#RelationshipGoals: Creating Shared Meaning in 2020
Not to be cliché, but the beginning of the year is a great opportunity to pause and take stock of where things are at in various areas of your life and to consider how close they are to how you would like them to be. In a previous blog, we explored the concept of creating shared meaning in your relationship through discussing rituals, roles, goals and symbols.m with your partner. In this blog, we will explore creating #RelationshipGoals in 2020.
Like, Actual Relationship Goals?
Have you ever considered making New Year’s resolutions for your relationship? It’s not uncommon for individuals to resolve to improve their relationship with their significant other in the year ahead, as secure attachment is associated with improved overall well-being. When you can become intentional about what the improvements in your relationship would look like by creating smart goals, you can increase the likelihood of cultivating positive change.
Tip: Think SMART
How Goals Fail
One reason that relationship goals might fail could be that they aren’t in line with each partner’s values. When this is the case, relationship goals are less likely to come to fruition because it does not reflect each individual’s sense of self and what is important to them. Another reason could be that your goals aren’t realistic or attainable (maybe they’re too big), or that they can’t be measured. For example, a goal to “spend more time together” is not as specific as a goal to eat dinner together four out of seven nights per week. Create short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals in your relationship to help to enhance both the little and big picture vision for your relationship.
Choosing Your Goals
Some areas where we might make personal goals include: career, family, friendships, health, home, learning, love, money, personal development, physical and social. Considering these different categories, see if you can identify areas where you might be able to create a relationship goal. Maybe you want to improve your education to gain a certain career, which would require that your partner covers more of the expenses. Maybe you want to focus on your health and so you and your partner can practice meal planning or support one another in a regular exercise regime. Perhaps you want to pay off some debt, and you and your partner can meet with a financial advisor to discuss your joined financial goals. or maybe you want to spend less time at home, and so you might consider planning social activities with your joined group of friends, or begin to merge your social circles by hosting events.
Here Are Some Suggestions for #RelationshipGoals
You Can Do It (Together!)
When creating couples goals, it’s important that your individual and couple goals are not in conflict so that you can achieve your dreams together and support one another individually. It‘s also important to celebrate when you reach milestones and achieve goals and agreeing on some kind of reward system can help to keep you motivated. Think of a fun or creative way that you can celebrate each step you take towards your goals. Maybe you will go out for dinner or have a special treat, whether it is dessert or trading massages.
It can be difficult to stay accountable to goals, and in fact, this is one of the main causes for resolutions to fail; that, and not following the SMART goal format. psychology today suggests creating accountability to one another in order to achieve your shared goals. This might look like planning to exercise on a specific day or at a specific time, or even planning dates to check in on your goal progress with identified milestones to reach along the way.
And creating goals together is an opportunity to practice collaboration and supporting in cheerleading one another. This can strengthen your bond and improve the likelihood of sticking to and achieving your #RelationshipGoals
[Editor's note: This blog written by Ashley Greensmyth is cross-posted at https://www.parallelwellness.ca/#relationshipgoals/]
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