If you and your partner have been together for a while, you know that it can be easy to put aside your needs as a couple in favor of work needs, family and friends’ needs, or simple distractions like TV. As long as things are going fine, why stop the train to talk about how things are going?
The problem is that relationships, like any other large endeavor, can go off the rails if you don’t give them direction. Accepting a new job in another state might be exciting to you, but if you’ve never asked your partner whether they prioritize new adventures or putting down roots, you’ll have a tough conversation ahead.
To make sure that you don’t let your relationship move forward without a clear direction, take ample time at least once a year to talk about the goals you share, as well as the individual goals you need each other to support. Here are three tips to get you started:
Plan in Advance
Going on a Couples’ Goal Setting Retreat is not something you do on a whim. Making big plans for your relationship requires dedicated time away from daily life, and most people can’t hop on a plane and fly to a secluded getaway at the last minute. Choose a date that isn’t going to be crowded among holidays or other obligations, and plan your trip with your partner in detail. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be private and free of activities that will keep you from talking. (Spending a weekend watching movies won’t do you any good.)
Get Out of Town
Whether you have kids, beloved pets, a busy social life, or all of the above, it’s not easy to keep up a conversation when others are vying for your attention. Even if your lives together are quiet, the impulse to go about your days as normal can keep you from looking at the bigger picture of your relationship. In order to grow as a couple, you need to get out of your normal environment for a couple of days. Whether your destination is a thousand miles away or a thirty minute drive, a change of scenery never fails to help you gain a new perspective.
Plan Your Questions Ahead of Time
Jay and Wendy Papasan, creators of the Couples’ Goal Setting Retreat, agree that intentional conversations about big topics can be awkward, even after you’ve been together a long time. Don’t make the awkwardness worse by trying to wing it. Each partner should make a list of their individual goals as well as goals for the relationship, and come prepared with questions to ask each other. The point is to get to the heart of each person’s priorities and figure out how you can support each other and work together for the things you both want.
Couples should get in the habit of going on a goal-setting retreat by themselves, but guidance with The ONE Thing is invaluable. Whether you’ve been going on retreats for years or have never done it before, join us at our 2022 Couples’ Goal Setting Retreat. We’ll help you identify your Core Values, pinpoint your biggest goals, and help you make a plan for extraordinary results together.