If you’re like most people, you set goals for yourself regularly. There are deadlines that either you or someone else makes for you at work.

At home, you have a to-do list of tasks that need completing, such as replacing the air filter in the furnace or vacuuming the stairs. You might even make goals for yourself in your recreational activities.

For example, you want to run a 5K race this year or learn to play your favorite song on the guitar. So, why not set relationship goals with your partner?

If you want to improve in an area, you must set and meet goals. The same is true if you wish for your relationship to be at its best.

That said, here are five reasons to set relationship goals annually and how it can benefit your relationship.

1. Identifies Areas Needing Improvement

Setting goals helps you to identify specific aspects of your relationship that need improving. For example, when both of you are stressed, perhaps it becomes more challenging to communicate effectively.

In this case, you each could work on your listening skills and learning to manage your emotions better.

Few people enjoy thinking about the areas in which they don’t thrive. However, identify areas of improvement will help both you and your partner to streamline self-betterment—which will work to tighten your relationship, as well.

2. Encourages Closeness

Another great thing about setting relationship goals is that this is something you are sharing. Relationships thrive off of closeness. However, most partners do their activities, separate from the other.

For example, you both have work, but most likely in different fields. And then there are domestic responsibilities, of course. But you probably each cover specific household duties, so connecting isn’t typically on the at-home chore list.

There may be more commonality in what you do outside of work, though, such as hobbies and recreational activities—but not always.

Setting relationship goals is something that you can and should do together. Make sure that you are both on board with the process. Otherwise, one of you will feel they are being dragged along against their will. Instead, having a “team” mindset is an excellent approach.

3. Builds Trust

When you both agree to set relationship goals, you work to develop more trust in your relationship. In other words, you trust that each of you is willing to commit to the process.

To ensure that trust, develop a structure that creates accountability for each other. Answering to one another only makes sense; you want to break a big goal down into smaller goals that are achievable.

For example, you both agree that there are different ways each of you can contribute to maintaining the home. You agree to cook three meals a week, while your partner says they will prepare the rest. Knowing you’re responsible for curving your partner’s hunger is a massive motivation to follow through on your goal!

4. Improves Communication

As mentioned, creating and holding each other to relationship goals helps to enhance communication skills. You need to communicate with one another about creating, implementing and evaluating the goals.

This approach requires each of you to be willing to listen to one another. Plus, it’s helpful when you’re open to feedback.

Of course, it’s not always comfortable hearing constructive feedback from your partner. However, understanding what they have to say and making the changes can benefit your relationship.

5. Creates Lifelong Learners

If you establish the habit of setting relationship goals annually, you develop a mindset of continual improvement. That means never getting set in your ways or comfortable with doing things as the status quo. In short, you and your partner become lifelong learners together.

Even if you believe that your relationship is in excellent shape, there’s always room for improvement, after all.

When you set relationship goals annually you are communicating to each other that you are willing to make your relationship a priority. Yet, if you think you need help along the way, don’t hesitate to ask for help through couples counseling.

Please reach out to me today or visit my page on couples counseling to learn more about how I can help.