Top 4 Myths About Relationship Goal Setting That You Should Know

by Preeti Khare (India)

As we are settling into the New Year with new hopes and new goals, I feel this is the perfect time to set the record straight when it comes to goal setting in relationships.

Setting goals gives us a sense of direction, purpose, something to work towards. There is no doubt that the act of setting goals is important in sustaining relationships that have a direct impact on your well-being and happiness.

But, before you start planning for these goals, it is imperative you understand how setting goals in a relationship actually works.

Let us bust some myths which are a result of natural assumptions that are made when one is on this topic.

Myth# 1:  Set goals together

Actually NO. An assumption that is made and fairly so is that when it comes to relationships, goal setting should be done together.

The reality is, setting goals together will only set you both for failure because doing it together changes the focus from ; What can I do for the growth of this relationship?’ to ‘What have you done for the growth of this relationship?’

See what I mean?

Setting common goals will inadvertently push you on to the path of holding each other responsible when it really is holding yourself accountable.

Yes, the goal will serve the relationship, but, when you do it together, you lose sight of what is needed to fulfil the goal.

Let us take an example:

A couple sets a goal, ‘Spend quality time together.’On paper, the goal is great, in reality, it is not. As individuals leading extremely busy lives, you cannot bank on each other’s availability to nurture the relationship. Sure, spending quality time together is a long-time aspiration that requires its due share of planning and coordination but it is not a practical goal. Instead, pen down your individual goal as a partner in the relationship. Something like, ‘I will plan at least one date night every month’

Myth 2: Goal setting is complicated

I understand, setting goals for your relationship can seem overwhelming and daunting. That is because goal setting is treated as an overhaul resulting in a change of behaviour, hence the assumption, it is a lengthy process.

If you are setting goals for your relationship, do not expect change to happen overnight. Manage your expectations which means, taking small baby steps, leaving no room for any feelings of dejection.

Goal setting is easy when you view the steps to achieving the set goal as a small, everyday changes in behaviour and mindset, that only you can control and manage. Don’t expect your partner to match your pace because he or she won’t or cannot in some cases because of other commitments. We are individuals with different expectations and a highly personalised approach to change. So, do what you can and not rely on an initiative to change from the other side to keep you motivated.

Source: iCN Issue 40  (Relationship Coaching); pages 19-21

About Preeti Khare

Preeti Khare is the founder of ENABLEance that offers coaching and mentoring services. She is the President, Coaching Support Group, Bhopal for Noble Manhattan Coaching Ltd and the State President, WICCI Coaching Council that works for women empowerment and towards spreading awareness of coaching and making coaching accessible to one and all.