Are you a go-getter or are you a laid back, go with the flow individual? Eric wants to grab life by the horns and make something happen. I want to ease in and out of situations and move cautiously from one involvement to the next. If left to his own devices, Eric would work until he crashed (and sometimes does). If left to my own devices, I would relax until I felt like a ball of mush.
Goals Are For Everyone!
Regardless of personalities and preferences, we all need goals. We all need something we are going after in life. We all need a reason to get up and keep going. When people stop reaching for new heights, they become stagnant, bitter, and unhappy. Even though goals require work and diligence, we all need them.
There are varying levels of goals. My goal to take off a hundred pounds this year is a major, life-altering goal with mental, physical, and social implications. This goal requires a lot of effort.
My goal to write a certain amount of content for our website this week is a short, concise, attainable goal that requires a burst of short-term effort.
My goal to tidy up the kitchen today will take minimal effort and show immediate results.
Not every goal will require hours of effort to attain. In fact, it’s a good idea to have a few small goals you can easily reach. Psychologically speaking, we stay motivated when we have some quick wins in our life!
A Few Quick Wins
Here are some goals you can reach that will pack a punch:
- Exercise three days a week for twenty minutes over the course of the next month.
- Add two more vegetable servings to your daily diet.
- Experts say to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day (200lbs = 100 oz. of water a day). (Make sure to do this throughout the entire day and not all at once.)
- Outline one idea for how your place of employment can run more efficiently or save money and present your idea to your supervisor before the end of February.
- Spend fifteen minutes each day for the next month straightening up your home to keep clutter from piling up and causing you additional stress.
- Reach out to one friend a week and plan a get together.
- Spend at least thirty minutes each day away from all electronics for the next two weeks.
These goals are very attainable, will improve your life significantly, and can turn into habits if you continue them! Prove to yourself that you can reach your goals (because you totally can!), and then move on to more challenging goals.
I know you can do it.
If I Have Goals for Myself, Why Bother Having Goals with My Sweetheart?
Eric and I are strong advocates for having relationship goals – goals specifically related to your connection as a couple as well as individual goals which you choose to work towards together.
Life gets busy and it may seem pointless to create more work for yourselves. Are communal goals really that important to my relationship?
We think so and here’s why:
- Goals give you both a sense of purpose. We all need a reason to get up in the morning. Dreams, goals, and relationships give us reasons. As Eric and I work together on building PreEngaged and serving couples, we feel a greater sense of purpose. Our marriage isn’t just about us. It’s about glorifying God through our work with other couples. It’s a blessing to work alongside him to help other couples avoid some of the pitfalls we fell into in our early years as well as to understand themselves much better. We each have individual goals, but our collective goals add to our sense of purpose as a couple. It reminds us that we are better together than apart.
- Goals bond you together. If you climbed Mt. Everest with a complete stranger, you would probably be friends for life by the time you reached the top. Pouring out blood, sweat, and tears with someone as you strive for the same destination is powerfully bonding. You inspire each other, encourage each other, help calm each other’s anxieties, and give each other the companionship we all so desperately need.
- Goals present opportunities for celebration. Celebrations keep life balanced. There will always be work to do. There will always be unpleasant tasks we have to perform. When we go too long without a win, life seems bleak. It’s just the same ol’ same ol’ every day! Completing a hard fought race together is cause for celebration. Setting goals gives us opportunities for achievement, thereby giving us reasons to celebrate.
- Goals ward off ruts. Get up, shower, go to work, come home, watch tv, eat something, play on the computer, go to bed – repeat ad nauseum. This sounds like the lifestyle of someone who is in a rut. Much of our lives will consist of mundane tasks, but our entire life does not have to be run of the mill. Training for a 5k race, taking a fun class, organizing a club together – all these small goals can keep you out of life’s ruts.
- Goals keep your relationship growing. Sometimes, you will have to actively work on your relationship – much like tending a garden. And, sometimes you will be working on your relationship without even knowing it. In the hot sun, weeding a garden is grueling; but, in the cool of the evening surrounded by friends, planting flowers is pleasant work. Working towards goals together is like planting flowers in seventy degree weather with your best friend. ~smile~ Reaching goals together improves your marriage, but it doesn’t feel like work. Sometimes you will have to endure some unpleasant conversations to get from point A to point B with your sweetheart. And, sometimes you can just go for a run together and unknowingly strengthen your connection.
If you haven’t crafted goals for yourself yet this year, now’s a great time to create some! ~smile~ If you and your sweetheart are not reaching for something together, talk about it. The process of setting and achieving goals together will tell you a lot about each other.
- If your sweetie has no interest in improving him or herself, can you live with that?
- How do you work together on projects?
- Do you run at the same speed, or do you approach goals quite differently?
These are all great questions to answer before the ring goes on the finger!
Are you and your sweetie heading somewhere specific together?