It’s that time of the year. The time where everyone starts focusing on goal-setting and things they want to accomplish in the new year. And if you haven’t been including a list of goals for your marriage every year, now is the time to start.
This past weekend, my parent’s celebrated 50 years of marriage (here are the tips they shared a few years ago). When I introduced my parents to a good friend of mine, she let them know they were an inspiration and that their celebration was a part of her “marriage goals”.
But guess what? You can’t get to celebrate 50 years of marriage just because you wish, pray and hope for it. Like any goal, it takes intentional planning and preparation. Most people don’t get married with the goal of going through a divorce. Love is only the beginning of a successful and happy marriage.
You have to be strategic not just in life or your career but in marriage too. And like other areas of your life, your marriage needs clearly defined goals month after month, year after year.
Every couple should strive for longevity in their marriage. What does that look like for you? Don’t wait until things look bad to start thinking of how you want to fix them. As you create your marriage goals for the new year, ask yourself a few questions:
- How do you want your marriage to improve over the next 12 months?
- What are some activities you would like to incorporate or get back to doing?
- What are you willing to start, stop or give up in order to achieve these marriage goals?
- Why are marriage goals important to you?
Here are five marriage goals to keep in mind when it comes to thriving (not just surviving) in your marriage:
Do you want to start praying together? Do you want to start going to a Bible study together or just start reading the Bible together? What are some ways that you want to increase your spirituality as it directly relates to your marriage? Having and nurturing a spiritual connection is important in a marriage.
Before you can have a great sex life, your overall intimacy has to be intact. If there are insecurities on either end, it is that much harder to enjoy intimacy in the bedroom. Do you need to check in on your spouse more? Do you need to start paying more attention to their love language? Do they need to hear how much you appreciate and love them?
Finding time to date can be a challenge. But if you’re lacking in intimacy, you may need to focus more energy on creating time to date your spouse regularly. And don’t be afraid to create a new definition of what dating looks like in your marriage. Do you want breakfast in bed once a month, or do you want to take a cooking class? Is there an activity or show you’ve been wanting to do/see but have been putting it off?
Beyond saving for a house, or car, or trip or college fund, what will it feel like to get or have these things once you achieve them? Do you want to make new investments or increase your current ones?
Don’t just talk these goals over with your spouse. Get committed to them. Write them down, and evaluate how you’re doing on (at least) a quarterly basis.
BMWK: Do you create marriage goals every year with your spouse? What else would you add to this list? How does your relationship change when you focus on goals together?