It’s that time of the year again where we are all reflecting and setting goals for the new year.
Setting and achieving your relationship goals is important because, this helps you feel successful and fulfilled, just like your career, health or spiritual goals.
Let’s start from the basics.
What are good goals for a relationship?
One of the reasons why most people don’t achieve their relationship goals, is because those goals are simply relationship wishes, not relationship goals at all.
A wish is something you desire, but have no ability to make happen on your own. A goal is something you desire and is within your control to make happen.
The best relationship goals are your desires for your relationship that are 100% within your control.
Here are 3 kinds of goals you should have in a relationship in order for it to be healthy and successful:
1) Goals that focus on who you want to be, not just the relationship you want to have.
For example, if you say “I want to have a more romantic marriage”, that is simply a wish, because the tone of your marriage as a whole, is within your spouse’s control just as much as it is within yours. And you cannot control your spouse.
Even if you have shared goals as a couple, you cannot compel your spouse to follow through. You can only influence them by the actions you take.
To set achievable relationship goals, focus first on the kind of partner you want to be and the specific steps you will take daily to become that.
Therefore, you could set a goal saying “I will be a more romantic partner by buying my spouse “just because” gifts every first Saturday when I go shopping”. This is an example of a SMART goal for relationship, and you can 100% commit to and achieve.
Of course, achieving this goal can at the end of the day influence your spouse into doing things that will make your marriage as a whole, more romantic, because who doesn’t respond positively to thoughtful just because gifts?😁
2) Goals that puts the responsibility on you.
Most couples set a goal of regular date nights and most couples fail to achieve this goal because it is not SMART and no one takes responsibility for actually initiating and making the date night happen.
So weeks and months go by, because there is no specific plan in place and no one assumes responsibility for ensuring this goal is achieved.
You need to take responsibility to create the kind of marriage you desire.
Your partner is not a mind reader, so if there’s a picture in your mind about your marriage that you want to see materialize, you have to ask yourself, “what do I need to do, in order to have this kind of marriage?”
Even when you sit down together and outline your shared goals for your relationship, each of you still need to take responsibility for making it happen. Remember, you cannot control your partner, you can only influence him by initiating the necessary actions to achieve your relationship goals.
An example of a SMART relationship goal that puts the responsibility on you is : “I will put the kids to bed at 7pm on Sunday nights so we can have a date night”.
This is a realistic and achievable relationship goal that can help you prioritize one on one time and increase intimacy in your marriage, as opposed to simply saying your relationship goal is “greater intimacy in our marriage”.
Hopefully your spouse will take a cue from you and his goal may be “ I will take my wife out for lunch every Wednesday afternoon”.
These very specific relationship goals may seem routine and unromantic, but like Laura Silverstein said “ if you don’t build regular relationship routines, the lack of intentionality will allow other things to swallow up your time”.
So, when you set a shared relationship goal of having regular date nights, that goal becomes SMART, when each person details in specific terms what they would do or contribute in order to achieve it.
3)Goals that commit God to step in and do what you can’t.
I believe that marriage is a convenant relationship between a man, his wife and God. Each person in this relationship has a role to play in order for it to be successful.
While setting goals that focuses on you and puts the responsibility on you are important, you also need your partner to do his part for your relationship to be truly successful.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to mention again, that you cannot change your spouse or make them more committed, but God can. Therefore, set goals that brings the power of God into play in your relationship.
An example of such is “ I will pray for my partner and our marriage for 5 mins before I go to bed every night”. If you are not yet married, you can get a free copy of prayer guide for intending couples to help you get started and stay committed.
6 SMART relationship goals examples that will take your relationship from good to great!
I compiled 6 examples of SMART relationship goals that can set a new tone for your relationship in this new year. These goals are easy to remember, easy to implement and you can achieve them even with the least amount of cooperation from your partner.
Pursuing and achieving these goals will make you become the kind of loving and intentional spouse you’ve always imagined you would be. And gives you the opportunity to positively influence your spouse to become intentional as well, so you can both create the marriage of your dreams.
Wishing you God’s best in your relationship,