Setting Goals Together

Are you two feeling stuck? The infertility has consumed your life. You don’t know where life is headed and it’s hard to focus on anything else. It’s time to set some goals.

Make a nice dinner, set some candles, and take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Talk about things you enjoy doing in life, both individually and together. What gets you excited? If you’re struggling to think of something, what used to get you excited in the past?

How is your social life? Mental life? Finances? Work life? Spiritual life? Physical life? How about your marriage? What is one thing you could work towards in each of these categories?

Have you hidden away from the world for too long trying to hide from people with kids? Do you both have good friends you can get together with more often and do something fun together? Maybe a group at church that you can get involved with or lead?

How about your mental state? Let’s be honest, going through infertility is incredibly draining. Is there a good book you can read to help? Verses or stories in the Bible you can study to encourage you? Or maybe reaching out to a Biblical counsellor to dig deeper and refresh your soul?

Finances can be a stressor for most couples, aside from infertility. Are you communicating with your spouse in a healthy way about this topic? Is there something you both want to do that you can work towards in this? Is there a trip you two have always wanted to take? Debt you want to pay down? Or, how about saving for fertility treatments or adoption?

How’s your work life? Do you enjoy what you’re doing? How about the people that you work with? What are the things you look forward to at work? What things are you struggling with? Is there anything you can change about the areas you don’t enjoy?

What are you doing to grow your life with Jesus? Do you need to be more consistent in your daily time with Him? Are you reading the Bible every day? How’s your prayer life? Worship life? Are you giving thanks to the Lord often or are you focused more on your anger, doubt, and despair about your infertility? Are you seeing Him working in and around you?

Taking care of your body can help in all of these areas. You need to take care of yourself and get some sort of exercise each day. It can be a hard workout at the gym or just a nice walk outside for 30 minutes.

What are you two finding out about yourselves? Which of these areas do you find you’re having the easiest and the hardest times with?

Now let’s have some fun. Pick one or two categories that your spouse and you would like to achieve something in. It might be something that you work on together like setting that financial goal towards adoption, paying down debt, or planning a trip. You can both take the extra money you have each pay (after tithing, savings, and paying all expenses) and start squaring away towards your goal.

It could also be that you make individual goals and hold each other accountable to them. For example, you both might have an exercise goal, but they look different individually. Mark your weekly successes, plan mini goals that you can celebrate, and cheer each other on towards the main goal and reward – which might be a new outfit, dinner out, or something else you’d like when you achieve it.

Goals need to be measurable. You should have some short-term and long-term goals. A long-term goal might be growing in the discipline of reading your Bible every day for the next year. Your short-term goals could be rewarding yourself every month you achieve that marker. The short-term reward could be buying a book you’ve wanted to read or going out for ice cream. Your long-term reward might be attending a conference you’re excited about or going to see a friend that lives away.

The goals need to be personal to you, and the rewards need to be something that you’re going to get excited about. That’s why the two of you need to work through this together. You know each other best and what energizes you two. You can encourage each other to make goals that will actually be achievable and get excited together about reaching them. Cheer each other on through the process. Create visual markers that will keep those goals in front of you every day. Check off when you’ve accomplished it. Then make a space to write down the short-term and long-term rewards you want to achieve.

The success comes when you make that daily check mark of accomplishment. The reward at the mile markers and at the end are exciting, but it’s an even greater achievement to see the progress you’re making.

All of this will help lighten your heart and life from the infertility. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when infertility is at the forefront of your mind all the time. By talking about and looking forward to other things in life, it refreshes your heart and soul, and shows you there’s more to life. It’ll give you things to embrace and a way to unite your spouse and you.

This is much like the Christian life. We are to cheer one another on in our race of faith towards the finish line. Your spouse and you are the closest to each other to do this. But the more you put all of your focus on the infertility, the more your love and marriage drains. So, get together, talk about these things, run the race together, and have fun in the process!

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