Strategies to Help You Set Goals for Your Marriage


Today’s guest post is from Pam Farrel. Pam and her husband, Bill, are international speakers and bestselling authors of over 35 books including 
Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. Pam is a special friend of mine…we bonded as we co-wrote the book Got Teens?  (For more information on the Farrell’s visit, www.Love-Wise.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.

153909126 (1)If you are feeling your marriage has been drifting or stressed, now is the perfect time for a mid course, mid-year correction.  However, sometimes, life feels too hectic to sit and write goals for your future, as a couple or family— so take goal setting on the road!

Pick up a pad and pen for the next road trip or set of errands and make that car time work for you. 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. It might take a few sessions to work your way through the questions, but the effort is worth the forward movement in your relationship!

Use these questions below to make adjustments in 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:
    Spiritually: Physically? Emotionally? Socially? 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?
  • Can we create a personal motto, family or marriage motto for the year?

For example, a friend of ours selected “Think Young” for a year in her mid 40’s. Our marriage motto for 2008 was “Make God Great in 2008”  (Meaning make God’s greatness known through a love worth following.) 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 key words and place them into the word search on www.Biblegateway.com and you’ll get a list of verses to select from.)

Samples of verses for the year I (Pam) have used in the past to motivate me to forward movement:

      • 2008: (with a goal of becoming a stronger 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)
      • 2006: (with a goal to take better care of myself)  Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 NASB) 

See if each of you can come up with a verse that will motivate you personally in a way that will cause positive impact on your love and life together. Then memorize the verse and think about it daily.

The key to success is not just voicing your goals, but going to your calendar and setting aside the time to actually DO your goals into your schedule. You can also put a date on the calendar to go out for dessert and review your 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.

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2 Responses to Strategies to Help You Set Goals for Your Marriage

  1. I love the idea of setting a goal instead of a resolution, and since date night is coming up this weekend…I might have to try this out with my hubby. We are definitely going through a lot of stress right now (we close on our house in 5 weeks, we are unsure what my husbands job will be, and we found out we are pregnant by surprise) , but I feel close to my husband…and I want it to stay that way.

    I also love the idea about the verse. My verse this year is Isaiah 43: 1b-3b. It says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” I know that no matter what craziness comes, He’s got my back.