While we were dating, Justin and I did something that we didn’t share with many people, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
We had “productivity dates.” And they were awesome. We’d go to our favorite coffee shop on Capitol Hill and sip lattes and tea while we both worked on side projects we were interested in, while we occasionally looked up to gaze into each other’s eyes. I kid you not.
What I loved about these types of dates is that we were able to spend time together, while watching each other focus on topics we were passionate about and that made us each independently better humans. We each had the space we needed to learn, grow, write, and design, but could spend that time together, cheering the other on.
Four-and-a-half years and one kid later, we still like to sneak in productivity dates now and then. While they don’t happen nearly as often as they used to, I still value that time just as much.
Today, our productivity date is at Sump Coffee in South St. Louis City, one of our favorite STL coffee haunts. While we each have separate projects we’re working on today (I’m working on Umba and he’s working on AddThis), we’re spending an hour or so focusing on what we want 2015 to look like for our family. Here are 4 tips for effectively setting goals with your significant other.
- Prepare independently: Justin and I have both taken time to form “draft” goals in various areas of our lives. This is important so that when we come together to discuss, we have a starting off point and aren’t starting from ground zero. Areas that we’re focusing on: finances (a biggie for us! I’ll write more on this later), our family, our faith, and fun (vacation, dates!).
- Have an open mind: A basic tenant of marriage, realize that what might be important to you isn’t necessarily a top priority to your spouse. That’s okay. You don’t have to agree from the get go. We make it a point to form a general consensus around a goal. We can obviously still have goals independent of each other. Today, we’re just looking to set goals that we can achieve together.
- Hold each other accountable: One of the great things (for better or worse) of marriage is that you have someone who can hold you accountable, which is one of the most important elements in setting goals. Don’t be afraid to speak up (in love) if you realize you aren’t continually striving toward your goals. Adjust together, and continue on.
I hope these are helpful tips for you. Is this a practice that you regularly undertake with your significant other? Let me know in the comments!