The following article is from Mike, our staff writer.
We all have things we want to accomplish but sometimes the daily grind of life gets in the way and we find ourselves going through the motions rather than deliberately working towards our goals. Even more frustrating is when you and your spouse aren’t focused on the same goals. Rather than working together you end up getting in each other’s way.
If you find yourself in this situation just follow this simple three step formula to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page and working as a team.
The first step is to sit down and make a list of every major goal you have. Your list should include both individual goals and joint goals you plan to reach together. Here’s an example of what your list might look like…
- Retire early.
- Send the kids to a private school.
- Add an addition onto your house.
- Go back to school and get your Master’s Degree.
- Backpack your way across Europe.
- Start your own business.
These are just examples, but they should get you started as you brainstorm your own goals and devise a plan to achieve them.
Next you need to prioritize your list of goals. Most of us don’t have a never-ending supply of money, so we have to decide what is most important to us and what we can live without. Maybe you don’t have to retire early if you’re able to start a business that you love. Maybe you can live without the addition on your house as long as you get to travel and see the world.
Once you put your list together, sit down with your spouse and discuss your goals with each other. You probably have a lot of goals in common and those are the ones where you’ll have no trouble supporting each other.
Of course, it’s likely you’ll have some goals that don’t overlap. You might even learn something new about each other and discover a part of your spouse you didn’t even know existed. Maybe your spouse thinks you love you job and never knew you are questioning your career path. Or maybe you thought she was content being a housewife and had no interest in starting her own craft business.
This is a golden opportunity to get to know one another better. Don’t fret if you aren’t crazy about some of your spouse’s goals. Odds are, she isn’t crazy about some of your goals either. The important thing is that you take time to listen to each other’s reasoning and try to understand why they are so important to them.
Once you’ve worked together to build a list of goals that you both agree on and you’ve prioritized the items on your list in order of importance, it’s time to start working towards them.
Identify the steps you need to take to achieve each goal and create a plan to help you reach them. For example, if you want to travel the world you may need to cut down on dining out and re-route that money into your travel fund instead. I find having targeted savings goals helps me stay focused on the target, so I always recommend setting up separate accounts for each goal you have.
Some of your goals may seem large and out of reach right now. But the first step is the most important one, so start taking action today and before you know it you’ll be living the life of your dreams.
Photo Credit: flickr kevin_sanjuanislands