.A.R.T goals:
If you want to teach your children about money, instead of saying “Teach my kids about money” you would say “Every Friday night, we will sit down as a family and watch a 30 minute video about money starting January 2 until March 30”
Or if you want to save $1000 for your Emergency Fund, instead of saying “We will save $1000 for my Emergency Fund” say “We are going to raise $1000 for Emergency Fund by April 20” OR “Every Month I will put away $100 in our Emergency Fund until October 10”
You want to be as specific as possible, put a deadline on it, make sure it’s something that challenges you but that is also not impossible to achieve. Do not set up yourself for failure.
Setting goals as a couple is a good thing as it glues partners in their efforts to become better and grow separately and together. If you are married and you have never considered having spouse goals and resolutions for New Year, this is the moment to give it a thought and see your relationship move to the next level!
Your therapy friend,
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