Which is better in marriage: goals or resolutions? Marriage goals are far more important than mere New Year’s resolutions because we don’t keep our resolutions if we don’t have goals. Many of us get caught up in New Year’s resolutions at this time of year. And we all know how that goes. Hard commitment for a few weeks is followed by the intrusion of daily life and then the trailing off of our resolutions until they are no more. I believe resolutions are weakest when we’re focused more on the actions we’re resolving to do or not do instead of on what we actually want to accomplish. If we don’t have a clear goal, then we remain unfocused.If we don’t have a clear goal, then we remain unfocused.
But a clear goal declares where we’re headed and determines the daily decisions and habits we need to accomplish the goal. This is also true when we set goals within a marriage. And I suggest that you and your wife consider setting four important marriage goals this year instead of making behavioral resolutions that likely will fade. By focusing on these four kinds of marriage goals, you and your wife can become a stronger team.
1. A Financial Goal
Perhaps this is the year you pay off some debt, save up for a vacation, or put more money toward your retirement savings. Whatever the case may be, pick something you can work toward together this new year. Don’t start by listing what you’ll do, such as “spend less on entertainment.” Instead, start by identifying the end result—the financial accomplishment you want to see in your life at this time next year. Then figure out together how you both can help make it happen.
2. A Relationship Goal
Maybe there’s a marital issue you’ve been ignoring for years that gnaws at you both. Maybe going to counseling is the goal. Or maybe a renewed love for one another is the goal and counseling is just one of the tools you’ll use to achieve it. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve had a recurring date night—time together, just the two of you, no family business discussions. Consider making “establish date night” your goal. Set the goal. Then figure out how you’ll accomplish it.
3. A Parenting Goal
Maybe this is the year you tackle a specific parenting challenge together, like spending more uninterrupted time with your kids. With that goal, you might commit to more family time around meals by simplifying or adjusting your schedules to have dinner together as a family a few times a week. Whatever the actions, set a clear parenting goal together first.
4. A Spiritual Goal
Consider setting a goal together that cultivates your faith. Maybe there is a topic that has come up in your walk with God that you struggle to understand or to apply in your life, such as charitable giving. After you decide in what way you and your wife would like to grow spiritually this year, set that goal. Then seek resources to read and discuss together. Whatever the goal, you are more likely to achieve it—and to get closer to each other—when you are focused on it together.
Sound off: What goals would you like to set with your wife this year?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “Which of these goals seems most important to you for our life together?”