The new year is here, which means that everyone is embarking on their New Year’s Resolutions.
Or maybe you don’t believe in doing the resolution thing, but you have a Life List of some sort (you might call it a Bucket List, or something else – it’s a list of goals that you want to complete in your lifetime).
Perhaps you don’t have any long term goals written down, preferring to store that particular list safely in your brain.
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It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of making your plans; “Once I get that raise I am going to buy that gadget” or “This year is going to be different, this year I’m going to exercise more.”
No matter what your goals are, do you take into account the most important part?
As someone who is married, it is vital to set your goals with your spouse.
1 + 1 > 2
There are a number of stories and jokes that have the following principle as their core: two items combined are stronger than the sum of the two individually.
I am sure you’ve heard it in some form, whether in two arrows being harder to break together than singly, two ropes combined being able to hold more weight than they could individually, or just a reference to two minds being better than one.
So it is with you and your spouse. Together, you are stronger and can accomplish more than either of you could individually, or even if you added your accomplishments together.
Why shared goals?
Not only will you be able to accomplish more when working together, but it will be easier.
By planning your goals together, you will ensure that not only are you working on the same goals, but you both know it. This can make a huge difference in how easy it is to reach your goal, simply because you are both working toward exactly the same thing, instead of just something similar (or perhaps opposite!).
Making sure that you are both working toward the exact same goal can save a lot of trouble. If you both agree that you want to “save more money this year” but have different dollar amounts in mind (let’s say $500 and $5,000) then you will both try to save but will be using completely different strategies. One of you won’t mind going out to eat each week while the other is hoping to cut out all extraneous spending until the goal is met.
Wouldn’t this be a lot less frustrating if both of you were on the same page?
I’m sure that you are saying that you’d never be working toward opposite goals. But just imagine that you wanted to save $5,000 to take that dream vacation together next year. However, your spouse’s goal is to redo their wardrobe in order to look more attractive for you.
Both are good goals that benefit the other person, but just imagine how hard it would be to see the money that you place in savings disappear a few days later!
How you help each other
There are a number of ways in which you and your spouse make each other stronger. Here are a few:
- Provide Encouragement – There’s nothing like having your own personal cheerleader to help keep you going. And, assuming that you have shared goals, they will always be rooting for you to succeed.
- Accountability Partner – Knowing that you have to tell someone the progress that you are making toward a goal goes a long way in helping you continue moving forward.
- Motivation Booster – The two above combine together to help make sure that you’re always motivated to complete the goal.
- New Ideas – That second viewpoint is always helpful, especially when you’re stuck.
- Sounding Board – Maybe your spouse doesn’t have a new idea, but at least they can listen to you talk out the issue and help you think it through.
- Fill in Strengths – It is commonly said that opposites attract. If that is true, then you and your spouse will have completely different strengths, and by working together you will be able to fill in each other’s weaknesses.
- Reminder – Life is busy, and that goal you are working for in your spare time can be easily overlooked. Sometimes just having someone remind you can be invaluable.
- Cover Your Back – Your spouse can help fill in the gaps while you are focused on reaching a shared goal. Perhaps you’re working over-time to get a raise, then your spouse can temporarily cover the tasks you normally take care of at home.
Setting goals together
Fortunately, setting a goal together is just like setting a goal by yourself, with the additional step of comparing notes and coming to a final conclusion together. Simply figure out what you want your future to look like:
“in 10 years we want to be debt free, be earning $x a year, and have visited all 50 states”
then break those goals into smaller steps:
“to be debt free we will cut up our credit cards, live off of one pay check and use the other to pay off debt”.
And then go further still if necessary:
“so that we can live off of one pay check we will cancel our cable, take our lunch to work, and only give ourselves $x spending money each month.”
As you can see, the end goal is very obtainable, but only if you work together.
Without being on the same page, you will inadvertently sabotage each other and struggle to meet the goal. However, by working together you are likely to reach your goal even faster than you thought possible.
What are some goals that you and your spouse share? Share them in the comments!
This post was written by Matthew from Adventure-Some.com Be sure to go grab his free e-book full of Ready to Go Dates for you to enjoy together in the New Year!