Making Goals Together

For our first “Wuving Wednesday” post, this topic might seem rather dry and pragmatic. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that taking the time for the practical stuff lays the groundwork for a happier relationship.

So one of the first things we did together in the new year was to work on our goals together.

We try to avoid calling them New Year’s resolutions – maybe partly because of the stigma around resolutions lying forgotten after the first couple weeks, but more because there’s a lot more to it than personal resolutions – we put a lot of thought, time, math, and structure into our goals – and we do it together.

Early in our relationship, Caitlin put a lot more time and effort into her goals – being honest, early on I didn’t set them for myself at all. But I’ve learned over the years how big the benefits are.

It’s not just about the personal motivation. Talking about goals together also lets you understand a lot more about where each of you sees themselves in the upcoming year, and even where you see each other. Knowing what expectations one has for themselves also lets you understand what they’ll need from you, to support them. And that’s huge for any relationship.

And, if you make detailed goals for yourself but don’t tend to be so open about them – think about how your partner knowing what you have planned can actually help you, by letting them keep you accountable and on track.

We always divide our goals between joint ones we share, and individual ones for ourselves. Coming up, Caitlin’s going to post in more detail about ours.

One final note, though – whether it’s you and your partner, or just you, it’s not too late to lay out plans for the coming year just because January 1st is already behind! Sometimes, it takes a few days – of not stressing about family gatherings, of being back at work after time off, of whatever – to come up with the right set of goals to get you where you want to see yourself when counting down to 2018.

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