"So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding."
- (Romans 14:9 ESV)
In the current fast-paced era, married couples can easily live and talk past each other unintentionally. This unhealthy situation can start testing and tearing away at your marriage. Healthy marriages thrive on good communication and doing things together.
It’s a new year and a chance to start something new. Many of us will set personal goals; however, setting goals as a couple will help you stay connected to each other.
Taking time to discuss meaningful goals will boost your sense of intimacy and confidence in your relationship, drawing you closer together as a couple.
Today, I want to share some ideas for goals you could set as a couple. They will strengthen your marriage relationship so you can both look forward to an exciting and fulfilling 2022!
God wants to be part of the process and the Chief Cornerstone in your marriage relationship and daily interactions.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it, labor in vain." Psalm 127:1
The most important goal is to commit time spent in individual prayer and as a couple. This can include a scripture verse and a prayer before or after supper or before bedtime. Perhaps you want to level up your faith by attending in-person or online bible study classes as a couple.
Setting goals to grow and deepen your spiritual lives will help you as a couple to find a sense of mutual purpose in your marriage.
Set a goal to become super communicators. Lack of meaningful discussions can become the biggest stumbling block in our marriages. Feelings of not being understood or feeling like you are talking in circles can be frustrating.
Many of us lack the skills to communicate clearly; with our spouse, there are many different connection styles. Understanding your and your spouse's styles is important to becoming a super communicator.
Discuss areas in your communication that are unclear or cause either of you to feel uncomfortable or judged. Sending double messages is probably the biggest culprit.
Remember, body language speaks volumes about how you really feel on the inside and can contradict what you are saying. Think before you speak, be mindful of your verbal tone and facial expressions. Let your words and body language communicate the same message.
You could set goals to change words and behaviors that have unintentionally come across as hurtful or even disrespectful.
Always be mindful that there are different perspectives on every issue. Try not to come across too forcefully when discussing controversial topics. Instead, pause for a few seconds and breathe deeply to prevent an aggressive tone that can shut down communication.
Additionally, be extra careful not to detract from your discussions by bringing up past wounds. Base your discussions and goal-setting on positive declarations to foster open, honest communication that builds mutual trust and respect.
Discussing financial goals and establishing a financial vision for your future is important for building a life together.
I have a confession to make. I refused to help Glenn in this area for years. Every time we tried to set goals or discuss our finances, it would lead to a fight. I did not want to fight, so I just checked out and let Glenn carry the burden of our financial future.
I told myself three common lies that I think far too many women also believe.
Lie number one: he was the one working and making money, so it was his responsibility.
Lie number two: he was better at money than I was, so he could handle it (even though I had made money and paid my bills for years before we were married).
Lie number three: Glenn did not think I was good with money.
Believing these lies created unhealthy spending habits for me and created a point of contention in our marriage. Then one day, Glenn told me that he needed my help with balancing the checkbook and paying the bills.
He had taken a new job and was having to travel four days a week. He had to learn new skills and focus on the new position. When he came home he was tired and needed me to help out.
When he asked me this, it immediately debunked lie number 2 and 3; if he thought I was not good with money, he would not trust me to watch over it. It made me feel like I was part of the team!
I am reminded of a quote by Dave Ramsey, personal finance personality, radio show host, author, and Christian businessman;
"Marriage is a partnership and couples can't win with money unless they do the budget as a team."
Over the next year, I created a monthly budget for us. I put it all on paper so that when Glenn was home on the weekend, he could easily see where we were at with the budget. I also converted all expenses to online payments which made it easier to pay the bills.
This made it convenient for him to see all payments at a glance on his mobile phone while he was away from home.
One of my strengths is that I love to create systems that simplify and organize. When I could use my strengths, I felt more included and interested in our finances.
In my personal experience and in dealing with clients, financial goals and expectations for husbands and wives can differ vastly so you need to sharpen your active-listening skills during discussions.
Taking time to discuss your financial goals in an atmosphere of love and mutual understanding can allow you to reach a win-win solution. I believe that the enemy works overtime to cause a breakdown in communication around finances.
There is no better time to set goals for healthier living than after the festive indulgence! I know we have all set a goal at one time or another to live a healthy lifestyle and improve our physical health.
Over the years, many have reached this goal by adjusting meal planning, drinking more water, engaging in moderate exercise. However, there is another area of wellbeing that we sometimes neglect; mental health.
Setting goals together is an excellent opportunity to check in with your spouse about how he is coping, especially with the unexpected changes and pressures caused by the pandemic. Men often shy away from speaking about their stresses and anxieties.
A healthy approach to enjoying optimal mental health could mean scheduling regular walks in nature and spending quality time together as well as with other, positive people. Making time for a weekly 'date night' has proved therapeutic for mental wellbeing and strengthening marriage relationships.
Pray for each other regularly and speak positive affirmations over each other. Remember, prayer WORKS!
If you find it difficult to focus on setting goals, please join my mini-workshop on 'how to set and maintain your goals in my FREE Facebook group. Click the link below to join and to acquire more info:
See you soon,
P.S. If you've been experiencing overwhelming emotions and anxiety that negatively impact your relationships and family, I invite you to sign up for A FREE 20-minute session with me. Let me show you how I can help you gain a new perspective on life, more clarity, greater confidence, and a healthier connection with your spouse and family.