Marriage and committed relationships aren’t always easy. You give your heart to someone and show them a side of you the world never sees. You decide to trust because you want a strong bond. You work for the relationship, cry about it and sacrifice for it. But how do you know when you have given up too much? What if you look in the mirror one day and barely recognize the woman standing there because you have given everything for love?
Ambitious women are often asked to choose love over career, family over the business, and domestic titles over CEO status. There is nothing wrong with wanting ALL of these things. But you don’t have to be a superhero to do it.
Love and ambition go hand-in-hand when you and your partner turn single-person dreams into Relationship Goals.
My husband and I made a conscious decision to invest in each other’s dreams. He wanted an adventurous career, and I wanted a career in writing and coaching. Along the way, we fell off track, and I saw my goals slipping away as I sacrificed for the good of the marriage. We adjusted our mindset to transform the separate dreams we had into Relationship Goals. This doesn’t just happen. We talk about it, plan for it, take turns and adapt. It’s a constant process, but we go through it together. As the saying goes, you either grow together or grow apart.
The Relationship Goals Framework can get you started.
Relationship Goals Framework:
- Talk about it. Anything worth doing in your relationship starts with an honest conversation. Your partner won’t know what your goals are if you don’t talk about them in detail. Your partner will have opinions and ideas on the Relationship Goals you bring to the table. They should, however, let you make the major decisions. In return, you give your partner the same space and final say over how their dreams are incorporated as Relationship Goals. It’s only fair.
- Plan for it. A Goal without a plan is dead in the water. Make a plan together and think ahead. Design the Relationship Goal with mini-goals, habits, and deadlines. Decide how you will be accountable for making consistent progress. Support the dream, work the plan, realize the goal.
- Take turns. Big Relationship Goals don’t happen overnight. While you and your partner are following the plan, you will create new opportunities. When those opportunities come up, seize them. Don’t feel guilty for taking your turn at success. Then, support your partner during their turn. Walk hand-in-hand towards the life of your dreams.
- Adapt. The dark side of reaching for Relationship Goals is that you will have setbacks. Life happens. The important thing is that you and your partner can adapt. Get back to the plan and figure out how to work through the setback. Remember to be extra supportive. Setbacks can hurt, especially when the Goal is very personal or has been a long-time coming.
- Put the relationship first. These are Relationship Goals for a reason–the relationship comes first. Remember, the two of you are building your life together. The relationship is the foundation and, if it’s shaky, the Goals will cause it to collapse. Always love one another and nurture your bond. Your relationship should not be the thing that limits you in life. With focused, intentional effort towards Relationship Goals, you honor your relationship while remembering who you are as an individual.