With all the benefits of goal-setting, most people have some appreciation for the value of setting a target in mind to work towards. However, things can get tricky when you start setting goals with other people, especially in the context of a love relationship. Most of the times, people who end up together don’t view the world in the same way or react to things in the same way, despite the common values held that brought them together. After all, opposite attract, right?
My home is a great example of this. I’m the type of person that could literally have a plan and a system for everything, and a course change just means those plans and systems need to be updated! (Yay!) My husband, on the other hand, is more of a free spirit. So, when we got married, we realized we didn’t approach almost any sort of long-term planning in the same manner. That really stumped me (as the one wanting to plan) for awhile, because setting goals and making plans is only truly effective if everyone involved is on board. You know what I mean- have you ever begrudgingly started something, perhaps a diet, to support someone else or to go with the flow? How did that end up? Often, those things we don’t want to do don’t end well.
So, with our planning history and histories in mind, my husband and I decided we needed a system that would work for both of us. What we came up with has been working spectacularly well, and it is due to the way it works for both of our personalities. While quite simple, it has made a huge difference in being able to help us become more deliberate (which satisfies my planning need) while not overwhelming and squashing my husband’s need to plan in small amounts.
These simple steps took us to success! Give these a try and see if you and your special someone can tackle those goals in a way that works for you both:
- Set a time aside to deliberately plan. Having a dedicated time set aside for the purpose of creating, evaluating, and reevaluating goals is essential to be successful.
- Get the time for planning on the calendar ahead of time. This will give you both time to ponder what you want to talk about so the time is more productive. This is especially important for the spouse or spouses that don’t care for planning.
- If planning is distasteful to one or both of you, try to make it different from past planning attempts and add a dose of something fun. I love planning; my husband doesn’t. Because of his poor history with planning, it was especially important for us to do something different than we had before. Besides following these other tips, we also don’t use terminology he didn’t like, such as “meeting”, which made him feel like he was working, and we have coffee and have the option of having a coffee shop date while we are planning.
- Make notes, such as a list of bullet points, for what you want to talk about, plus a space for any extra things to talk about, that both spouses can review and prepare with in advance. This might seem like a bit much, but this was absolutely key for our goal setting sessions to go from failures to shining success stories. I prepare the notes, based on what’s going on in our lives, which works great for us, since I’m more given to those kind of tasks. Since we have done this, our planning sessions have been yielding great results and have propelled us toward our goals.
- Set a schedule for your planning meetings so both spouses can be on the same page on how far out to plan, as well as to provide time away from planning for those who don’t enjoy planning. I could probably have a planning meeting every other week, but that would be a bit much for my husband. We set aside time for our goal setting together with notes every other month, and this works great to give me a tangible timetable (planner) and my husband time away from planning (free spirit).
Follow this tips and enjoy great success in moving towards your goals alongside your spouse!