As you can see, goal-setting is extremely important to us. We love spending the time thinking and praying about the next year and what we want to accomplish. For us it is a way to stay focused. Throughout the year we can refer back to our list to see how we are doing and make adjustments or get started on our goals.
We have found that in the area of marriage and parenting it is so easy to procrastinate and settle for the status quo. Life is busy, we are tired or just don’t want to put in the effort. You may be able to get away with this for a while but eventually your inattention to detail catches up to you. The “minor” little annoyances or your child’s cute sassy talk become impossible for you to ignore.
God has big plans for you, your marriage and your children. He wants to use these relationships to grow you and your family into exactly what He created you to be. But to do this you need team work. You and your husband need to be on the same page and both working together to get to the end goal. For us this is best achieved by sitting down each January and evaluating our current status. We look at the last year and discuss how it went. What did we do well? What could we have done better? What did we forget about and not do at all? Did we not do it because we found out it wasn’t important (plans and priorities should change) or do we need to keep it on the list for the next year and try again?
God wants your marriage to be successful. He wants it to be alive and producing good fruit. To do this you have to work at it. Ask the hard questions. Answer honestly and pray about how to go from here.
Here are the questions we use to evaluate where our marriage is at and help set goals for the next year. Spend time in prayer before you ask your spouse these questions. Allow God to lead the conversation. Remember this isn’t a time to point fingers but to evaluate how you are doing as a husband and wife and what YOU need to work on do be a better partner.
- What aspect of your marriage is going well?
- What aspect of your marriage do you want to work on this next year? (communication, time together, intimacy, etc)
- How can you improve your intimacy? (How can you make this aspect of your marriage more enjoyable for your spouse?)
- What is something you can do to serve your spouse better? (Help with dishes, give them on hour of free time a week, iron their clothes etc)
- How can you improve your date nights?
- How can you speak your spouse’s love language better?
- When is the last marriage conference you attended? Could you attend one this year?
God has big plans for your children too. They are constantly learning whether it is from you or not. I want their guiding principles to be God based, but for that to happen I have to be actively parenting them and teaching them. Here are the questions that we ask ourselves each year to keep us focused.
- What new topic (s) do you want to explore and teach your children? (think nature, history, the arts, sports etc)
- What character trait (s) do you want to develop in your child? (most of the time will be different for each child)
- What outings or activities do you want to do this year? (think fun, education and service)
- What activity do you want to do together as a family more often? (meal time, bike riding, game night, devotional time etc)
- How can you speak your child’s love language better?
The last area we like to focus on is what will our home look like. How will we take care of our house and how will we have fun and serve others? Here are the questions we ask ourselves to cover these areas.
- What needs to be purchased for our home or vehicles?
- What needs to be repaired?
- What projects need to be completed?
- What vacations do we want to go on?
- Who can we as individuals and as a family invest in?
- Who do we need to invite over and spend time with?
- Where can you serve in your church, neighborhood, city etc?
As we enter a new calendar year it is a great time for a checkup and goal setting. We hope that you will join us!
Download this free printable of the goals worksheet: | Marriage & Parenting Goals |