How Couples Can Starting Planning Goals for the New Year

We’re coming to the end of the year, and after all the holiday hustle and bustle is over, it’s time to reflect on this year. How did your year go? Did you accomplish what you wanted? Fall short? Still have things you wanted to do or get done? It’s okay; not everyone always hits their goals for the new year. If you accomplished only one or two, that’s great.

If you didn’t accomplish any, that’s okay, too. Remember, plans are different for everyone, and sometimes they get changed, and that’s okay. Sometimes we have grand plans in place and something doesn’t go right or falls through. The thing to remember is that every day is new, and we can try again, over and over, as many times as we need to. Plans are flexible like that, and that can be a blessing.

Now is the time to sit down as a couple and make plans for the new year. Setting goals as a couple and individually is key to keeping both of you moving ahead. Here are some ways you can plan for the new year and get the ball rolling.

Financial Goals

Couple on couch researching on computer finances

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Delmaine Donson

Sit down together and talk about your financial goals for the coming year. Take stock of what went wrong and what went right this year and how you can make changes. Once you decide what you want to change, figure out a plan to make it happen. Here are some examples.

Goal: Getting out of debt.

What went right or wrong this year: Too much spending.

Plan of action:

-Cut back on spending.

-Take a class or read a book about getting out of debt.

-Make a budget together and either keep track of it on paper or use a budgeting app.

-Commit to having budget committee meetings together at least twice a month so you both know what is going well, what is working, and what isn’t.

Goal: Make more money.

What went right or wrong this year: We’ve been able to pay all the bills. Even though both people are working and it pays the bills, we have nothing left over to put in savings.

Plan of action:

-Look for jobs that make more money and apply.

-Start a side business.

-Pick up some gig work (DoorDash, Rover, Instacart, etc)

-Pick up some freelance work (writing, selling your talents on Fiverr or Upwork, etc.)

-Find a remote job that pays more than what you are doing now.

Keep in mind that this goal will look different for everyone, but there are lots of options to make some extra money in your spare time. These are just some suggestions to get the ball rolling.

Health Goals

Group of people stretching in a yoga class

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Living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, so you may have some health goals in mind. This can be anything from getting health insurance to losing weight to getting your diet under control because of a recent health diagnosis.

Goal: Get health insurance.

What went right or wrong last year: You didn’t have health insurance.

Plan of action:

-Call an insurance agent and talk over options

-Decide on a plan

-Enroll

When I was looking for health insurance years ago, I got on Dave Ramsey’s website and located our local Health Insurance ELP, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Shopping for insurance is mind-boggling and confusing for the average consumer.

Our ELP did all the shopping for us and then sent over the plans he found and we would decide. Unfortunately, we moved, and he wasn’t licensed in our new state, so now I have to look for a new person.

Losing Weight

Goal: Lose Weight

What went right and wrong last year: You started walking every day. However, there was too much temptation in the house as far as junk foods and soda.

Plan of action:

-Decide on how much weight you want to lose. Don’t be vague.

-Choose an exercise program to start with and set a small goal, say 2-3 days a week.

-Clear out all the junk food and beverages in your home.

-Research healthier options for the things that you crave.

-Encourage each other on your journey.

Happy senior couple on winter walk date in the snow hiking

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/SeventyFour

Spiritual Goals

Maybe your spiritual life isn’t where you want it to be. Some goals in this area would be to spend time in God’s Word daily, to pray more, or go to church more often.

Goal: Spend more time in the Word.

What went wrong and what went right last year: You made some time to spend in God’s Word at least once or twice a week. The problem was you weren’t as consistent as you wanted to be.

Plan of action:

-Set aside a specific time of day for a specific amount of time reading the Bible

-Find a comfortable place to sit. Some people sit at the kitchen table, others sit on their back porch, and others curl up in their favorite chair.

-Don’t get overwhelmed. I think this is so easy to do. There is so much to read and learn from you don’t know where to start, so you don’t start at all.

-Choose a devotional to help you get started. I find this very helpful. Read the passage for the day and then read the chapter that the passage is from.

-Use the buddy system. Your schedules may be so erratic that you can’t study the Bible together, and that’s okay. Each of you should find a study buddy to keep each other accountable. Reach out to a friend, choose a book of the Bible to study, and discuss it together.

Goal: To pray more

What went right or wrong last year: You only prayed when you needed something.

Plan of action:

-Write down what you need prayer for and even what your friends need prayer for.

-Thank the Lord for all he has done for you before you start to pray.

-Go boldly before him and ask for what you want or need according to his will.

-Look for small pockets of time to pray: In the shower, at the stop light, in the parent pickup line at school, etc.

-Make it easy: If you haven’t seen the movie War Room, it will light a fire in your prayer life for sure. Years ago, I took a page from this movie, got a big bulletin board, and put it in my closet. On this board, I add prayers for myself and all my friends so I don’t forget anything. Some prayers are on index cards, while others are typed and printed on paper.

Each day at a specific time, I go in, shut the door, and pray. I usually change my prayers with the seasons and ask my friends what they need at that time. One thing I haven’t added, which I want to, is a “prayer answered” paper to help me keep track of what has been answered and what still needs prayer. Sometimes, when it’s several months between talking to my long-distance friends, prayers get answered, and I don’t know it.

Household Goals

Now is the time to plan for household goals like redoing the landscaping, repainting, and remodeling. Since everyone’s goals in this area are different, I will just add a plan of action.

Plan of action:

-Decide if you are going to DIY or hire someone

-Research contractors and prices or research how much x project will be to do it yourself

-If the goal is farther out in the year, start saving money

-Book your contractor ahead of time.

Fun Goals

Happy couple husband and wife planning

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Ippei Naoi

These are the best goals to have and are always fun, like a dream vacation, buying something expensive, or taking the kids somewhere special. Once again, I will add a general action plan for this one.

Plan of action:

-Decide on the goal and write down when you want to accomplish it.

-Research the cost

-Write down what you need to do each day, week, and month to accomplish it

-Book those tickets, test drive a few cars, or book that kid's cruise

-Make a packing plan if going somewhere

-Go and have fun!

There are all kinds of goals that you can set together and as individuals, and now is the time to start thinking and planning before the new year hits.

No matter what happens, don’t compare yourself to anyone else on the journey to your goal. It is your journey, and you will get there on your own time. If you are on track, great. If you aren’t, don’t worry; the journey is yours, and you will get there. More than anything, go for it and have fun!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Fabio Camandona
 

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