Most people think setting goals (especially at this time of the year) is a good idea.
But what usually happens after a short while?
You stop working toward them!
When it comes love and relationships, Jill, our coaching client, found out that setting relationship goals may not always be the best path to greater love and connection.
Here’s her story…
As 2021 was approaching in a few days, Jill began making goals for the new year as had been her habit since she’d been in her 30’s.
Like a lot of people, her goals were usually around eating better, losing weight and contributing more to her savings account.
Since she and her husband had had more than their share of rocky moments in 2020, she decided to include a few relationship goals on her list.
Sitting down with pen and paper, she began her list.
And since she worked with goals at her job as a project manager for an internet provider…
She was well aware that goals must be clear, measurable and with a completion date.
Since she and her husband had a habit of bickering over insignificant issues…
Her first goal was for both of them to say 5 kind things to one another each day.
In her mind, she checked off the boxes of a well-written goal of “clear,” “measurable,” and a “completion date.”
Her goal had all of those and she added a couple of other goals to her list about eating 3 servings of vegetables each day and taking a mile walk each day as well.
In her excitement, she shared her list with her husband and to her disappointment, it was met with stony silence.
Although she knew he wasn’t into making new year’s goals, she thought he might go along with this relationship goal…
But he didn’t want to.
Exasperated, she set up an appointment to talk with us about how she could move forward with her plan when her husband was so set against it.
During our coaching conversation, we invited Jill to slow it all down and just start showing up as a deeper expression and invitation to love and see what happened.
“But,” Jill argued, “Don’t you have to set goals and work your hardest to achieve them if you want to have something better in your life?”
“Not necessarily,” we suggested.
In our experience, goals are about something to be achieved in the future, along with strategies you need to do to hopefully get you there…
And love is about showing up more fully and completely with presence and from your heart in the “now.”
By now, Jill was completely confused about her plan if she wanted to create a better relationship with her husband.
After all, how could she create what she wanted if she didn’t have it as a goal?
But like what happens with most people when you slow down all your stories and ideas and ground yourself in the present moment…
Ideas occur to you that change how you see things.
We asked her some really important questions that impacted her greatly like…
What if the Divine plan for her life included more love than she previously thought possible?
In other words, what if she was thinking too small in her goal setting?
What if her fears, doubts and insecurities that she seemed to be living from much of the time weren’t necessarily signs for her to shut down and protect her heart more but a sign for her to open wider?
If she saw this, how would it help her in her relationship with her husband?
What if the forcefulness of her desire (that was coming from her fears about the future) were actually pushing her partner away instead of inviting him to trust her and their love more?
As we continued to talk, she started having some true “light-bulb moments” and some real breakthroughs.
–Jill began to see how she’d closed her heart to her husband over the years and had taken him for granted.
–She saw ways that she could open to being more of an expression of love instead of creating a “to do” list for both of them to follow.
–She saw that if her heart was open to her husband, those “5 kind things a day” would naturally flow from her and not in a way that was forced.
–She felt sure that when she relaxed and was more loving, her husband would be as well.
–She had no doubt they loved one another but had just gotten lost inside their damaging stories about one another.
–She also realized that what she’d been trying to accomplish with a goal was to create something that’s not here.
But love is already here. We just cover it over and push it away.