With the New Year there’s always hype about setting New Year’s resolutions and you may be thinking about resolutions in your relationship (as a couple) that you hope to accomplish. Although many people set goals at the beginning of the year, for the New Year, the tips in this blog are for all year round. Because let’s face it- at different times of the year, you and your partner are going to have different goals that you set. But, what should you consider when you set goals as a couple? What’s the best way to set goals as a couple? And what do you need to know along the way? Well, you’re in luck! Answers to these questions are below through these 4 tips.
Setting Couples Goals with Your Partner
- Be Clear About What You Really Want- When you and your partner set goals, do you have a clear idea about what you really want? Or, are your goals usually vague? For example, couples tend to set goals for better communication, or may be to connect with each other better. But, what does that really mean? If you communicated or connected better, what would you be doing differently? What would your partner be doing differently? To set goals as a couple, and even for yourself, be extremely clear about what you want to accomplish. And, know what it would look like to start progressing towards it so you have check-points along the way. Use the S.M.A.R.T test to make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive. Click here to read more about making S.M.A.R.T goals!
- 2. Notice When It’s Going Good- It’s good to notice when you and/or your partner is making active efforts towards your goals as a couple. So, instead of letting that pass by, notice it! Call it out! Recognizing when you and your partner are doing good, helps fuel motivation to keep going. When you’re setting goals as a couple, make sure that you agree to notice when it’s going good. Additionally, when setting goals as a couple, think about if there have been moments where you’ve had some success in the area that you’re working towards. If so, think about those moments and how you can apply a similar technique currently, or think about what you learned from that moment that you would want to take with you moving forward. In all, it’s good to celebrate successes no matter how small!
- Find Ways To Hold Yourself Accountable- In any relationship, no one wants to feel that they are being parented or that you have to parent your partner. Moreover, no one likes a nagging partner. So, as you work towards setting your goals, think about how you can hold yourself accountable to your end and the changes that you personally are working towards. What helps keep you on track? Do you need reminders or something to look at? What is going to motivate you to work towards your goals as a couple? And, how can you be cognizant of this to keep you going? Being proactive to think of ways to hold yourself accountable helps you and your partner to know that you won’t have to nag or parent the other person. And ultimately, this will help you to be more invested in working towards your goals.
- Agree To Have Empathy- No one said forming new habits and working towards goals is easy. So, be prepared for mistakes (or rather, learning opportunities) along the way. If you and your partner can agree to be empathetic and compassionate with each other and view mistakes as moments to learn, this can help both of you feel that working towards your goals as a couple will be a supportive process. In addition to giving your partner empathy, be compassionate with yourself too.
Are you ready for a year of success towards your relationship goals? Use these tips to help you and your partner achieve your relationship goals this year. And remember, the tips are not just for the New Year, but for all year round.
About the Author
Amanda Cummins is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She focuses on working with couples in distress as well as families and children in transitions. As a Denver Native, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family