I first learned about setting goals many years ago, and the idea intrigued me. After setting a five-year plan that I actualised with ease and excitement, I was sold on the idea.
I learned to set personal, relationship, academic, financial, spiritual and career goals.
I must say that learning to set goals was the best thing that ever happened to me. It is always fulfilling and refreshing to measure my success.
Every December, I take time to reflect and acknowledge the goals I have been able to achieve, those I have not, and why not, and set new goals for the coming year.
It is amazing how motivating it is to set goals and watch them become a reality. As we come to the end of the year, I would like to encourage you to consider setting goals for 2014.
Relationship goals are particularly helpful, and go a long way in building healthy, lasting relationships.
Every company has strategic objectives and goals; they have a vision and mission statement, while the same people who strategise have vague ideas of what they want out of their own relationships. Usually, they have no idea where they want the relationships to go, with most only being clear on one thing: “I want to be loved and happy!”
Goals can be stated or written. I prefer to have every goal clearly written in a personal journal that I can refer to quarterly, half-yearly and annually.
It is important to have both personal goals and relationship goals, therefore, involving your partner is necessary. It is important that both partners have ownership of each goal. The goals can be modified during the annual review, and the objectives to be achieved for the next year can be identified.
Key relationship areas
Communication: How can you become a better communicator? Find out from your partner whether you have been a good communicator, and in which areas they would like improvement. Your intimacy levels depend on your communication. Do you feel judged and misunderstood? Establishing commitment goals might involve spending more time with your partner, or making decisions that clearly demonstrate that your relationship is a top priority in your life.
Love and affection: In previous articles, we have discussed the language of love and the importance of understanding your own language and that of your partner. How do you feel valued? Discuss with your partner what you can do to make them feel valued. Exercise the language of love; words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, touch and acts of service. Be more expressive in the area that your partner needs you to be.
Shared interests/activities: Friendship is the foundation of most strong, healthy relationships. It takes time, hard work and commitment to nurture friendships.
Responsibilities. It helps to have clear roles and responsibilities. Talk about your expectations. You might be surprised to learn that the reason your partner is not meting your expectations is not that they do not care, but simply because they do not know what you expect. Let your partner know exactly what you expect of them. Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses, and that you do not necessarily have to play the expected traditional role; apply your gifting as appropriate.
It helps to clearly articulate your goals and write them down. Follow that up with desired behaviour in order to reach the goal. Agree on how to keep one another accountable, and in no time, this will become a habit and, subsequently, a lifestyle. When you set goals together with your partner, it will create an atmosphere of oneness and help your intimacy levels to grow.
The writer is a relationship coach and author at Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on www.jenniekarina.co.ke
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