For a successful relationship and for your love to flourish, you need to put in a lot of effort in how you care for each other, love each other, and communicate with each other.
And you need to set goals together.
By setting actionable goals for your relationship, you keep your relationship fresh and create a picture of what you want your relationship to look like in the future.
Read on to learn how you can set relationship goals.
What relationship goals are
Relationship goals are things you want to experience or value more with your partner.
Whether you want to strengthen your bond, improve your financial health, or spice up your sex life, relationship goals can concern any area.
One of the beautiful things about relationships is that they aren’t all the same, which means your relationship goals as a couple aren’t the same either.
Two types of relationship goals
There are two types of relationship goals: foundational goals and fun goals.
Foundational goals involve areas that have a long-term effect on your relationship. They are critical for the longevity and health of your relationship. For example, planning a family, planning for financial well-being, or planning ways to keep your sex life active.
Fun goals are goals that keep the passion alive in your relationship—for example, planning date nights, trying new things, or traveling together.
Foundational goal ideas
One of the most essential foundational goals is good communication.
Good communication in a relationship means you can talk to your partner about anything, whether you're happy or sad, having a good day or a bad day. You're willing to be open and honest with them because they'll always love and support you. And good communication means you feel heard and understood.
Hence, good communication is a foundational relationship goal. It is the most important goal of all.
Other foundational goal ideas include the following.
- Having more positive interactions than negative interactions with your partner each day
- Regularly check up on your relationship. Are you happy together? Are things going well? Are there issues you should be attending to?
- Prioritizing time to be intimate and express your love for each other.
- Creating a financial plan for present spending and your future.
- To plan for your future and ensure you are on the same page.
- Express gratitude for each other regularly.
- Keep the spirit of adventure alive.
- To handle conflicts calmly and collaboratively.
- To learn the art of forgiveness.
Fun goal ideas
Setting fun goals is crucial to strengthening your bond with your partner. They prevent the relationship from going stale and falling into routine.
Often, the key to setting fun goals is thinking about new things you and your partner could try.
The following list contains some ideas.
- Take a cooking class.
- Take a trip to someplace neither of you visited before.
- Try a new hobby or interest, such as dance classes.
- Go on a road trip.
- Try a new restaurant.
- Plan an activity outside of your usual comfort zone, such as skydiving.
- Spend a night in a fancy hotel.
- Sleep under the stars in the backyard or in the bed of a truck.
- Attend a festival or concert.
- Take a workshop of your partner’s choice.
How to set relationship goals
Setting relationship goals can be fun. This is an opportunity for you and your partner to understand each other’s desires better.
The following tips can help.
First, have an open mind.
The first step to set relationship goals is to approach goal-setting with a positive attitude and an open mind. After all, you’re working as a team to plan your future together!
Second, plan the time and place you will have your goal-setting conversation.
Pick a place where you can have a private conversation and eliminate distractions like children or your phones.
Third, write down three goals you would like to achieve in the next six months.
You want your relationship goals to be inspirational, attainable, and optimistic. Think back on previous goals you successfully achieved with your partner.
Fourth, make goal reminders.
It’s important to write down your goals and put reminders of these goals somewhere that you will encounter them on a daily basis. Post sticky notes on the refrigerator, write your goals in a digital calendar, and change your cellphone wallpaper to your goals list. The possibilities are endless.
Fifth, pick one goal to focus on for the first month and discuss what achieving that goal will look like.
Define how you will measure success, and set a date for your next meeting to review your progress towards achieving that goal.
Finally, plan your steps.
Plan the steps you and your partner need to take each week to meet your goals.
More help with goal-setting
If you have trouble setting actionable goals, consider using the S-M-A-R-T approach as a guide.
S-M-A-R-T stands for:
Let’s say one of your goals is to feel more loved and supported. This may mean different things for you and your partner.
First, discuss the specifics of that goal.
Does being more loved and supported mean receiving more practical help with the kids or being intimate more often?
Next, determine how you will measure your progress.
How will you know you’re successful in meeting this goal?
Third, make sure your goal is attainable.
Is this a realistic desire you and your partner can both play a part in realizing?
Fourth, is this goal relevant to the success of your relationship?
Do you and your partner have a mutual interest in improving this area of your lives?
Lastly, make your goal time-based.
Set a time by which you want to achieve the goal so you can hold each other accountable for it.
Setting relationship goals can make you feel like you’re making progress in your relationship, which is both fun and rewarding.
Just remember, life happens. Sometimes things change in your life that will cause you to need to change your goals. Allow for your relationship goals to be flexible and enjoy the journey.
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