“What are your goals?” Whew! Such a daunting question right? Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be. Do you have 6 minutes?
We’re going to let you in on a secret today. In fact, we’re going to show you how to set long distance goals in 6 minutes. But first, let’s talk about why goals matter so much in a long distance relationship.
The Importance of LDR Goals
Being in a long distance relationship means that you can’t give your significant other a reassuring hug anytime they feel insecure. So you have to find other ways to express your devotion. LDR goals are important because of what they represent. They’re like a check. If you have a check, you may not have money in your hands but you know that it represents money and the possession of it will lead to you having money.
LDR goals are a sign of commitment. They show your partner that you really are serious about your relationship. Insecurity can be a constant battle for some in an long distance relationship. Talking about your LDR goals and is like reminding your significant other that you have a check in the drawer when they start worrying about the bills.
Another reason LDR goals are important is because they give you direction. In a race, the “finish line” is the goal. You couldn’t win the race if you didn’t have the goal of reaching the finish line. In an LDR having something to work towards gives you a sense of accomplishment as you get closer and closer to reaching your goal. Knowing that you’re making progress in your fight to defeat the distance will prevent you from getting discouraged and giving up.
The last reason LDR goals are so important has to do with your end date. LDR goals can actually bring you together sooner. A lot of couples find after discussing their relationship goals that they can close the distance sooner than they thought.
How Setting Goals Has Helped Other Couples
If you love to read stories of long distance success stories like we do, maybe you’ve noticed the same trend that we have. Of all the LDR Success Stories that are submitted to us there’s one common thread throughout them all -those couples all set long and short term goals. In fact, most of them credit having goals as the reason why they were able to successfully close the distance and be together.
There can be some skepticism around the idea of setting goals for a long distance relationship. Some couples say they do better without having clear set goals while others say they absolutely need them. Some couples are afraid to set goals (it makes the relationship THAT much more real,) while some couples feel like they don’t have the time or that it would be really hard to tackle. Maybe you fit one of those categories.
But if you look at the cold hard facts, the truth is that couples who set goals are more likely to meet them! But you don’t have to take our word for it, here are some comments from couples we’ve interviewed who have or are conquering their LDRs with the help of setting goals:
“Love each other, don’t be sad too much always think positive. What you can do is pick a date you two Will see each other again. So you have something to look forward to. Make plans, talk about the future and never stop caring about each other.“
-Jorden & Lily
“It helps a lot to set a goal, a date on which you will meet up with your S/O, and have a countdown to that date. This will help to put things into perspective, and give you something to look forward to. Rian and I, for example, always say the words “One Day Closer” when we are missing each other, because it reminds us that we are going to see each other soon.” -Mina & Rian
“My advice for anyone in an LDR is to always have a date to be excited for, keep something of theirs or something they gave you close to you and remember that one day there will no longer be a distance between you. Long distance is hard but healthy. Its also worth the wait if you truly love someone.” -Candice & Casey
“Visit each other as often as possible. Planning visits make the distance much more bearable and give you a sort of concreteness to the relationship. Remember why you are doing this. You love one another and being apart will not change that!” -Lauren & Alexander
How to Set Basic Goals for Your Long Distance Relationship in 6 Minutes
You can’t be expected to map out the entire plan of your life and future together as a couple, but sometimes that’s what comes to minds of couples when someone says “set goals for the future.” It’s literally impossible to map out your entire life together so be sure that’s totally not something we’re asking you to do here.
However, goal setting is really crucial in making sure that you’re moving forward. It gives you evidence that you actually are making progress every time you meet a goal and cross it off your list of things that will bring you one day close to each other.
Having said that, it might seem daunting to sit together and work all of this out together but we’ve figured out a really cool, super incredibly simple way to set goals for your relationship together in ONLY 6 MINUTES. And it comes with some really handy worksheets too that will help you along!
No more excuses, no more “its going to take forever” – you can totally do this!
Step 1: Pull out your phone or tablet and set your timer to 60 seconds. Write out 3-5 long term goals you’d like for your LDR whether that be closing the distance, visiting each other for the first time, moving in together, etc.
Estimated Time: 1 Minute
Step 2: Take a moment to review your goals together seeing which goals you both agree on and which goals you don’t. Together, weed out the goals that don’t seem to fit in the picture and which ones you’d like to keep. Decide on how far away those goals should be for you in length of time. (For example, closing the distance might take 2 years, while you may want to meet for the first time 6 months from now!)
Estimated Time: 2 Minutes
Step 3: Set your timer to 1 minute and take a moment to each write down the steps you think you’ll both need to take to reach each goal.
Estimated Time: 1 Minute
Step 4: Take a moment to compare your list of steps to your partner’s list and weed out any steps that seem unnecessary, that you both can’t agree on or that don’t apply. Discuss together how long you think it will take you to reach each step and fill this information in the printable provided. These will be your short term goals!
Estimated Time: 2 Minutes
Now you and your partner have a set of long term and short term goals (the steps it takes to reach the long term goals) that you are both actively working towards and a general time period for when you’d like to reach those goals. And just like that, you’re done in ONLY 6 MINUTES!
Quick Tips For Goal Setting:
1. Specific, realistic goals work best. When it comes to trying to reach a final destination, the people who succeed are those who set goals they really think they can meet. No wishful thinking here, you’ve got believe it to achieve it! Having goals that you know you can reach makes it easier to stick with them
2. Write your goals down. We highly encourage you to use the printable worksheet for this goal setting exercise! Writing goals down makes them feel concrete and more real to both you and your partner. For some reason writing things down helps our brains to remember them! (That’s why we take notes during classes, right?) And then having that list of goals front and center posted on your wall or bulletin board means there’s no way you can forget what you want to accomplish together!
3. Repeating your goals makes it stick. So you’ve made plans now, don’t just write them on a list and forget about it! Say your goal out loud to each other frequently to remind yourselves of what you want and what you’re working for. Talk about the progress your making on the goal together and ways that you can speed up or adjust the timelines you’ve set for them. Every time you remind yourself of your goal, you’re training your brain to make it happen.
4. There’s no such thing as failure. You may hit a roadblock here and there as you’re trying to reach your goals and may even find that you have to reset your time estimates because it takes you longer to reach them than you expected. It’s normal to mess up or not meet guidelines especially if setting goals is something new to you.
Remember that every long distance couple has slipped up in meeting at least one of their goals. Goals are flexible and don’t have to necessarily be concrete so if you find that you’re getting close to the deadline for one of your goals feel free to have a discussion and re-evaluate your timelines later. The point is to always be working towards something that will help you end the distance so that you are always moving forward in your relationship!