My husband and I escaped on our week-long Year End Retreat at the beautiful Lochsa Lodge in Idaho this year. We stayed in a cute cabin that had beautiful forest views from the windows and a cozy wood-burning stove. I just love the feeling of arriving some place and knowing that you don’t have any obligations and commitments for an entire week! We went hiking, skiing and made several excursions to some incredible outdoor hot springs.
We spent several hours each day writing, talking about our dreams and setting goals for 2010. I sincerely want to encourage you to do something similar with your partner. If you don’t have a partner, go on a retreat by yourself or with a close friend. It truly is an amazing experience.
After all, when else do we set aside a focused period of time to discuss our dreams and life goals with our partner? Sure, we discuss our dreams and goals in the dating stage, but often, after we get married, our dreams are pushed to the background as we rush to juggle careers and family.
Read my blog post on how to set Intentional New Years Resolutions so you can learn the exact steps you can take to have a Year End Retreat with your partner!
One of the number one New Year’s resolutions that people made this year was to improve their finances. It’s one thing to have a goal to improve your finances but it’s another thing to actually make it happen.
Be honest, do you know how you’re going to clearly and effectively achieve your financial goals? Unfortunately most people fail to achieve their financial goals because they don’t know how to set goals and how to use proper goal setting techniques. Use this goal setting worksheet to create your goals with your partner for the new year.
1. Set intentions. Identify what you’d like to achieve and focus on during your retreat time. Keep in mind that there isn’t any right or wrong way to set intentions. It’s simply a matter of what you want to focus on during your time together. My husband and I wrote our intentions on a piece of paper and then taped them to the wall to serve as a constant reminder of what we intended to accomplish and how we wanted to spend our time.
A few of my intentions included being fully present and receiving insight on how to authentically make a vastly huge difference in my business and achieve my next break-through income goal for the new year.
2. Share celebrations, successes, gratitude and acknowledgements towards your spouse and those who have helped you succeed. This was really fun for me. It’s easy for me to bypass the success part. It seems as soon as I’ve accomplished something, I’m ready to move on to my next big goal. It’s extremely important to acknowledge your successes so that you fully integrate them and see yourself as the new person you’ve become.
Take some time to acknowledge your spouse for things you appreciate about them. You’ll also want to make sure you acknowledge their accomplishments and the transformations that you saw take place for them over the past year. This can range from both big and little things. One of my acknowledgements towards my husband was how much I appreciated him taking care of me when I was sick. He took the extra effort to make a homemade coughing formula for when I had a really bad cold last year. You’ll also want to acknowledge all the other people in your life who have helped you succeed over the past year.
3. Get clarity about where you’re currently “at”. Most of us are so eager to focus on the goal setting process, that we bypass gaining additional clarity about our current situation. Be willing to be honest and explore the good, bad and the ugly of your current state of affairs. Identify what’s working and not working right now in your financial life, career and personal life.
How much money are you making? How much total debt are you carrying? What is your relationship like with your partner? What things “bug” you about them that you haven’t communicated recently (or in a clear, calm way)? Think beyond finances to areas like housekeeping, sharing family chores and work-life balance. This is very powerful to discuss – but be forewarned, it can also be an obvious hot button! Most of the time we let things go unsaid, and resentments can build up over time. It’s a great way to come “clean” and move forward.
Reflect on how you are individually doing in the following areas: career, health, marriage/family, fun/leisure time, friends/community, spiritual and financial. In other words, think about your entire life, not just isolated segments of it.
4. Create a vision for your marriage/family. This is a new category for my husband and me. We talked about wanting to be more intentional with how we treat each other as a couple. We’ve been together 9 years now (married almost six). It’s easy to assume that you know who your partner is after you’ve been together for a while.
We decided to be more intentional about intimacy in terms of “into-me-you-see” which, in essence, means really seeking to understand each other’s perspective instead of jumping to conclusions and not fully listening. We wrote out two to three sentences to post on our bulletin board at home to serve as an ongoing reminder about how we want to treat each other.
5. Identify your exciting, impossible future. Now we come to the really fun part! Identify your goals and dreams for the upcoming year. I highly encourage you to come from a place of identifying dreams and goals that are exciting for you, instead of merely what you think is possible.
Also, spend some time reflecting on why particular goals are important to you. By gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of those goals, you will be able to access inspiration for taking action during challenging times when motivation is at a low and you’d rather not make the effort.
6. Get clear on how you will achieve your goals. This is the really crucial part. Think about how you will achieve your goals. Ask yourself, “What is currently missing that, if I had in place, would help me achieve my goals?”.
I found that I was clear on how to achieve many of my goals, and I didn’t need to ask myself what was missing. However, on the bigger and challenging ones (I had about three of them) I asked myself this question, which helped me gain clarity regarding the specific action steps that were needed to pursue those goals.