Week 12: Goals & Dreams

Aligning your goals and dreams can ensure that you and your partner are headed in the same direction. This week, you create a purpose statement that can help you align your goals and dreams.

Listen as Cathryn and Rachel discuss the many benefits of aligning your personal and relationship goals. Additionally, they discuss the importance of dreaming together so that life doesn't pass you by without you taking the time to appreciate it.

Share below what goals and dreams you and your partner discussed during this week's exercise.


Cathryn (00:02):

All right. Just two more weeks left of the Relationship Journal. We are almost there so great job sticking with us so far. I hope the sex and intimacy exercise went well last week, that you put some stuff into practice this week. And even though your exercise is done please remember that these conversations are another way of pursuing that intimacy. Now this week, we're going to be talking about goals and dreams and what we want to see in our future. See, it's easy to let life just kind of cruise control like we just go with the flow. You see, when we don't have a goal, you hit it every time. Meaning you don't achieve anything because you never set that milestone of what it is that you wanted. Now, the same can be said for relationships. It is easy to focus on your individual goals, maybe your business goals, your personal health goals and not something specific for you as a couple. And they all should go together. If you have goals for yourself individually, you should also have goals for yourself as a couple. So this week we're going to be talking about what you want to accomplish together.

Cathryn (01:11):

This week, we're jumping into visualizing our future, setting a path together, setting some goals. Super excited to get into this today.

Rachel (01:19):

Yes! Setting goals is so important. I think we think a lot about this for business and maybe like bucket lists, like big life goals as an individual but so rarely do we sit down as a pair and say like what are our goals? So I love this. I'm really excited!

Cathryn (01:40):

It's funny. A couple of days ago, my wife was like, it was early in the morning before I'd had coffee. And she was like "Oh, what do you see us in five years?" And I was like, we're going to walk and get coffee. And I was like "In five years, I see us walking with kids walking to get coffee." Like that's all my brain can expand to right now. So anyway, let's get into what are some tips you can share with couples about writing their relationship purpose statement?

Rachel (02:11):

So at the very, very, very beginning of this, we talked about why are you here? Why are you doing it? So that you could come back to that motivation. Often that "why" has clues to your mission statement as a couple. And so I want you to think about all these weeks back when you started on this journey. What was that why? What impact do you want to have on the world together? And what impact do you want to have on each other? And then kind of tabulate those three things and I know that this isn't you know, quantitative, it's very qualitative. It's like a lot of info. It's not numbers, it's not a spreadsheet and I get that can for some people it's like "okay." But really look at those three sections and see where they overlap. And those three things will typically make up that mission statement.

Cathryn (03:18):

Yeah. And I think it should feel fun, it shouldn't feel like work, it should be...and it also shouldn't be something that you rush and try to get through. It should be something that you could you know, each separately like come up with ideas but also come together and be like "Okay, what can we experience together?" And some of that it'll be individual things you're working on but then how do you help each other together reach both your individual goals and also like your goals together and really have you guys work together as a team. Now, along those lines, how do you use this statement to strengthen your relationship so that it's not just something that you wrote? Like, how do we actually come up with integrating this into our lives? So it's not something we write in our journal and then you know never look at it again.

Rachel (04:13):

Yeah. Well, at this point, you know, if you've gotten this far, you're used to talking and implementing and talking and implementing. And so I want you to think about something that has worked before for you in the last few weeks of something newer. You know, maybe that means printing it out and putting it on the fridge. Maybe that means making a graphic of it and making it your phone background, maybe it's the desktop of, you know, the background of your computer. You could put a little frame of your statement on your desk. Like there are so many creative ways to keep this front of mind. The key is though to keep it front of mind so that you said...you know...and then at some point it becomes part of you, you know, for, for so long, we only need to look at something for so long until it starts to become part of us and auto. And that serves us sometimes and it doesn't other times, and in this case it can totally serve us.

Cathryn (05:15):

Yeah, because If you were looking at this every day, your brain will start to see opportunities that you can integrate this into your life and do the things that you're writing about in the statement. Even if you don't know why it's happening, trust me, it's just things that will appear. Not because it's magic but because your brain is now filtering out information that is relevant to something that you've been looking at every day. It's the same reason if you're in a crowd, if someone yells your name, you hear it. Even though like it's loud and there's a lot of stuff going on, your brain is constantly filtering things that is relevant to you and so when opportunities come up that are relevant to this personal statement, they will also appear to you.

Rachel (06:05):

This is also the same reason why when we learn a new word or hear about a new car, we like see the car everywhere or really start hearing the word everywhere. It's the reason why the law of attraction works. It's because what we focus on, we start to see and our brain actually does recognize. And it does, it serves us so beautifully in that way.

Cathryn (06:31):

Now, we of course at Best Self are very into goal setting, it's what we started with but why is it so important that couples set goals together?

Rachel (06:43):

You're getting on the...you're agreeing for a hopeful milestone. You are agreeing on the next milestone that you want to hit with that person and when we have clear milestones, we can actually take steps to get there. When we don't know where we're going, it's very hard to get there right? Like if you don't know what you're looking for, you're just going to keep looking around for nothing. But if you say "I need you to find me a blue sock with a gray stripe down the front" you will find that sock. But if you're like, I don't know just like find me something to put on my body. Who knows what you're going to bring. It could be anything, probably not a sock with a gray stripe. So when we put the goal down we're placing our order at Starbucks, we're ordering with our server, we're describing the sock, we are deciding together, this is the thing that we wanted to reach. And then you can be strategic and talk about the emotions also of what that takes to get there.

Cathryn (07:55):

Yeah. And I think if couples understand both the goals they have together and also their individual goals, they can both help each other reach them. But they'll also be more open to the things in the week that align with those goals. So for example, if you have a health goal that you're working on, or you and your partner want to be healthier then your meal planning each week is something that they understand is related to this longer-term goal. And they'll either help you with it, hopefully, or at least be aligned and supportive of you doing that and so it'll make your life easier because it's attached to the longer term. It's like "Oh, I already know why you're doing it so you taking over the kitchen all day on a Sunday is totally fine with me."

Rachel (08:44):

Yes, exactly. It's the context. We need context as humans, we just need context. And the goal then becomes your why right? Like the goal itself can motivate the goal. It's like a self fulfilling machine. We're very cool like that. Our brains are amazing and they can be really annoying in the way that they can pick out the negative stuf and in this way we can use this way that our brain works really to our best potential. It's awesome!

Cathryn (09:18):

Yeah. I mean, we basically need a story behind everything. It's why we watch shows or movies. Like give us a story and we'll follow along. We just...we kind of have it in the abyss of not knowing why we have to do something.

Rachel (09:33):

Exactly, exactly. Like I learned more about American history watching the musical Hamilton than I did learning about that time period sitting in a classroom. And I will admit that fully on record. Because it's an immersive storytelling experience versus sitting reading facts about humans that died 5 million years ago, you know?

Cathryn (10:02):

Yeah. So what happens if you sit down with your partner, you're going through the journal and you realize actually we have different goals and dreams, and there's not a ton of alignment here?

Rachel (10:17):

Sometimes that's the case and what that means is that you get to support each other as individuals in the world which hopefully you're doing anyway right? You know, it's important to have our own individual goals and it's important to have some that are relationship based. So if the individual goals don't align that's like "Okay, you know, no big deal." If you want to talk about the impact that could have then that's a wonderful conversation. But just the sheer fact that they are not in alignment is not like "Oh, no death sentence." You know, criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling are a lot worse than having goals and dreams that don't align.

Cathryn (11:03):

Okay. And I also think there's, you know, a time and place for, you know, one partner to be going after a specific goal and you know, it's like ebbs and flows of relationships. It's like, okay, it's, it's this partner's turn to work on this goal and one partner can be supportive and then switch off whenever the other partner needs to work on their goal. So that there isn't, you know, a focus on one partner instead of the other which will build up resentment if the other person is not able to fulfill their goal.

Rachel (11:37):


Cathryn (11:41):

Any last minute advice for people as they go into this section and?

Rachel (11:46):

I would just maybe set a yearly meeting with your partner to talk about this stuff, you know, and do it for yourself first. Like have a meeting with you and decide on where you are with your goals and what you want over the next year or 2, 3, 4, 5. And then sit down with your partner and make this an annual thing so that you can really be aligned in supporting each other even if that's not alignment with the same exact goal.

Cathryn (12:18):

Yeah. I think that's a great idea to do, you know, an annual meeting or a quarterly get together and just put things on the calendar. So if you have like "Oh, we want to go visit this place" but it's always like "Oh, someday we'll do it someday, someday, someday." That if you could put "Okay, we want to go on vacation twice this year and have some alone time." You put that on a calendar and book it so that you know that it's set and it's not something that you constantly push because you haven't booked anything. If you put it on your calendar and actually book, put some money to it, oftentimes you'll actually do the thing rather than just talk about it for the next three years.

Rachel (12:58):

Yep. Totally

Cathryn (13:01):

Awesome! Well, I hope you enjoy this. I am super excited and if you want to share, and your, you know, some of your goals you have with your partner underneath this video, we would love to see it. We'd love to get ideas of what people are working on. And maybe we'll share some of ours too. All right we hope you find a shared focus in your relationship this week so dare to dream and go set those goals that will push you and inspire you together. Get out of cruise control and start driving and creating a life that you actually want to live and get you excited in the morning.