Two years ago, in January, Kristen and I loaded up the Jeep and set off on our annual pilgrimage to the bayous of South Louisiana.
We were excited to be back visiting my family but we were also excited about our annual tradition of reviewing our goals and setting new ones.
For the last 5 years we have set aside some time each year (typically in late December or early January) to set goals for the year. When we started we didn’t really have any rules. We just started dreaming about what we would like to accomplish in the upcoming year and wrote them down on the notes app in our iPhone.
It has now turned into a really exciting time to look back at the goals and see where we stand and then begin the process of dreaming up some new ones.
In general we try to set a goal in each of the dimensions of our life. Spiritual, Family, Fitness and Career. But the rules are not hard and fast.
Here are three quick points that have helped us to set goals and reach them as a couple.
Understand the importance of setting goals as a couple
Setting goals as a couple unites us and brings us closer together. Companies spend a lot of time setting goals because it helps to unite the vision of a firm among the leadership. In the same way when couples create goals its brings them closer together.
It is normal that each person will have their own personal goals and aspirations but it’s important that you can have shared goals that you are working towards as a couple.
Setting goals as a couple also is a great way to build communication and get to know the dreams and aspirations of your spouse.
Last year Kristen mentioned that at some point she would like to compete in an Ironman. I had no idea that she was thinking of this but through the process of setting goals and our communication I discovered it.
There is also a tremendous amount of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing goals together.
Give and Take: Let go of some and take on some
When my wife and I got married I was a crazy football fan (and still am to some degree) and she loved working out.
Both of these took up time and it was time that we weren’t spending together. We spoke about the amount of time I spent hanging out watching football and that she spent running and swimming.
We then both made conscious efforts to get to know each other’s hobbies. She started watching football with me and I started to go on runs with her and learn how to swim.
The same can be true for financial goals. Maybe your spouse has the financial goal or buying a new car or starting a company while you have a goal of buying a nicer house. Agreeing on financial goals can be tough but it’s crucial to building a solid financial plan.
In the end it will take giving up a few of your goals and taking on some of your spouse’s goal. This compromise will be more rewarding and will help you to reach your goals faster.
Review Your Goals
Finally, it is important to review goals. I have written about the importance of a Monthly Money Date. This is a great opportunity to review the goals that you set for the year and see how you are doing.
Reaching our goals takes persistence. When we take our goals out and review them it motivates us to keep moving forward to achieve them.
Have you spoken to your spouse about your goals? Take action by setting at least one goal as a couple. It could be personal, financial or a family goal.