Setting SMART Goals as a Married Couple 

When we think of a married couple, we’re talking about two separate individuals who may have different interests, strengths, passions, and career paths. And rightly so: each person brings his or her unique personality into the union, and we celebrate that. 

But there’s also power in synergy. What one person can do on his own and what his or her spouse can do, even when taken together, is nothing compared to what the new entity can do as a team. This is why it’s crucial for married couples to have a common dream. It doesn’t mean that they need to do everything together. Instead, there just may be a mission out there that the married couple is designed to work towards as a team. 

We discussed this a bit in our previous post on setting a life vision for your marriage. We intentionally and regularly take time to discuss what we are called to do together. Then, once we have a picture of where we want to go, it’s time to set goals. 

What one person can do on his own and what his or her spouse can do, even when taken together, is nothing compared to what the new entity can do as a team.
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How to Set SMART Goals for Your Marriage 

Leadership gurus have this nice acronym SMART to help you remember how to set goals. Let’s take a look at each point: 

S – Specific 

When you set goals, you need to be specific. For example, you can say that you want to be healthier this coming year, but how do you define healthier? Being specific means that you and your spouse are clear on what you mean.  

For the goal of wanting to be physically healthier, think about what areas you can improve on. Do you need to lose weight? Get more active? Eat healthier? From there, you can find ways to be specific in your goal. Perhaps you might say, “For both or us to lose 10 pounds each by year end,” or “To exercise at least thirty minutes once a week.”

M – Measurable 

Our goals not only need to be specific, they also need to be measurable. In the above example about becoming healthier, simply saying we want to be healthier does not give us a way to measure our success, but saying we want to lose 10 pounds means that we have a quantitative way to check if we’ve reached our goal. 

For financial goals, being measurable means you specify how much you want to earn, save, invest, or give. For example, if you aim to get an emergency fund going, specify how much exactly you want to see in that emergency fund. 

A – Attainable

It may be fun to dream and set goals that are sky-high, but if they’re not attainable, they’re merely castles in the air. Yes, there is a place for dreaming and making vision boards, but in the case of goal-setting, think of something that you can actually achieve. You don’t set a goal of getting promoted to CEO of the company you work for when you know you’re not even on any kind of management position. 

R – Realistic 

The next element of good goal-setting is that you are realistic. Closely related to being attainable, realistic goals are those that you know you can reach reasonably. 

For example, if you’re setting a goal for a family vacation once a year and your income can only support a trip within Asia, it may not be realistic to have a goal of spending a month in Europe—at least, not in the short-term. But you may be able to work towards it in the mid- or long-term. 

T – Time-Bound 

Lastly, set a time limit for when you need to achieve those goals. If you simply say you want to be best friends with your kids, when would that be? Perhaps you might say, “To be considered my child’s best friend when she reaches the teen years.” This way, you have a timeframe to work towards, and know whether or not you’ve reached your goal by then. 

Set Goals Together as a Couple 

When you have shared dreams as a couple, it helps you grow closer and learn to work together. It doesn’t have to encompass every aspect of your life, but it can be a good idea to discuss ways you can work towards a common vision. 

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