Have you made your marriage goals yet? As we approach a new year we are flooded with articles about resolutions and goal setting. Those are nice, but your happiness in marriage is just as important if not more important than weight loss goals, financial goals, or personal development goals. Marriage goals can set you and your partner on a path of abundant happiness, joy, and passion. Let’s explore making marriage goals.
A Personal Mission Statement
Personal development gurus tout the many advantages of setting goals. One tip they often recommend that is a precursor to goal setting is the creation of a personal mission statement. It may sound weird, but in essence, it is a statement that defines your focus and purpose in life. A great article that explains it and offers examples from very successful people can be found here from Fast Company. Zig Ziglar, an outstanding motivational speaker and personal development instructor says this about a personal mission statement:
Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.
What is your life’s mission? What are your values? If you need some help phrasing it, I suggest this tool from Nightingale Conant.
Creating Marriage Goals
There are many ways to approach creating marriage goals. The approach many recommend is called S.M.A.R.T. It refers to goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This approach is excellent for business and personal goals. For marriage goals, it’s rather sterile. If you’re wishing there was more passion in your marriage, or more love and happiness, it’s going to be hard to put passion in terms of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
There is an alternative method.
I recently came across a video from one of my own mentors, Brendon Burchard. He takes a swipe at the S.M.A.R.T. method and comes up with his own method, the D.U.M.B. goal setting method. While it might sound tongue-in-cheek, he makes an excellent case for it here in this video. Or, watch the video below:
Here are the components of the D.U.M.B goal setting method:
A marriage is big and happy. Marriage goals should be based on your dreams for the marriage, not what’s on a to-do list. Brendon makes an intuitive point that while some goals do need to be broken down into steps, there are some things, like marriage goals, that need to be based on dreams and large in scope.
Make marriage goals that are positive and joyous! What goals can you make for your marriage that is uplifting? Uplifting goals inspire and raise hope. What goals can you set that are stimulating for the marriage? Nurturing for the partner? Do you see the difference? Why limit your marriage to what your mind thinks is attainable? Shoot for the stars!
One reason New Year’s resolutions fail so often is because they are based on wishes often tied to a to-do list. They are tasks we have to remind ourselves to do. With this approach to marriage goal setting, we want to make goals that are based on methods and habits. These methods and habits is what builds mastery. As a doubles tennis player, one method, or habit, that I practice is to move towards the net as soon as possible after I serve. It is a best practice that yields the best results. What habit or method can yield happy marriage mastery in your life? What can you do first thing in the morning with or for your spouse? What can you do before you go to work? What can you do as soon as you come home from work? What practices can help you explore the preferred love language of your spouse? Do you see where this is going?
Behavior Triggered Goals
Behavior triggered goals are actions we take based on a behavior we have just done. If I’m coming home from work and I had a bad day, I might be in a mood that can make things miserable for the spouse and children at home. Now, when I set a behavior triggered goal, I might make a goal that says when I pull up into the driveway I will take a few moments to compose myself and leave my feelings about work at work. When I come into the house now, I am in a happier mood that can bring happiness to the spouse and children. Or, another example might be that when I put the children to sleep I will now pay special attention to my partner and build that relationship. It comes down to forming a habit to do a specific behavior after performing another behavior.
Couples that are happy and in love with one another do not divorce. It takes effort to build a #HappyMarriage. Make the effort to create a personal mission statement and marriage goals. Start today. Grab a pen and some paper. Write down how you would describe yourself and your values. Then, use the D.U.M.B. goal setting method to create your marriage goals.
It doesn’t have to be goals for an entire year.
Make goals for the next 3 months. See how they turn out and adjust them for the next 3 months.
I suggest one of your marriage goals should be to have family dinner together at least 5 times per week. The family dinner is the absolute best time to build a happy marriage.
If you find that you want additional help, check out the 38 Minute Club. every month you get step by step instructions based on the best practices of top marriage experts.