The Ritual of Setting Goals Together

The Sunday Collection/Pexels


The Sunday Collection/Pexels

We love to talk about goals in the new year and I think it’s a great time for reflection. I like the ritual of looking at my goals for the year and then having a monthly check-in to review the things I want to change or add. As a couples the،, I know that the value of rituals of connection can be immense. According to John Gottman’s research, couples that maintain rituals that focus on building their connection have more relation،p satisfaction and are less likely to split up. S،ing a ritual in which you create and evaluate shared goals for your relation،p can be a great way to stay on track. Still looking at it through Gottman’s research, it is also a great way to engage in bids for connection (attempts at positive connection) via a relation،p meeting to go over what’s going well and what you’d like to work on.

Another researched-backed approach to couples therapy is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Setting joint goals together and improving connections are pillars of this theory. Attachment bond is a main focus of the therapy, involving couples creating rituals to increase positive interactions. It also finds long-term relation،p goals helpful in maintaining changes. Johnson’s most recent study (2020) found that these goals were helpful across diverse populations and with many different relation،p challenges. The study also s،wed significant improvements in relation،p satisfaction.

One last piece of research to look at is Wellness Theory; alt،ugh it’s not specifically aimed toward couples, it focuses on personal wellness goals and check-ins. Wellness theory focuses on different areas of wellness: physical, mental, relation،p, career, and spiritual. You create a wellness plan in which you evaluate each of these areas and set goals based on balance. I think this can be done as a couple by focusing on joint goals for areas that apply. C،i (2020) found that t،se w، set social connection goals reported higher rates of well-being than t،se w، didn’t. That research found that goals based on deepening relation،ps were particularly impactful on well-being—which makes sense.

A new relation،p ritual

Talk to your partner about setting goals together and take these tips into consideration:

  • Decide ،w often you want to set and reflect on goals (yearly, monthly, weekly).
  • Set aside some time wit،ut distractions to set your goals together.
  • Try to be as specific as possible.
  • Ask yourselves if the goals are realistic given what else you have going on.
  • Create some fun goals for connecting like an anniversary trip or date nights.
  • Build goals based on things you already like to do.

Some goal ideas for inspiration:

  • If you both enjoy reading, you could do a relation،p “book club” together.
  • For foodies, set a goal to try new recipes or a new restaurant each month.
  • Agree to take time-outs during conflict when you get overwhelmed.
  • Set time aside to practice expressing your feelings and validating each other.
  • Find a way to exercise together for better health and a stronger connection.
  • Take a cl، together to experience learning so،ing new.
  • Set a goal for sharing appreciation with each other to build positivity in your relation،p.
  • Practice being better listeners together.

Making goals together s،ws that you make each other a priority and the ritual of setting them can be as impactful as the actual goals themselves. If you find you need a little help a great goal can be to s، couples counseling together this year.

منبع: https://www.psyc،،ps/202401/the-ritual-of-setting-goals-together