Happy Tuesday, everyone!
My tip for today is to set goals at least annually with your husband. We are both engineering-types, so goal-setting and list-making come naturally to us. We also have both worked in the business world, where this type of thing is encouraged and usually mandated.
Early on in our marriage, we applied this to our family. We find it best to do at the beginning of the year, but essentially you could do it at any time.
We get a babysitter and go out to dinner. This is definitely best done without the constant interruption of children!
We talk about where we want to be in one year as individuals and as a family. We try to set a couple of individual goals (e.g., lose x pounds, read through the bible, exercise x times/week, etc.). And then we also try to set family goals (e.g., family game night twice/month, go out on a date once/month, save x dollars, etc.). Often we pray about the items we put on the list – it’s a way to acknowledge that we are making plans but not forgetting that God is in control of our lives. (Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps.”)
We find that the process of doing this really brings us together – emotionally and spiritually. We find that even after years of marriage, we still want a lot of the same things out of life. Sometimes we learn something new about the other person… it offers us the opportunity to see how each of us is changing and growing. And there’s something about just talking about the future – about your dreams and hopes – that can bring down any walls you’ve built between you and really help your relationship.
We also find that the reaching of the goals brings us together as well. We can encourage one another. Much of the time, the goals themselves are things that are meant to grow us as a family. We can also celebrate together when we reach our goals.
We’ve saved each year’s list of goals since we’ve been doing this. It’s amazing to go back and look at where we’ve been and where we are now. Doing that gives us a feeling of mutual accomplishment and hope for the future.
So I encourage you to think about doing this in your marriage. Don’t wait until the end of the year – start now!!