Improve Your Relationship with a Couples Goal Setting Retreat

Oct 4, 2018 | Family, Health & Happiness | 0 comments

Most people think goal-setting is a solo activity– not a team sport.

But what would happen if you included your closest relationships into the process?

Jay and Wendy Papasan started asking that question over ten years ago. They were in the thick of big life changes, and their family had grown. With two kids and demanding professional roles, they felt as if they were running a mile a minute and time was ticking by at record speed.

While they were both goal-setters by nature, it was clear they needed to be more purposeful about their relationship goals. So, they decided to work together to create a shared plan for gaining ground toward their someday goals.

They started small. The first inaugural Papasan Goal Setting Retreat was just a list of questions and some time away from the kids. From that foundation, the framework evolved and a model emerged.

As anyone who knows them can attest, Jay and Wendy achieve extraordinary results together. Their goal setting retreat worked! Now, we’re spreading the good word. We facilitated their proven model with our ONE Thing Community at our first in-person event in November of 2017, and now we host one each year!

We know that goal setting alone, without structure, is difficult and can bring anxiety. So, we’re bringing some elements of The ONE Thing Couples Goal-Setting retreat to you! Here are three other resources you can reference:

1. “When do I time block my Goal-Setting Retreat?”

While setting goals on New Year’s Eve may seem romantic, it’s not very practical. How can you expect to be successful when your goal-setting is fueled by Champagne and a midnight whim?

When you think big, you must also think ahead. Ideally, you should time block your Goal Setting Retreat sometime between the end of October and early November. Why so early? Glance at your calendar in November and December. How many productive days do you actually have?

Q4 is a season filled with friends, family, and work events. Get ahead of next year’s plan by setting your annual goals early so you can be fully present for all your end of year festivities.

2. “How do I prepare for my Goal Setting Retreat?

Preparation will help you be as efficient as possible during your actual Goal Setting Retreat. The following list includes some prep essentials that serve almost all couples, regardless of your unique life circumstances.

  • Write an agenda.
    Work together to write an agenda. Each partner will likely have specific areas they want to cover. If this is your first Goal Setting Retreat, and you can’t come up with a structure that suits you, check out our seven circles PDF. Find additional information in our Kick Ass Guide® to Your Couples Goal Setting Retreat to help guide your experience.
  • Calculate your net worth.
    Determine where you stand on your financial goals so you can have an informed conversation. (Don’t know how? Check out the Net Worth tab on the attached spreadsheet!)
  • Calculate your average spending per month.
    Understand where your money is going so you can talk about ways to redirect that spending or move it to savings. (Not sure where to start? Click the Budget tab to get started)
  • Do your research if you have a big idea.
    Come to your retreat with the information you need to make decisions about new ventures, jobs, and life changes. If you’ve got big ideas, line up the dominoes to have a productive conversation about them.
  • Get a check-up!
    Visit your physician, get a blood test, or just get clear on your current health status. Everyone’s health needs are different, but it’s important to go into your new year with eyes wide open.

3. Where should I have my Goal Setting Retreat?

We suggest you step out of your normal environment in order to eliminate distractions and stay focused on your most important work.  Make a list of places that inspire you that would help you stay focused on your goal setting.

4. How long will my Goal Setting Retreat take?

It’s best to invest a weekend for your Goal Setting Retreat. For first time goal setters, you might need two full days, whereas some years you might only need one.

5. “What are good questions to ask that will help us set our goals?”

Like we talk about in The ONE Thing, big answers are the result of asking big questions. When holding your own retreat, come prepared with difficult and worthwhile questions to explore with your partner. All the questions in the Kick Ass Guide to Your Couples Goal Setting Retreat come directly from questions Jay and Wendy put together over the years. Also, check out our “Free Stuff” for a ton of materials that will also help you get started.

6. “What if my partner isn’t into goal setting?”

We’ve found that most people who claim they ‘aren’t into goal-setting’ actually never learned how to set goals. Rather than trying to convince someone to become a goal-setter, invite them into your process. Explain that they’re an integral part of your future and you want to include them in the planning of it.

7. “How do I get the most out of my Goal Setting Retreat?”

Take it seriously. Avoid slipping into a vacation mindset.

While parts of your Goal Setting Retreat may feel like a vacation, it’s important to remember what you are working to accomplish. Stay focused and in a productive mindset!

We’ve put all these resources together to make it as simple as possible for you to try this for yourself. Use these tools as a guide and inspiration, and adapt the details to fit your needs.

We’re excited to learn more about how you adjust this framework to make it your own. What traditions will you include? What question do you find most helpful? Where are you still struggling?

If you can’t join us this November in Austin for the in-person Couples Goal Setting Retreat be sure to check out the course. We’d love you to share your experience on our Facebook group and together let’s make the upcoming year our most productive ever!