Setting Goals for Personal & Marital Success

Welcome to 2023!! It’s a new year and a great opportunity to start the year off right! You’ve likely set your goals— perhaps you want to start a business, join a gym to lose weight, work on your friendships, strengthen your spirituality, read more books, invest in stocks, and the list goes on and on!! We have already entered into the second month of the year; what goals have fallen by the wayside? Take an inventory of what dreams have left with January and which have remained steadfast. 

Well, if you’ve noticed that a few of your goals are distant memories— that is okay! It is perfectly normal to set goals and over time a few will become less of a priority; however, when you think about where you want to be, how you want to feel, and the life you want to live— in six months, one year, or even five years, what goals are necessary to get you there? 

What goals have you set for yourself to be the best version of you in your relationship? Maybe it’s working on being a better communicator, maybe it’s getting more involved in your local church, or maybe you want to prioritize self-care. Well, whatever it is, this year work on being a better you, FOR YOU! 

In order to achieve our goals, it is important that the appropriate amount of time is allocated. How much time have you dedicated to your goals? There will always be twenty-four hours in a day, meaning there will always be things that serve as a distraction—social media, TV, friends, etc., so what are you willing to sacrifice in order to reach your goals? What habits help support your vision and what habits don’t? 

This year instead of pointing out all of the things you don’t have and all the things your relationship lacks, try focusing on actionable ways to reach your goals. Take it even one step further and make them S.M.A.R.T. This is an acronym used to ensure that our goals are clear and doable. Goals should be (S)pecific, (M)easureable, (A)ttainable, (R)ealistic, and (T)ime-Sensitive. Each goal can likely be categorized into one of the five Marriage Pinnacle Life Domains: Physical, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Emotional. 

Pause for a second. Go and grab a pen and paper or open your notebook to where you wrote down your 2023 goals. Start off by labeling each goal into a domain. Which domain do most of your goals fall under? Now, assess whether your goals are S.M.A.R.T. If your goal statements aren’t clear and detailed enough, here is the perfect opportunity to fine-tune them! If you are having trouble getting started, here are some tips to help you out: 

  1. State goals as declarations of intention, not items on a wish list. Use clear and specific language and avoid using negative language. Think positive! (Ex: “I will apply to five jobs a month”). 

  2. Attach a date to each goal. State what you intend to accomplish and by when. Realistic and attainable goals should include short-term and long-term goals. There will be weekly goals you set for yourself, but there may be quarterly or even year-long goals you set. 

  3. Be specific. “To find a job” is too general; “to find and research five job openings in my respective field before the end of the month” is better

  4. Accountability!!! This is where your partner comes in! Sharing your goals will help ensure you succeed because someone else is invested.

  5. Be flexible!! It is ok to edit and revise your goals as experience and situations arise.

Now that the wheels in your mind are turning, take some time to work on your individual and relationship goal statements. Write out your goals and put in the necessary work to accomplish them!