It’s normal to get caught up in your wedding. Everyone does it. But have you thought about what life you want to lead after you’re married? If you haven’t, that’s okay. A lot of couples find themselves in this position when their weddings roll in and then out, so it’s very natural.
If you’ve not really planned what you want your life to be like, perhaps now is a good time. Sit down together and discuss what you want to achieve together and where you want your lives to go. If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay too. Here’s our handy guide to setting goals and planning your post-wedding life.
How do we set goals for our post-wedding life?
The way to begin goal-setting is with a conversation. You need to sit down together and discuss what you want your lives to look like. These can be little things or bigger things, this is all based on you two and what you want for yourselves. It’s important to consider your own personal goals. You will likely share a number of goals like buying a house or having children but write your personal ones first.
Really think about what things you want to achieve in life. Things like learning to cook, backpacking through Europe, working for yourself or getting healthy and fit. However big or small, write it all down.
If you need inspiration at this stage think about your hobbies and interests. Focus on what makes you happy and think about developing those things into a bigger goal. So you like painting, consider taking classes and then aiming to have your own gallery space. These are two goals you can aim towards with one being more achievable and simple and the other being a bigger leap.
You can even ask people who you admire for help. People who have achieved their goals in life are the picture of success. Ask them how they started if you’re stuck on your list.
Guaranteed, after doing all of these things, you’ll end up with a mighty fine list of goals to work from.
Example goals to get you thinking:
Money: Save for a house or flat, buy a new car, pay off student loans, pay off credit card, save for travel.
Career: Start own business, get a promotion, change careers.
Family: Have children, take parents on holiday, adopt a cat or dog.
Education: Get a Master’s degree, learn to speak Italian, take business classes.
Health: Become vegetarian, join a weekly yoga class, go jogging, lower cholesterol, drink less.
How do we bring our goals to life?
Now that you have your lists, sit down together and see how they align. Big things that you’ve likely discussed previously, like having children will hopefully be in sync with your partner’s goals. Sit together and discuss your goals and decide where you want to prioritise.
Be realistic to start with. You can’t just launch in and plan to buy a Ferrari in 6 months as it’s probably going to be pretty unlikely. Discuss how much money, time and effort will go into your prioritised goals and how much you’ll need to lean on one another. If you decide that children are your number 1 priority, then discuss how it’ll impact your relationship and how you’ll need more support.
After prioritising, now set your goals into categories. These are short-term, mid-term and long-term. A short-term goal is something that you should be able to achieve within a year. This might be securing a promotion, pay bump or getting healthy.
Mid-term goals are those which you are looking to achieve within the next 5 years. This is likely going to be things like saving for a house and having children.
A long-term goal will take over 5 years to achieve and it’ll be things like paying off your student loans or your mortgage.
After your goals are organised like this, you can begin to work towards them. It’s all well and good in the beginning when the excitement of having your own house or travelling the world is being discussed but saving for things and sticking to bigger plans is hard. It’s hard to maintain motivation. If you want to keep your motivation and keep on track, set smaller and more achievable goals that contribute to your bigger goals.
If one of your goals is to have children in the next 5 years, consider getting yourself healthy in order to achieve this goal. Eat healthier, cut back on sugar and exercise and you’ll be ready for children by the time your goal rolls around. Every time you think about having McDonald’s for tea, think about having your baby and you’ll be cooking something at home in no time.
If your goal is to take a huge, year-long trip together then treat yourselves to something whenever you reach the next step in your savings goal. You could take yourselves out to a movie and dinner every time you save another £2000 to keep you feeling positively and excited for your end goal.
Consider setting aside time together to discuss where you’re at with your goals each month. If you’re working on a goal together, you can discuss progress. If you’re working on something solo, share with your partner and they may be able to give you some ideas of where to go to next. Communicate with each other to keep things progressing.
More ways to maintain motivation
If you’re still having trouble, consider the following.
- Keep setting mini goals to keep feeling positively about your bigger goal
- If there’s something you’re dreading in one of your goals, get it out of the way to avoid that feeling festering
- Create a vision board
- Tell people about your goals so you feel responsible for keeping on track with them
- Ditch your negative friends and surround yourselves with positive energy
- Keep discussing your goals with people you look up to and who have succeeded in achieving their goals
- Plan different pathways to get to your end goal and switch to the alternate path if the first one isn’t working out