I believe that happiness comes from moving toward what you want, not necessarily getting it. What this means to you is that in order to be happy, couples need to have goals that they are moving toward. How can couples motivate and support each other to achieve individual and relationship goals? Here are 10 steps that will enable you and your partner to create and reach your goals and keep your connection as a couple strong.
- First, you must ensure that the individual and couple goals are in alignment. This alignment is critical for creating harmony and allowing you both to reach your dreams. Once that alignment is secure there is no limit to what you can accomplish together.
- Talk about where you want to be and what you want to do in the next six months to two years. Next, discuss, imagine, and contemplate where you want your lives to be in five, 10, and 20 years. Keep it positive and don't pooh-pooh any ideas until you've had the chance to get them on the table first.
- Make sure that the goals both of you strive for make you feel good about yourselves. You can't achieve something that goes against your values. Sharing how your goals as a couple can benefit others as well as yourselves is a powerful and bonding experience.
- Make sure your goals are specific, attainable, and realistic. I believe in the old saying, "If you shoot for the stars, maybe you'll hit the moon," but it makes more sense to keep the majority of your goals a little more earthbound.
- Celebrate (and enjoy it) when you reach milestones, dreams, or goals, and agree upon a reward system to help keep you motivated. For example, each time you accomplish a step toward your goals, talk about how you feel about each other and how far you have come in your relationship. Then go out to dinner.
- Create an arrangement that helps both of you stay accountable to the commitments you have made to each other. This is a sacred bond: It's not a matter of reward or punishment, it's an arrangement that helps support both of you as well as your relationship.
- Give each other the room to achieve your desires by allowing (and even supporting) your partner to experiment. As long as you agree to proceed with honor and dignity, you can be as creative as you like. Great ideas come from all kinds of places; you never know when something "off the wall" will open doors.
- Agree with each other to seek and accept feedback. No one has all the answers, so create a support structure to help you attain your desires. Couples whose relationships are supported by friends and family reach their goals and have happier relationships.
- Write down and review your goals, and if you're comfortable, post them somewhere where you can see them every day. A research study found that people who wrote down their goals achieved them 97 percent more often than those who did not.
- Remember that everything you do together has more than twice as much power as what you do alone. Creating goals as a couple or a family is not only healthy for your relationship; it should be fun as well.
Be sure to replace your accomplished dreams and goals with new ones; that really is a secret to happiness. Creating goals as a couple is one of the most powerful and connecting things you can do. Have fun with it and see where it takes you. There is nothing better than sharing your success with someone you love.