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Shared Vision

Relationship Goals

“All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought.” James Allen

If you are like most couples you probably spent many hours, months and possible years thinking about and planning your wedding. I would strongly encourage and invite you to put some energy into thinking about and planning your life together. Consider what relationship goals you would like to work toward together.

Do you really know what you want in your relationship and out of life? Or are your thoughts and attention focused on what you do not want? Set the intention to focus on seeing and creating what you do want in your relationship. It is helpful to write down your relationship goals.

Here are some questions to get you started thinking of possible relationship goals (Each of you answer the questions and then share your answers):

  1. What time together did I enjoy most this past year? In the past 5 years?
  2. What things that we used to do would I like to do more of as a couple?
  3. What is something new that I would like us to try as a couple?
  4. What would my ideal couple getaway look like for us?
  5. If I could choose a relationship goal for the next year, what would I choose?

Relationship goals can fall into several categories. Many of my clients express a desire to improve their ability to communicate. Other concerns couples often notice include wanting to feel supported, to find ways to share household responsibilities, to improve financial stability, to improve their feelings of connection, to improve their sex life or intimate relations, or to have more fun together.

Some possible goal suggestions (remember you need to personalize the goals to suit you as a couple)

  • Start your day with a hug—a real full frontal, gentle, but firm hug. Aim for at least a 10 second hug.
  • Go on a date once a week. Make it something fun for both of you or take turns doing what the other likes to do. Remember, if you are taking turns that you need to do so cheerfully.
  • Talk everyday. Talk about more than the business of life or what the kids are doing. Share who you are with each other.
  • Express gratitude everyday. Notice what each other does well and share what you notice.
  • Do more than say I love you. Find ways to demonstrate your love in ways that your partner will appreciate.

Carefully consider what areas of your relationship you would like to improve. I would recommend choosing to work on one goal at a time. Work together to create a joint goal that works for you both of you. If you are not in agreement on a joint goal, you could each chose one goal to begin. In this case each of you would come up with a personal goal for improving the relationship. Be careful to not set goals for each other. Focus instead on what you can do to improve the relationship.

“If you really know what you want out of life, it’s amazing how opportunities will come to enable you to carry them out.” John M. Goddard

What Kind Of Couple Do You Want To Be?

sharedvision

Unless you take time to consider and decide what kind of couple you want to be, chances are you will unconsciously try to create a relationship similar to those you grew up with. As a couple you have an opportunity to create the kind of relationship that you want. However it takes some conscious thought to stop running the childhood tapes and choose the life you want. You are unique and you want your relationship to nurture your individuality as well as your coupleness.

Get out a pencil and paper or your laptops. Each of you complete the following sentence stems. Complete each one as many times as you can in 2 -5 minutes. I am . . . You are . . . As a couple we are . . . Loving me means . . . (list what feels loving to you) Loving you means. . . (list what you do to show your love for your partner) Respecting me means . . . (list what feels respectful to you) Respecting you means . . . (list ways that you show respect for your partner) To me it is important that we . . . I have always wanted to be the couple who . . .

Once you have completed the above sentence stems, spend some time sharing and talking about your answers. This will help you learn more about each other and about each of your hopes and expectations for your relationship. You will discover what feels loving to each of you, an invaluable piece of the puzzle. Your challenge is to build your relationship around your strengths as individuals and as a couple.

To complete the exercise, write a list of five to ten things that you can each do to help you be the kind of couple that you want to be.

This would also be an excellent exercise to repeat yearly. One of the common mistakes couples make is to stop sharing who they are and what they want with their partner. As you grow as individuals and as a couple, help keep your relationship strong by continuing to share.

Creating a Shared Vision - Getting Started

"There is a tremendous need for husbands and wives to sit down together and carefully plan, or in a sense mentally or spiritually create their own future."Sephen Covey

"One problem with distressed marriages is the strong belief that hings cannot get better . . .. I have observed that if one spouse starts to make constructive changes, this not only helps the relationship but genreally lead to positive changes in the other spouse." Aaron T. Beck

Some questions to ask when working on your mission statement:

What kind of couple do we want to be?

What kind of a home do we want to have?

How will we handle finances?

How will we handle disagreements?

How will we share the responsibilities in our home?

What traditions do we want in our home?

How will we relate to extended families and friends?

What are our expectations of ourselves as parents?

How will we relate to the children?

How will we treat each other, and ourselves?

Is there a special way to handle intimate details in our lives?

What are our couple boundaries?