Do you have goals for your marriage?
Many people have this misconception that once they get married, they will live happily ever after- on autopilot.
The reality, however, is that marriage requires work and effort from you and your spouse. Love brings you together, but conscious, continuous effort makes your marriage a success. This is where marriage goals come in.
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Why you should set marriage goals
Marriage goals give a couple something to work toward and a reason to depend upon each other. They are a great way to grow your marriage. In the pursuit of your goals, you will spend more time together, have more conversations and create more intimate moments.
Goals will help your marriage to thrive. Considering the current rate of divorce, it would be unfortunate if you do not give your marriage the proper attention and nourishment it needs. When you get busy with your daily routines, it is easy to forget to nurture your relationship. Marriage goals help you to keep your marriage a top priority.
When you spend time planning your life together, you cannot neglect each other. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for your marriage gives you a better chance of having a happy and fulfilling marriage.
When you think about the health of your marriage, consider the principle of motion. An object that is set in motion continues to move unless something stands in its way.
Similarly, a motionless object will never move until you put it in motion. Just as your daily goals keep you moving from one task to the next, marriage goals will infuse your relationship with the vital momentum.
Marriage goals not only create an atmosphere of companionship, but they also help spouses to remain focused whenever their marriage is going through difficult transitions.
Marriage goals also act as an antidote to stagnation and lethargy that creeps into all marriages over time.
S.M.A.R.T marriage goals
S.M.A.R.T marriage goals should include all aspects of your marriage: physical, intellectual, financial, social, spiritual – everything that could affect your marriage.
Also, like all other goals, they need to be written down. The difference between a wish and a goal is that you write a goal down and take continuous action towards realizing it. The following are some of the things you need to discuss with your spouse concerning your future.
1. Financial goals
According to marital experts, money is the number reason for marital discord. There will always be an imbalance of income between you and your spouse and different money habits.
It is therefore essential to discuss your attitudes towards financial matters so that you can understand each other’s approach to making, spending, and saving money.
If you and your spouse are not on the same page concerning finances, it will be a constant source of tension throughout your marriage. For this reason, harmonize your activities towards money and ensure you are both part of the money-making decisions.
Both of you should, at all times, know where the money is and where it goes:
- Settle on a common goal. Whatever your long-term goal is, ensure you are on the same page. Where do you want to be financially in a year? Five years?
- Create a budget. Develop a budget that gives a clear indication of where the money goes each month. Sit down with your spouse and give each dollar a name.
- Update your insurance policy. Whatever insurance policies or estate planning you individually had before you got married, you will need them updated. Your power of attorney, your will, and superannuation contributions will all need to be revised. Your premiums may also change; it is all part of the process.
- Re-look at your credit card options. Give your credit cards a healthy check and see how they compare to the competitions by using credit card comparison tools.
2. Goals for your relationship
This goal is essential since it will help you and your partner maintain intimacy, connectedness, empathy, and feelings of security and inner peace.
You must set goals towards spending time together if you want your relationship to flourish. When you neglect companionship, separation will begin to occur in your relationship.
Communication is the backbone of your marriage. Many marriages fail to reach their destination because of inadequate listening and poor understanding. Conflicts will inevitably occur in marriage, but with proper and regular communication, all problems can be solved.
Agree to talk about anything and everything
Nurture your friendship with your spouse so that you can feel comfortable discussing even the difficult subjects. Tough conversations make you wiser and stronger and broaden your horizon. If you avoid difficult issues, they will eventually stifle your communication and ruin your marriage.
Your relationship with your in-laws
A cordial relationship with your both of your in-laws will save your marriage a lot of conflicts. However, the process of blending two families is nothing short of a miracle.
Your in-laws have expectations of you and your spouse that may not be realistic:
They may assume that you will spend all holidays with them; or that you will follow their advice without questions; or that they will see you and talk to you several times a week.
Many times, these expectations are not understood or discussed by a couple until a conflict occurs. The smart option is to recognize and head off potential conflicts before they occur.
Take everything in your stride and try to see things from your relatives’ point of view. Consider how much time and energy they have spent raising both of you; it is understandable for them to find it difficult to let go. Trust that you will adequately provide for each other as well as they have all these years.
Household habits can be a source of immeasurable tension for a couple. Many couples are constantly annoyed with each other because one person is not contributing to household chores and the other is constantly picking up the slack.
Inevitably, one partner turns out to be the tidy one, and the organizer, while the other might be the helpless slob.
Chores may seem trivial, but are a big deal.
Unless you want some major conflicts and resentment down the road, you must discuss even this unglamorous topic from the word go. Think about this way: you have become roommates for life. Why shouldn’t you discuss your household habits?
3. Family health goals
It is probably expecting too much hoping that both halves of a marriage can have similar health goals. But you can agree on mutually aligned goals.
Think about how hard it is going to be to plan and cook different meals? Essential goals for couples who have different dietary preferences can, in fact, be a tall order. Imagine one spouse cannot live without bread while the other is Paleo?
Your marriage will be much easier if you are on the same page. And an added advantage: it can be fun being each other’s accountability partner, whether it is in weight loss or another health venture.
The first year of marriage is incredibly essential to your future happiness. It is during this time when you will either give direction and purpose to your marriage or develop bad habits that will trap you later. Setting goals will help you to establish good patterns and ways of being together that will continue for the rest of your life.
Also, post-wedding blues are quite common. After experiencing the thrill of wedding planning, it is natural to experience a deep in your mood. Goals will inject life into your new marriage and put it on the path of excitement.
Your marriage is like no one else’s. Having your own goals gives your marriage the uniqueness and authenticity that it deserves. So, go on and set your own S.M.A.R.T goals today.
Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot run a marathon successfully without proper planning.
Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com
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