9 Steps To Setting And Reaching Relationship Goals

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YourTango Experts help you set and meet relationship goals for a happier love life and happier you.

One powerful to make sure that you're doing all that you can to attract the love life you truly desire is to take an honest look at your relationship values to make sure that they are moving you toward what you want and away from what you don't want? YourTango Experts have outlined a list of ways to help you set and, importantly, reach your love life goals. Don't wait, get going living your best love life now!

1. Start with this goal-setting exercise.
First, make a list of what is important to you in an intimate relationship? Be very specific and focus on what you need to be happy, feel satisfied and to be truly connected to another human being. Rank the list in order of importance—rank things that are "non-negotiable" at the top and those that are of lesser importance below. Is His Financial Status A Dealbreaker?

Then, while looking at the list and ask yourself, "Why is this important to me?" Notice the language you use. Does it make you feel good, or is it associated with something hurtful or undesirable from the past? If it's attached to the past, write down the negative emotion you are avoiding. Is there anger, sadness, guilt, hurt or shame associated with that value?

Next bring back to mind the role model you highlighted for yourself yesterday. Make a list of what you believe his/her values are in relationship. What is important to him/her? What does he/she need?

Now go through the list and ask yourself, "Do I hold/have this quality?" If not, how can you cultivate it? Focus on actions you can take to embody these qualities. Are there values you hold that are getting in the way of a healthy relationship? Perhaps now is a good time to release them for your highest good?

Orna & Matthew Walters, Life/Relationship Coaches

2. Make goals specific, measurable and attach a deadline. It's not a good feeling when we set goals and don't reach them. So how can you improve your chances of realizing your relationship goals this year? With details and accountability. Instead of, "Get more serious with my boyfriend" or "Start dating again by fall," try "Be engaged by June 1st" or "Go on six dates by October 10th." Goal-setting is no place for timidity, so be bold and say the thing you really want, without worrying about the "how." If you declare it, the how will come.

3. Imagine what life is like when you've achieved it. What are you doing, how do you look and feel, where are you? Work backwards from this vision to design a plan of action to realize the goal by your chosen date. Put this plan where you can see it, moving it regularly so it remains visible.

4. Ask for help when you need it. If you feel yourself stopped by procrastination or fear, enroll a buddy with similar goals to keep you on track, or hire a coach to support you to shift limiting beliefs and patterns. 6 Ways To Be Extra Supportive

5. Throughout, take care of your well-being. Do things that make you feel calm and joyful, a fullness that will carry over to your dating life or partner.

Sarah Showfety, Life/Relationship Coach

6. Create a vision board. First, define your vision for your ideal partner, if single, or your ideal partnership, if you're already in a relationship. What are the qualities you're seeking, and of those characteristics, which of those needs are negotiable versus deal breakers? Break out your "inner child" and create a collage or mobile representing this vision by cutting out words, pictures, and symbols from magazines that resonate with these desires and affixing them to a big poster board. Post the vision board in a location of your home where you'll view it every day and ask yourself each morning, "What will I do today that will take me one step closer to achieving this particular vision?" And then commit yourself to doing it.

7. Establish a "Relationship Pow-Wow." To ensure your goals don't get forgotten or misguided, you and your partner can establish a regularly scheduled "couple's meeting" during which you discuss your relationship and the status of your goals. It's a time to talk about what's going well, what's not going so well, your dreams and goals, your progress with stated goals, etc. The Pow-Wow is a great way to stay accountable to your relationship goals, so stay true to the process and don't skip any meetings! Many Couples No Longer Communicate In Person

8. Don't get overwhelmed. If your goals start to feel daunting, try to break them down into smaller steps that you feel more at ease achieving. Keep your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, & Timely).

9. Celebrate your successes. Build in incentives and/or consequences for meeting your objectives along the way for motivation enhancement. Setting and meeting goals is truly something to celebrate.

Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, Counselor/Therapist

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