In a marriage (or any symbiotic relationship for that matter), the strength of the relationship is largely determined by the intimacy that two people share as a couple, where intimacy is just another way of saying “mutual connection”.
For most couples, dating often starts out with the mutual connections of physical attraction, common interests, and shared social groups, but these connections simply bring us together; they don’t always keep us together.
As a consummate change agent, I have done (and continue to do) my research on what it takes to build teams and lead them to success. In doing so, I have come to realize that a married couple is much like a team, and one of the most important aspects of building any team (and maintaining team synergy) is the existence of shared goals.
Shared goals unite us. They give us a common ground upon which we can exercise our individual strengths while leveraging the collective strengths of others. They give us reasons to celebrate, opportunities to motivate, and a platform to create shared experiences.
As a team, our shared goals (and the efforts we put forth to achieve them) define us and this is absolutely true for marriage. In a marriage, intimacy (mutual connection) is maintained through shared experiences that demonstrate our ability to work together (and achieve together) as a team.
For those of us with kids, raising our little (and not-so-little) ones is a shared goal. For those of us into health and fitness, losing weight or achieving a personal best can be a shared goal. For most of us, paying off debt is a shared goal. These and many other shared goals help us to create and maintain the intimacy between us, so long as we truly seek common outcomes and share common approaches to achieving them.
Remember, a goal has to be SMART:
- Specific (You should be able to say it in one sentence.)
- Measurable (You should be able to define the intended outcome.)
- Assignable (You should be able to define roles and responsibilities.)
- Reasonable (You should be able to make it work within your constraints and/or abilities.)
- Time-bound (You should be able to set a date when you plan to achieve it.)
SMART, shared goals will bring us and keep us together as couples, as families, and as teams.