How to Set Attainable Relationship Goals

And make sure you follow through

Updated 04/16/19

Leah Flores / Stocksy United

Now that spring is upon us we need to look to the future and figure out how to make that future look the way we want. So it’s time to clean up our romantic relationships and set some goals.

When you’re in a long-term relationship or marriage, it's important to set sexual, relationship, and overall life goals together. Goals are a positive force, a shining light you can work towards. Setting goals helps to frame relationship issues in a way that seem manageable and adds a sense of togetherness to achieving these goals as a couple.

It's important to have goals that are attainable, reasonable, and specific, but how you achieve the goals is just as important as the goals themselves. Read on for tips on how to do so.

Figure out what each of you needs to be fulfilled

First, you have to do some individual work. Take some time alone to contemplate how you currently feel in your relationship. Are you happy? Do you feel content? Is there an area of your relationship where you think you could improve? Where could your partner improve?

Ask yourself the hard questions. Be willing to feel uncomfortable, whether it is how your partner interacts with your parents, your need for more orgasms, or your desire to try a new thing in bed, discomfort probably means you should set forward-moving goals around that topic.

Write it down

Each of you take a piece of paper and write down broad categories: Relationship, sex life, work, family, and whatever else you think you should work on. (Relationships should never be stagnant, so feel free to list several categories.)

Write down at least three goals in each category that are important to you. Ask yourself why they are important in your life and how you could improve on them. For example: You aren’t having as much oral sex as you’d like to have. Write down why this kind of pleasure is important to you and how you can communicate this need to your partner.

Be as specific as possible. Be ready to openly discuss everything you have written down.

Come with an open mind (and heart)

Before you even write your own goals down, be open with each other about how real this might get. It can get very heavy, very fast. Come to each other with an open mind and open heart, ready to work through your issues and strengthen what you already have going for you.

If you don’t think you can openly talk about the goals you’d like to set, well, that’s a goal for you right there: Be able to openly talk about my feelings without judgement or fear of defensiveness.

Be willing to compromise

After you’ve both shown each other your goals, have an honest discussion. Remember, open mind and open heart. There might be some things you don’t want to hear. Too bad. This is a forever relationship, and you’re not going to get anywhere by being hostile.

That being said, be willing to compromise. For instance, maybe you want to have sex more often. You are interested in doing it every single day. Your partner, however, only wants to do it once a week. Instead of getting frustrated, negotiate. Have sex three times a week so both of you can be happy. Set aside specific days for sex so you can meet these goals.

Compromise is the glue that holds together a long-term relationship. When one person is unhappy so the other person can have what they want, no one ends up happy.

You both need to give it 100 percent

Once you have a few realistic goals set, be ready to give it your all. Now is not the time to phone it in just because you can’t be bothered. This goes for your partner as well. If one person is putting in the effort while the other is lagging, you will not meet your goals.

Check in regularly. Be ready to set new goals, if needed. Don’t take this lightly. Make your goals happen. Together, you’re capable of anything.

Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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