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Should You Set Goals for Your Relationships?

Lose weight. Save money. Write a book. Read more. When you think about goal-setting, you most likely think about targets like these. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence attesting to the success of setting goals.

If goal-setting is so powerful in other areas of your life, what would happen if you applied the same principles to your relationships? 

Maybe you need to repair a damaged friendship, remove a relationship from your life or, cultivate a new set of friends. No matter what the state of your current relationships, using goal-setting can help you move forward.

How can you use goal-setting effectively in your relationships?

1. Identify what you want to change

Start by identifying the relationship(s) you want to set goals for and what you want your relationship(s) to look like. 

Do you want to spend more time with an old friend? Maybe you want to have more designated ‘date nights’ with your partner. Or, perhaps you want to become closer with a family member.

2. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting process

Like all goals, your relationship goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Here’s an example of what that might look like: 

Goal: spend more time with my friends.

  • Specific: Set aside more time to see how my friends are doing and make plans regularly.
  • Measurable: Schedule 1 day a week to get together with one or more of my friends. 
  • Attainable: Find a day that my friends are the least busy to schedule time to hang out. 
  • Realistic: If I’m too busy I will reschedule but will still make a point to reach out and ask them how they’re doing.
  • Timely: I’ll schedule time with my friends on my calendar so I wont forget.

3. Build an accountability system. 

Be accountable to one another and encourage each other to work towards your shared goal. If your goal is to spend more time with your friends, share your calendar so you’re all accountable. 

All relationships take work. Whether your relationship is brand new, has lasted for decades or has become toxic, using goal-setting can make a difference. To advance in both maturity and preparation for the future, don’t let your relationships coast by, make your relationships a priority by setting effective goals for the future.

You’ll reap the reward of having strong relationships and will have proven to yourself the effectiveness of goal-setting. Are you ready to use goal-setting in your relationships? 


Interested in learning more about goal-setting? Check out our blog, where we explore new topics every week.

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