Communication – Married Couples Setting goals

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Setting goals together is indispensible for great communication. I recommend that a couple take time away to enjoy each other and identify their long-term goals. What do they most want to accomplish as individuals and as a couple? Discovering dreams and setting goals help you learn more about your mate and how to prioritize spending.

For instance, perhaps you are a working wife who wants to have children someday and stay home to raise them. Consider the steps you will need to take. These become your goals. One of your long-term goals would be to make ends meet on just your husband’s income. Short-term goals might include paying off debts, increasing savings, perhaps selling a vehicle or even downsizing to more affordable housing.

Effective goal setting begins by identifying long-term goals and then establishing shorter-term goals as intermediate steps. For example, if you know your ten-year goals, it will be easier for you to determine the goals you will need to accomplish this year.

Let me assure you of something that I have seen proven true time after time. The simple act of sitting down together and really thinking through your priorities as a couple will be a powerful bonding tool. You would be stunned to learn how many couples go through their whole lives together without ever looking each other in the eyes and talking about what is most important to them!

May I say one more thing about that? For a couple who are both followers of Jesus Christ, this is a marvelous opportunity to invite the direction and counsel of God’s Holy Spirit. The apostle James says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (James 1:5, tlb).

So, it’s a perfect time to pray together and say, “Lord, what do You want for us? What are Your desires as we seek to set our goals and priorities?”

I love the promises that Jesus made regarding the Holy Spirit in the gospel of John. Just before He went to the cross, Jesus said to a group of bewildered disciples: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with your forever—the Spirit of truth…. The Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things…. He will guide you into all truth” (John 14:16, 26; 16:13).

The key? Ask Him! Seek His counsel, His perspective, His guidance. Spread out your lives before Him, and ask Him to guide you into all truth, as He has promised.

As I said, the very process of writing down your goals together is a powerful but often neglected step that helps clarify and prioritize them. The mystery fades as you monitor your progress and make midcourse corrections. Written goals create momentum, helping you both focus on the priorities that will enable you to achieve your purpose. And God will help you to achieve those goals if you have first made sure they are honoring to Him.

Jess and Angela Correll have done the best job of goal setting and planning I have ever seen. Each year they hold a weekend planning retreat to discuss their goals for the coming year. As each one shares, the other asks the question: How can I help you succeed in reaching your goals? Then, they meet for several hours each quarter to review their progress. This has been a powerful tool for them to get to know each other in a deeper way and to keep their spending on track.

Long-term goals

With that in mind, begin by writing down your long-term goals for each of the areas that follow.

Relationship with God:

Family and Friends:

Service to others:

Career/Skills/Education:

Long-term financial goals

Giving:

Spending/Lifestyle:

Saving and Investing:

Debt:

Other:

This year’s goals

Once you have established your long-term goals, work backwards and write down what you want to achieve this year. A word of caution: Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t successful in accomplishing all of the goals you’ve set for a particular year. I rarely reach all of mine. However, when you know your goals, you know what you want to get done. You have a target. With God’s help, you will make progress.

Relationship with God:

Family and Friends:

Service to others:

Career/Skills/Education:

This year’s financial goals

Giving:

Spending/Lifestyle:

Saving and Investing:

Debt:

Other:


 

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