In an effort to strengthen our marriage we started setting weekly goals each Monday beginning last fall. The idea was Landon’s, going back to the days when he was a missionary and would found success doing companionship study and goal setting. We bought a notebook to write in each Monday, knowing our weekly goals would be nice to back on + see our progress, and a square board to post our goals for that week making visible. Next to it we hung a clipboard that holds the talk that we’ve chosen to study that week. These two things, though simple, have got to be one of my favorite habits of ours.
Monday afternoon I find a talk I’m interested in reading, I copy it into Microsoft Word where I format it, then email it over to Landon to print off. We like to print 2 copies of each talk, one for both of us, double sided on card stock. When we read it together in the evening, we’re free to make notes and highlight what stands out to us individually. This part is important to me. When I go to look over the talks we’ve read, seeing my notes will be a great benefit to me. If we shared the same talk, or didn’t use notes, well it just wouldn’t be the same.
After a week of being hung in the hallway, we hole punch the past weeks talk, and put each copy in our personal binder. Already I love looking back on what we’ve studied together so far. I find a sense of accomplishment, and deeper love of the gospel and our Savior by having them printed off and marked up.
Next, our weekly goals. This one is ever more simple. The key for us has been to make them important, obtainable, and including goals that make us stretch beyond our comfort zone a little bit. I had initially included a picture which had our entire list for this week visible, but in an effort to keep a bit of privacy, I rewrote our list for the sake of this post.
In the beginning, and here’s what I mean about liking the idea of looking back on past goals to see how far we’ve come, common goals included praying 3 times a day together and reading the scriptures daily. Once those became a habit we were able to start leaving them off of our list and included new goals. One that still feels a little uncomfortable is our no electronics night. But it pushes us to do new things in the evenings together besides staying at home and watching another new redbox movie.
With the New Year, and 3 full lists of goals written, some of our weekly goals began to have things that would help us achieve those yearly goals. We still include things that may only apply that week — a person or couple we want to remember to pray for, goals to be a better parent to Paityn, filing our taxes, sending a birthday card, signing back up at the gym, a party to attend or resume to rework.
Which leads me to the third part of what works for Landon and I. The smaller weekly goals have done wonders for our marriage. It brings us together each Monday to think about us as a couple, helps us analzye what we need, and is visible all week to keep us on track. But once 2014 started, as you may remember, it was important to me to set bigger goals for the year. 2013 was rough, and we really got off track. I felt strongly and still do, that we need this year to grow and to stretch and to expand as individual and as a couple.
Landon was great and had no problem coming up with a list of things he wanted to accomplish. I wrote mine, then together we made a list for us as a couple that I’m so happy about. I printed our three lists out on textured cardstock a few weeks ago, found 3 frames that would work at IKEA last Saturday, and last night they were hung by our teepee.
Treating them like they were special felt key to me in making these ideas and accomplishments a priority this year.
Wherever you’re at in life, I strongly believe that you should have a list of goals that you’re working towards. And if you find a fun way to display them, then, bonus points
The Challenge to Become: Dallin H Oaks // Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually: Robert D Hales // Opportunities to Do Good: Henry B Eyring // None Were With Him: Jeffrey R Holland // To My Grandchildren: Henry B Eyring // This Do in Remembrance of Me: Jeffrey R Holland // The Sanctity of the Body: Susan W. Tanner // and His Grace Is Sufficient: Brad Wilcox