By Pam and Bill Farrel, Crosswalk.com
Resolutions are rarely kept past 30 days, but goals can be life changing. More than good intentions, goals help you put in place concrete steps to create a different life, and a different kind of love. Goals are simply dreams with deadlines. So take some time to dream together!
If life feels too hectic to sit and write goals for your future, as a couple or family— take goal setting on the road! While you are both in your car, have the non-driver interview the other and write down some goals for the coming year that will make your love stronger and last longer.(We offer a “Your Best Year Ever” goal planning sheet that can walk your through goal setting set by step at www.Love-wise.com) This may lead to some deeper, richer, or more lively discussions, so it might take a few sessions to work your way through the questions. Enjoy the forward movement!
Here is a sampling of a few questions to fine-tune your life, your marriage or family life:
- As you look at the year ahead, what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for yourself?
- As you look at the year ahead what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our marriage?
- As you look at the year ahead what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our family?
- What adjustments on the home front would make reaching these desires easier?
- How are you planning to grow yourself
-Academically or in your career?
What can I do to help you? (Each answer this for the other.)
- Can we write these desires into tangible measurable goals? (Write below.)
- Can we create a personal motto, family or marriage motto for the year? (We detail this in our book 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make)
We like to create a theme for the year too. One couple we know selected “Think Young” for a year in their mid 40’s. One of our friends who were drifting apart made theirs’ “Love again in 2010”—and guess what? They went from the brink of divorce to a vibrant and strong loving marriage before the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Do you have a verse for the year that captures what you think God is saying to your heart? (To find a verse, select a few keywords and place them into the word search on www.Biblegateway.com or Logos Bible software, and you’ll get a list of verses to select from.)
Samples of “The Verse for the Year” we have used in the past to motivate forward movement:
2013: With a goal of becoming stronger in all areas
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
This year both Bill and I selected the same word (STRONGER), the same verse Joshua 1:9, and the same motto for the year (“Stay Strong”). All year, all our choices were made with one question in mind, “Will this make me/us stronger?" The outcome was we got stronger as a couple physically, financially, and our ministry and family were strengthened as we checked off goals.
2008: With a goal of becoming a better leader publicly and privately
"Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to him" (2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB).
My one question that provided focus was, “Is this pleasing God?”
See if each of you can come up with a verse that will motivate you personally in a way that will case positive impact on your love and life together. We then memorize the verse and meditate on it daily. Try to create a singular question that can serve as a focusing lens for life.
The key to success is not just voicing your goals, but go back to your Outlook or personal planner system and place time to actually DO your goals into your scheduling. We also place a date to review our progress every three to four months.
The final secret to success is to reward yourselves and celebrate every possible victory all along the path. If your goal is to argue less, then the first day you go all day without a fight, celebrate it! If your goal is to save money, plan ways to pat yourselves in the back that don’t cost: share a sunset moment, walk along the beach or in the park holding hands. Make it a goal to list off five ways you can celebrate each other as you make progress in your goal to stay in love. A long-lasting love is just a couple who have made it their goal to go one more day in love and invested the time and effort to pull it off—one day at a time.
Pam and Bill Farrel are the authors of 40 books including their newest: 7 Simple Skills for Success for Men. For more information on goal setting, we have a few books available with goal information in them: Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti or 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make or download a goal setting sheet at www.Love-Wise.com
Publication date: December 31, 2014