A couple of years ago, I shared on social media that Joe and I had been setting a "five year plan" for our marriage in celebration of our five year anniversary. I was surprised by how many comments I got in response, from people who had never thought to set goals together as a couple! As I've thought about the lack of goal setting in marriage, I'm certain that goals are being made by all couples, but maybe not officially. My goal today is to inspire you to sit down and set goals together as a couple and provide you with a few tools you need to set the kind of goals that will help you find success in the coming year.
2018 is going to be a big year as far as our goals are concerned. Rehabilitating our first house and having two kids has used up a lot of our time and resources over the last few years. We've done a lot of great things but we're ready to do even more! Our goals in the coming year center around strengthening our marriage relationship, spending more time together as a family, making our house into more and becoming more financially stable. We sat down this past weekend to set our goals and we used the formula that I talk about in the video below to do it.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. Setting goals using this formula will aid in your success. After you've determined where you want to be at the end of the year and set your big goals that you want to reach, break those goals down. Set smaller goals that you need to achieve each day, week and month to get you the result you want. Most importantly, make sure that you are both on the same page with your goals.
Example Goals to Get You Started
Here are a couple of example goals to get you started. All of these are based off of goals that we've set and achieved in the six years that we have been married.
Our financial goal is to have all of our debt paid off by the end of the year. We have $15,000 of debt. We will pay off at least $1,000 of that debt each month. We will use our tax return and year end bonus' to pay off the remainder of the debt.
We achieved this goal in 2012. Although my numbers may be off, this was roughly our timeline and roughly our plan. I was in school spring, summer and fall semesters this year and Joe was working to build his lawn care business. To find the $1,000 we needed to put toward our debt each month, we set smaller goals to stick to a monthly budget, eat out less, limit our frivolous spending, etc.
Our marriage goal is to have date night once a week. We will hire a babysitter for one week each month, plan two date nights at home after the kids are in bed or during nap time, and go on one family date.
We set this goal last year and didn't completely succeed so we are setting a similar goal again this year. I use date night ideas from here on the blog as well as the 200+ ideas found in my e-book to help plan our at home dates and make them a little bit different than our usual takeout and a movie. I used this post from Friday We're in Love as an inspiration for our date night schedule, and we have changed it up a little bit this year based on what worked and what didn't work last year.
Our marriage goal is to spend at least five minutes connecting with each other daily. We will do this by putting our phones away after 9:30 p.m. each night, making three nights "TV free" and saying no to being away from home more than one night a week.
This is a goal that we're thinking of setting this coming year, but because I'm writing this post before we actually sit down to make our goals, the parameters might be different. Our schedules keep us busy and it's easy to let life take control and realize later that we haven't had a moment to connect. This was especially important when Joe was working crazy hours the last couple months of the year. I craved the 10-15 minutes we got to ourselves each day.
The Dating Divas have put together an amazing printable pack to help you set goals for the entire year! Their Ultimate Goal Setting Printable Pack is based on setting S.M.A.R.T goals and provides everything you need to record those goals. We used the pack this weekend to set our goals for the year and break those down into smaller, attainable short-term goals that we can work toward each day, week or month. For less than $5, you can grab your printable pack and set goals that will better your marriage and your family this year! Click here to grab yours. Goal setting is the first step to a stronger marriage, a happier home and a better you.
As you head into the new year, I hope you'll sit down and set a few goals together as husband and wife. And as you discuss the things that you want to achieve, look at the goals that you each set individually and consider ways that you can work together to make each other's dreams come true this year. You can accomplish great things as a team and with your spouse by your side, you can achieve amazing things on your own as well.
I'd love to hear what goals you are setting in the coming year, whether it's for yourself or for your marriage! What are you going to accomplish this year?