How To Achieve Big Goals With Your Partner
What does it take to achieve big goals with your partner?
I ask this question having crossed the great milestone of 7 years in marriage.
It has been a happy and challenging time altogether.
What's clear to me is that this period has also been my greatest period of personal growth and wealth.
Is it a coincidence that I met my wife and my life moved to an altogether different level of personal success?
I think not! In fact, I know not! As I have previously written in the secret sauce to a guaranteed rich life, choosing the right partner is the silver bullet.
Setting and achieving goals together is the next level up!
We asked the subscribers of this blog to contribute questions around goal setting with their partners.
Thanks to all who contributed!
Below is a selection of the questions that came up:
What are good goals to have in a relationship?
This is a fantastic question as this can be as broad as you want it to be.
I’d say also that the type of goals you set will depend partly on the type of relationship you have.
For example, if you’re married, you’re more likely to set more long-term goals compared to the type of goals you’d have if unmarried.
Before diving into specific good goals to have in a relationship, I’d just like to share our goal-setting process:
We typically set goals at the start of the year and ensure they cover key areas of our lives.
For example, we set goals in categories of money, work, business, fun, faith, children, marriage, and health.
Then we use the “P.O.S.T” template from the secret sauce for winning to give our goals some structure.
Purpose, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics as a template is useful for articulating and committing to your goals.
Within the Objectives part of this template, we always ask ourselves:
What is the real trade-off? I.e. what will it cost in time or money to deliver this objective?
And do we have this available and prepared to accept this trade-off?
This is critically important as there is no point setting goals if you don’t have the resources or prepared to commit.
Time is usually one that most people overlook as alot of our goals usually have a recurring time commitment.
Here is an example:
Goal category: Marriage
Purpose: Flourishing and happy marriage
Objectives: 1) Date nights once a fortnight, 2) Quarterly away weekend to refresh, reflect and catch-up.
Cost: 1) £50 fortnightly. Childcare with family. 2) £150 quarterly. Childcare with family.
Do we accept and Commit to goals? : 1) Yes, 2) Yes.
Strategy: Focus on priority activity.
Tactics: Diarise recurring activity in the calendar, take turns to plan, negotiate childcare etc.
We repeat these in a tabular format for other categories mentioned above over a discussion. I’d recommend doing this in an environment of no distractions.
Once this is done, we type it up and make it visible. We share it with each other and review quarterly, although with ongoing interactions weekly.
Now that we’ve covered how we set goals, below are some good goals to have in a relationship.
These suggestions assume that you’re married or in a committed long-term relationship.
I start with this first as it is one area in which alot of people have disagreements and least guidance.
Goals I’d recommend here include:
1) How much money you want to make this year. It amazes me how many people don't set this goal.
2) What percentage of the above to save this year. This is critically tied to your future financial independence.
3) The priority long-term money goal. E.g. Traveling, debt freedom, financial security, financial independence etc.
These three alone will give sufficient guidance and help remove unnecessary arguments if they arise.
There are ofcourse necessary controls you need to have in place to ensure these actually happen.
Related posts: How To Create A Budget That Works For You
1) Fun activities to do together in order to grow together. E.g. sports, reading, cinema, eating out etc.
2) What is necessary to satisfy each other sexually. Not always a no-brainer!
3) Daily connection time i.e. one to one time to catch up, talk, pray etc.
The ultimate goal here is time together in order to build a happy and healthy relationship. Romance and all that good stuff are important.
With time together comes the very important need to communicate and understand each other. This becomes even more important as kids start to come into the picture as the attention moves to them typically.
Remember, your relationship with your partner has to endure beyond children (if you choose to have any). So don’t forget each other.
1) Agree on a food budget – This can serve as a good health control.
2) Set goals around minimum sleep hours.
3) Family diet – Decide on whether it’s meat-based or not and why.
If you can get a good handle on your intake of healthy food and get decent sleep, exercise will serve you well.
It’s important to plan how you each get a level of exercise each day.
The physical body is important, but so are our emotional and spiritual lives.
1) Reading and journaling – I recommend ancient text for wisdom and perspective. We read “The Bible In One Year” daily without fail.
I particularly enjoy the Psalms and Proverbs.
Writing down what you’re grateful for each day helps to build optimism.
2) Meditation or Prayer – You choose what works for you. We do prayers as a couple and family.
3) Community – This serves your need to connect with others. Decide on who they’re and why.
Some will say they don’t know what their passions are… I’d say you need more personal time on your own or with your partner doing stuff.
Passions reveal themselves the more you show a repeated interest in something. It grows over time once you’ve identified it as a passion.
I’m highlighting passion here because it helps give us fulfillment and purpose and complements a healthy relationship.
Consider setting goals around:
1) What passions you’d like to pursue and spend spare time on.
2) The level of ongoing support you might want from your partner.
3) What it might cost to follow these passions.
I’ve added this last point because it often sneaks up on people and causes issues.
How Can I Motivate My Partner To Set Goals?
This is a biggie as there is often an imbalance between couples re goals.
The best way we’ve found for doing this is to start with your dreams.
Dreams are so important as life can get mundane and tick along with no excitement.
Communicating well with your partner is necessary for not only considering your dreams but making them a reality.
For example, our goals of debt freedom and financial independence started by considering our dreams.
Lately, we’ve been thinking about how to celebrate these milestones in a couple of years, and we’re now dreaming of taking a sabbatical.
A short one or two-month sabbatical to go on a cruise around the Caribbean or something would be fab!
My point here is, dreams initiate conversations and thought, and gradually make their way into goals.
What are your partner’s life dreams? Start with a chat.
How can we help each other keep up with our goals without being annoying?
This is all about positive accountability. I’ve gotten this wrong in the past by trying to support Mary in my own style.
The most effective way of doing this is to ask your partner how they would like to be kept accountable.
Let them make the suggestions and hear themselves saying it. People like to be held accountable but not shamed.
So giving them the opportunity to tell you exactly how to keep them accountable and how often, is a recipe for avoiding disaster.
I also find that asking your partner “How’s it going, hun?” is a subtle way of reminding them of their goals, whilst also letting them update you without being pushy.
Another way to help each other is to offer encouragement all the time.
Whether we admit it or not, most of us have limiting beliefs that hold us back.
I had them when I was launching the blog and the ongoing encouragement I got from Mary was necessary to move me forward.
Offering encouragement and positive accountability also help us ensure we are fully invested in our partner’s goals.
One way of showing you’re fully invested is to seek out helpful resources that might move them forward.
I often get Pinterest ideas, articles and course suggestions from Mary to encourage my interest in creating content.
She also offers me her actual time to do certain activities that encourage me to complete tasks and stay consistent.
What should we do when our goals clash?
This can happen quite easily and is often an indication that you might not be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Knowing your big picture life goals as a couple is a good place to start.
As an example, whenever there is a suggestion to do something in our home that would cost alot of money unnecessarily, we remind ourselves of our debt freedom and Financial Independence goals.
Having those goals and staying committed to them will help you both know which of the conflicting goals to pursue or drop.
Coming up with a third alternative that both of you can agree to is also another way of getting around this issue.
Key is to remember that you’re on the same team, and all goals should have the singular purpose of making both your lives better.
How often should we review our goals as a couple?
My recommendation is to have a proper review each quarter, having agreed what works for each of you in advance.
I also think that weekly check-ins are important for keeping the momentum and getting some results.
Whatever you do, remember that you aren’t dealing with your work colleagues or direct reports when reviewing goals with your partner.
So keep things positive and helpful, remembering that their success is also your success.
Finally, goals take time to achieve. Give yourselves the time and room to make your goals and dreams a reality.
- The Importance Of Strong And Positive Friendships
- Why We All Need To Be More Forgiving
- Should Couples Have Separate Or Joint Bank Accounts?
- Why Money And Friendships Should Never Mix
Do you work together on big goals with your partner? What is your secret sauce to making it work? Do share below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.