Question - How many of you have a ‘relationship’ goal? How many of you have a goal to have an outstanding relationship with your wife, partner, significant other? Never thought to set a goal in this part of your life? You should. In all honesty, this is probably the most important part of your life that you should have goals in. If you have a great relationship with your partner, the rest will usually fall into place.
It’s perplexing that when we think of goals, the first goals we generally think of are ones related to business, money, and the things we want to have and do. Goal-setting for our relationships aren’t really expressed out loud. Why not? By following simple goal-setting techniques, you can turn a relationship that is growing apart, into one that gets stronger and more loving. I think it is a common trap for people to believe that their partner should be there through thick and thin no matter what. For some reason we also tend to think that it is ‘normal’ and ‘just the way it is’ for couples to become less intimate and to grow apart as time goes on. It doesn’t have to be like that! If you set goals in this area of your life, you can significantly improve your relationships, no matter how far down the track you are.
I’ll give you an example. John and Jane have been married for 5 years. Like all couples, they were madly in love for the early part of the relationship and couldn’t keep their hands off each other. As time has gone on, they don’t outwardly display their affection for each other as much as they used to. Their days pretty much consist of going to work for long hours, coming home, having dinner, watching tele, and going to bed. They don’t seem to talk as much as they used to. They talk about the same things when they do talk. There is not a lot of variety in their lives anymore.
Now, can you see how a relationship like this could grow apart if things didn’t change? What if John, Jane, or even better both of them decided to set a goal around their relationship? What if John decided to make a goal that ‘by the time of their next anniversary, that they will be closer than they have ever been’? If he actually wrote this goal out, and expressed out loud why he wanted the relationship to be the best it ever could be, it would create a deeper connection to his mindset. If he identified the obstacles to this goal being achieved, he could be readily equipped to deal with the situations as they occurred. If he made a plan on exactly how he was going to ensure this would be achieved, he would consciously come up with a whole bunch of ways to put some excitement back into the relationship. If he made a plan of how he and his darling wife were going to celebrate when they had achieved that goal, they could have something to reward themselves with in addition to the improvement of the relationship…
A great guy in one of our Goalworks groups focussed on a relationship goal as part of his goals. His wife loved him for it and he hasn’t looked back since. An added benefit was that it got the whole group thinking about their own relationships in a different light.
Making a goal isn’t going to fix it on its own.. Like any goal you still have to do the work to achieve that goal. But, by not setting goals for your relationship, you aren’t giving yourself anything to aim for. When this happens, the danger is that the relationship will just ‘be’.. it will just exist and get lost in the other things that are going on in your life. Make it a focus, and it becomes the centre of your attention.
I got a great piece of advice from my mother. She said to me, ‘Marriage is like a Garden. Feed it and nurture it and it will blossom and grow more beautiful as time goes on. Do nothing, and it will wither and die.” Picture the garden you want to have (the goal) and what you have to do to make it grow (the actions!).
Don’t get me wrong, I do not by any means claim to be an expert in this area. Rather, I have learned from my mistakes in the past. I have also learned from observing the relationships of people close to me. This marriage is both mine and the ‘love of my life’s’ second marriage. We are working hard on common goals to make sure it is our last. I've made many mistakes in my previous relationships that I have learned from and don’t intend to make again. I am sure I will make new ones, but my beautiful darling will let me know when I do ;-)
Give it a go… what have you got to lose? It may be that you have a lot to lose if you don’t try it…
Have a fantastic rest of the week!