On today’s #MarriageMonday, we’re talking about how to create goals with your spouse and how to align your individual goals as a couple as you look to the future.
Jill: Between the two of us, Mark has always been more of the dreamer while I tend to be more of a realist. I can dream, but I’m more interested in the path it takes to actually get there.
Mark: As we have worked to dream, set vision, and align our goals as a couple, one of the habits we’ve implemented is to map out the coming year together. This gets us on the same page, but also includes talking through our individual goals, how we each want the year to go, and what we want to accomplish together.
Jill: It is so important to be able to dream together as a couple. If you don’t take the time to align your goals together, it can lead to a slow fade of disconnection, a gradual distancing of our hearts over time. When we take the time to align our goals, we set the stage for growing closer together throughout the year and accomplishing more meaningful things together.
Mark: Maybe you’ve heard this saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is absolutely true of reaching your goals as a couple. Sure, you can probably get started faster on your own, but when you take the time to align with your spouse and have a partner in achieving that goal, you will go further together.
Jill: If you want a really practical way to do this, our January Done-For-You Date in our Date Night membership is our Vision Venture Date! Our Date Night members get weekly dates sent directly to them that spark laughter, ignite romance, and deepen their connection as a couple.
Mark: In the Vision Venture Date, we’ll give you all the tools you need to have an even deeper conversation around setting goals and getting on the same page as a couple. All you have to do is set aside the time to do it, and we’ll help you make the connection. Start your 7-day free trial today >>
As we begin a new year, here are 3 ways to start aligning your goals as a couple:
#1: Create a Safe Sharing Environment
Jill: Before you start aligning your goals, you have to share them openly. To do that effectively, you have to create an environment where it is actually safe to share your dreams.
Mark: The intention here is not to pick apart or point out how realistic a dream is or focus on all the hard work that will be required to accomplish something. The point is to listen to the heart of your spouse and step into their world by seeking to understand what they’re communicating.
Jill: If you are the more realistic one in the relationship, this might not come easily for you. It may take a lot of intentionality on your part to avoid poking holes in your spouse’s ideas. If you find yourself falling back on those old habits, simply acknowledge, apologize, and reset.
#2: Ask Questions With Curiosity
Mark: The next step is to ask questions with curiosity. This can most easily be done by simply asking your spouse to tell you more! This could sound like:
- “What part of that goal feels most interesting to you?”
- “Tell me more about why that’s important to you.”
- “What excites you about that?”
- “What concerns do you have about that?”
It’s important to resist the urge to think of the “how” and instead stay in the “why” and the joy of the dream.
Jill: Remember, goals start with a “dream” or a “vision.” Once a dream has the details to get us there, it moves from a dream to a plan. Don’t rush through the dreaming stage to get to a plan right away. This is the time where we get to talk, understand one another, hear our excitements and concerns, and truly dream together.
Mark: You might even utilize a whiteboard or a blank sheet of paper to write out some categories of your life (kids, vacation, income, work, giving, social life, spiritual life, etc.) to talk through and dream around. What do you hope each of these areas of your life will look like in the future? If anything were possible, how would you adjust those categories of your life?
#3: If you’re ready to make a next step, make a proposal.
Jill: Now comes the fun part! Or at least what I consider the fun part. When you are ready to take the next step and turn a dream into a goal, we recommend making a proposal. Here’s an example: If we dreamed of going on a specific vacation together, I could propose that we start saving $150/month toward this goal. Depending on the destination, this could allow us to book the trip in the future and ensure we have some spending money while we’re there.
Mark: That’s right. And just because your spouse proposes something does not mean it is set in stone. We can come back with a counter-proposal or a different one altogether. At this point in the process, it’s important to identify practical steps to make a dream a reality and discuss how you might prioritize the goal together. Using the example above, I might propose that we actually save $200/month if that would help us be more likely to reach the goal. Or I might propose that we cancel some tv streaming platforms we’re not really using to save even more money.
Jill: This can work with any goal you may have! It could be that you want to invest in friendships more or set aside dedicated time each day to be in the Word. Even if a goal appears to be more of an individual goal, you can still work toward that as a couple.
Mark: Absolutely. You may find that you need to partner with your spouse to help them achieve their goal of creating a daily habit of devotions. You might ask them, “What do you need from me to help you achieve that goal? Does it look like me taking the kids for 30 minutes so you have the time you need to focus on that?”
Going Deeper As a Couple
Jill: If you are looking for even more ways to practically align your goals as a couple, we have a few resources for you! The first is a webinar that we are hosting this week on Thursday, January 11th called “Connect With Your Spouse in 2024.” In the midst of the day-to-day, it’s easy for distance to start to form between you and your spouse. We want to set you up for less distance and more connection in your marriage this year! In this workshop, you’ll gain the tools to connect with your spouse beyond the standard date night advice. Register here!
Mark: The second resource we have is a free seven-day trial of Date Night. This gives you a preview of our monthly resources like Done-For-You dates, deep-dive interviews with marriage experts, and more! This is more than just a subscription; you’ll receive weekly dates designed to spark laughter, ignite romance, and deepen your connection. All you have to do is set aside the time and we help you make the connection.
Do you need to start dreaming with your spouse again?
What goals do you need to align together to make them a reality?
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