Pick up a pad and pen for the next road trip or errand run, and make that car time work for you. While you are both in your car, have the non-driver interview the other and write down some goals for the coming year that will make your love stronger and last longer. It might take a few sessions to work your way through the questions. Enjoy the forward movement!
Use these questions below to make adjustments in your life, your marriage or family life:
- As you look at the year ahead, what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for yourself?
- As you look at the year ahead, what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our marriage?
- As you look at the year ahead, what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our family?
- What adjustments on the home front would make reaching these desires easier?
- How are you planning to grow yourself:
Academically or in your career?
- What can I do to help you? (Each answer this for the other.)
- Can we write these desires into tangible measurable goals? (Write below.)
- Can we create a personal motto, family or marriage motto for the year?
A friend of ours selected "Think Young" for a year in her mid-40's. Ours for 2008 was, "Make God Great in 2008" (Meaning make God's greatness known through a love worth following.) A married couple who was drifting apart made theirs', "Love again in 2010"—and guess what? They went from the brink of divorce to a vibrant and strong loving marriage before the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Do you have a verse for the year that captures what you think God is saying to your heart? (To find a verse, select a few key words and place them into the word search on our crosswall bible study tools, and you'll get a list of verses to select from.)
Below are samples of verses I (Pam) have used in the past to motivate me to forward movement:
2008: (with a goal of becoming a stronger leader publicly and privately)
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB)
2006: (with a goal to take better care of myself)
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 NASB)
We then memorize the verse and meditate on it daily.
The key to success is not just voicing your goals, but going back to your Outlook or Daytimer and schedule time to actually work on your goals. We also place a date to review our progress every three to four months.
The final secret to success is to reward yourselves and celebrate every possible victory along the path. If your goal is to argue less, then the first day you go all day without a fight, celebrate it! If your goal is to save money, plan ways to pat yourselves on the back that don't cost: share a sunset moment, walk along the beach or in the park holding hands. Make it a goal to list off five ways you can celebrate each other as you make progress in your goal to stay in love. A long-lasting love is just a couple who have made it their goal to go one more day in love and invested the time and effort to pull it off — one day at a time.
For more information on goal setting, we have a few books available with goal information in them: Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti or 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make or download a goal setting sheet at www.love-wise.com