Do You Have S.M.A.R.T. Marriage Goals for 2013?

BY: - 9 Jan '13 | Marriage

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Photo Credit: Adam_Borkowski

Photo Credit: Adam_Borkowski

As one year closes and the next begins, resolutions and goals for the new year become the focus.  One of the most effective ways to set, and achieve goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting model.  Most of us are familiar with it.  Our goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

My guess is that most of us have set S.M.A.R.T. goals in our lives for 2013.  Studies show that the most common goals are lose weight, manage debt, take a trip, or get a better job.  Those are all good things, but most of them can be achieved completely alone or with minor help from others.

What about S.M.A.R.T. goals for your marriage?  Goals that cannot be completed alone.  Goals that need you and your spouse to achieve.  Goals that will give married couples something to work toward, work together, and work dependent upon our spouses.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. marriage goals can be a great way for you to grow your marriage.  It can set you up for spending more time together, having more conversations, creating deeper and more intimate moments.  Much like a marriage relationship itself, the journey to achieve these goals will be worth it all if you stay the course, do not give up, and ultimately achieve what you set out to do.

If you have not done so already, I encourage you to sit down with your spouse as soon as you can.  Start talking about what you want to accomplish together.  Discuss what you can achieve that will leave your marriage better at the end of the year.  My wife and I typically sit down with our kids, set goals, and share them.  This year we are being a little more intentional about S.M.A.R.T marriage goals.  Below are a few of our goals, as well as some other goal ideas.

1. Have “x” number of dates

Our ultimate goal is date each other weekly for life.  We are not doing so well to this point.  In following the S.M.A.R.T. goal pattern, setting a specific number of dates may be more realistic.  At the end of the day, if we have more dates this year than last year it will be a success!

2. Run a race together within a specific time

Exercising together is great.  Exercising together and achieving a goal is even greater!  If one spouse is a runner or biker, and the other is not, then determine a time that both can achieve crossing the finish line together.  One person may take the lead in training if they are more experienced, but it is a couple’s goal.

3. Read “x” number of books together

One of our favorite activities, that we do not do enough, is choosing a book neither of us has read and taking turns reading together before bed.  If one spouse is not a reader, this can be a way for him/her to read more.

BONUS:  Surprisingly, as simple as it seems, reading together before bed can lead to other things.  I can see it now, brothas that typically won’t read anything, checking out books from the library every week!  Do what you got to do!

4. Dedicate “x” number of days to mentoring a less experienced married couple

One thing that has helped our marriage turn the corner is realizing that our marriage has an impact on others.  Our marriage is our ministry.  It is not just about us, or our kids.  One of the best ways to learn and grow is to teach what you know to others.  It brings accountability and perspective on what you do.

Find another couple, and mentor them in 2013.  Talk about ending the year with your marriage better than it was at the beginning of the year.  This will do it.

5. Memorize a new scripture specific to your marriage

Scripture memorization is powerful.  Many times when I have been at my lowest, or had doubts about our marriage, a scripture I have memorized comforted me and kept me from doing anything stupid.  Couples have their song, their restaurant, their show, but what about their scripture.

I encourage you to see what the bible says about marriage, and find a scripture that challenges you both.  Memorize it.  And I don’t mean memorize like we did to pass tests in school.  I am talking about internalizing that scripture.  Know it inside and out, and being able to speak it at any time.

BMWK: Have you set S.M.A.R.T. marriage goals?  In the comment section below, share one marriage goal that will leave your marriage better at the end of 2013.

Follow Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. on Facebook and Twitter.

About the author

Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. wrote 62 articles on this blog.

Jackie is an author, blogger, and speaker who helps men better love their wives and lead their families. He is the creator of The 7 Rings of Marriage™. You can receive his latest BMWK posts in your inbox, plus his latest marriage and parenting posts from around the web by subscribing to his weekly newsletter!


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15 WordPress comments on “Do You Have S.M.A.R.T. Marriage Goals for 2013?

  1. Finally!

    Thanks for a wonderful post with great points. I have one question. If you were promoting any other book, would you list the title in lower case? How do we expect for the Bible to be referenced and reverenced enough for folks to consider memorizing/internalizing its contents when we don’t give it the honor it’s due. Those of us who already do would really appreciate it if you use “Bible” when referring to God’s holy word. #jussayin

    1. Really?

      Out of the entire post that was the only grammatical error you could find and attempt to magnify? I think clearly the point being made was to look to God’s word for a scripture that breathes life into your marriage. If the intention was to dishonor, there would have been no need to reference the Bible at all. Your #jussayin was a waste.

    2. Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. Post author

      “Finally!”, thanks for your comment. I am glad you liked the points that were made. That is also a great point you made, and a great question you ask. The funny thing is I tutor middle school kids in English. I should know better huh? 🙂 I am thankful for grace & mercy, otherwise I might be in some real trouble. 😉 Seriously, I think focusing on what is in the book, and living it is how we get folks to consider living it. I hope my sins (or misspellings) do not cause anyone to fall in this area.

  2. Jacqueline

    I’m so thankful for you and the Tylers for posting such positive and helpful articles. I’m am praying and hopeful the abundance of knowledge will my husband and I out if our current rut. Again, thanks so much keep doing what you do to minister and be a blessing to other married folks like myself.

    1. Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. Post author

      Thank you Jacqueline!! I really appreciate that and I know Lamar & Ronnie do to. I am praying and rooting for you and your husband! I’m hoping you’ll be sharing your testimony and marriage story to others who need to hear it someday. 🙂

  3. Mando

    Thank you very much for being such a blessing and to allowing God to continuously use people such as you and Lamar to sow good seeds into our marriages. This article is such an eye opener especially at the beginning of a New Year. Keep up the good work! Thanks again.

  4. Dan

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  5. Pingback: The Wrong Way To Start off a New Year, and How To Correct It

  6. Pingback: The Most Important Step in Staying Faithful in Marriage, Part 1, Day 21 | Becoming His Eve

  7. Pingback: Now What? Day 31 and Beyond | Becoming His Eve

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Do You Give Your Spouse Chores?

BY: - 9 Jan '13 | Marriage

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My husband and I try to run our house like a well oiled machine. We believe that all of our children (regardless of age) have a part in maintaining the house.  And if they do their part, then everyone’s life is much easier. To help make everyone accountable, we’ve  implemented a chore checklist for everyone from the smallest child (two years old) to the oldest child (twelve years old) . While we have small ‘hiccups’  when the kids have selective memory and don’t do what they’ve been  instructed to do, for the most part our house runs smoothly . When the kids don’t do their chores, we usually will punish them or withhold something they want until the chores are done. However what happens if your spouse doesn’t do their chores?

Let me give you an example.

I came home the other day and noticed that our trash can was not pulled to the curb to be picked up my the sanitation company. As I looked I noticed EVERYONE else’s trashcan was empty. I prayed that this just meant that my husband had already pulled it back to the back of the house. You see, this may not seem like a big deal but if the trash is not taken out, we will  have a stuffed trash can for the upcoming week. With a family of five, things can get piled up really quick.   As I entered the house, I was tempted to start ‘fussing’  but I stopped to look out back into the backyard to hopefully see a trashcan that was miraculously empty. I was wrong. Not only was the trashcan unmoved, but there was still a week’s worth of trash in it. I literally shook my head. Sensing something was wrong, my husband looked outside and I could see it in his face- he had forgotten to pull the trash out.

Before I have you guys thinking it’s only my husband who forgets chores, let me say I’m also guilty of not doing my chores. Sometimes I forget to do the laundry, go to the grocery store or even to schedule a doctor’s appointment for the kids. Whenever a little chore goes undone life is made harder for everyone.

But what happens when you don’t do chores for your relationship? What’s the end result- an overflowing trashcan or an unhappy spouse?

You see, while these chores for the house are  minor violations, the real chores are the ones that keep marital relationships stronger physically and emotionally.  Just like we get mad at each other for not doing little things, we need to hold one another accountable for doing chores for our relationship. That’s right, chores are small duties that each spouse performs to keep our relationship healthy. Sensing that not doing ‘chores’ in the relationship was harming us, we devised a chore chart for our relationship. It’s full of small things that keeps our relationship ‘house’ running smoothly. Our tasks range from who’s responsible for planning dates to who gets a ‘mandated’ day off from kid responsibilities.

It’s been about 6 months sense we implemented this chart and already we’ve noticed the benefits of using this to keep our relationship house secure. No longer do I have to plan all the dates because my husband claims he doesn’t know what I would like to do. My husband no longer feels the pressure to always pull the trash can to the front of the house- especially if he’s tired from work or completely forgets.

In the end, just like we ‘stay on’ the kids about completing their chores, we have to stay on one another to make sure we are doing our chores. We are on the battleground of the war on chores by kids. While some days we win,  other days we retreat to our room trying to regroup for the next day.

Now my BMWK family, do you guys give your spouse chores?

About the author

Franchesca Warren wrote 44 articles on this blog.

Franchesca Warren is writer, author, blogger, educator, runner, entrepreneur, mother and overall BossyGirl. She's currently working on her second book detailing her chronicles of working in two of the roughest urban school districts with a release date of August 2012. You can find her full-time on her blog chronicling her life trying to balance it all and run a marathon by the end of the year. In her spare time she runs her own editing company, The Editing Nerd, and working on the launch of her first magazine. For a daily account of the good, bad and ugly of being a BossyGirl follow her on Twitter!


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