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Imagine your life without goals. That's right: pretend you just wiped away every single goal imaginable--from the mundane sort like getting out of bed and brushing your teeth to the bigger variety, like making partner at the firm. I bet you can't imagine it. Because without goals (the ones you consciously name and the ones you just carry out), our lives might feel like unstructured, amorphous stretches of time. Setting goals can direct, energize and motivate you. And meeting your goals is a tremendously rewarding experience.

Healthy Relationship Program - Set Goals and Transform Your Relationship

Take a moment to jot down three goals that are important to you--things you want to achieve in your life.

Then think about which aspects of your life are most important to you--what you cherish most in life.

If you're anything like the people I recently surveyed, then your goals include things like: making more money while working less, exercising more and losing weight (and keeping it off) and getting out of debt. Money and health topped the goal-setting list.

Then I asked these same individuals for a different type of list--a list of what they cherish most in life. Almost all discussed their relationship with their spouse or life partner. People and relationships topped the what's-most-important-to-you list.

Relationship Goals are MIA:

Here's what I find remarkable. The people I surveyed didn't have any goals for what they cherish most in life--their relationship or marriage. When it comes to goal-setting, marriage is left at the curb. There's a dangerous assumption lurking that a good relationship will take care of itself. The frequency of failed relationships tells us this assumption is dead wrong.

Your Relationship Roadmap: Create a vision

In order to create relationship goals, it's important to have a vision that details the kind of spouse or partner you aspire to be as well as the type of relationship that is important to you and your partner--this picture should be consistent with your personal values. When your goals are out of sync with your values, you'll find yourself stalled on the road to your relationship destination.

A set of relationship goals is a roadmap that lends direction to your relationship. If your relationship already meets your vision, then working to keep the relationship at this level can be your goal.

An exercise to help you create relationship goals:

Imagine that your partner has been hired to teach a class about you at UCLA. The syllabus is a written testament to the type of spouse or partner you've been throughout the history of your relationship. Not holding anything back, s/he will detail your strengths and weaknesses as a partner. The entire truth (as your partner sees it) will be unfurled for an eager audience motivated to learn all about you.

What do you imagine s/he will say about you?

Respond to this question as honestly as possible. If you find yourself resisting this exercise or focusing more on what you'd like your partner to say, you won't establish any meaningful goals. Remember, this exercise is designed to help you take a realistic look at yourself as a partner, a necessary step in creating goals that will make a difference in your relationship or marriage. You will need to open yourself up to some truths that may sting. Take my word--it will be well worth it.

There's relationship gold to be found in the gap:

There will be a gap between what you'd like your partner to convey in his/her lecture and what s/he would actually say. This gap contains valuable information that you'll use to set up relationship goals. Keep in mind that establishing and reaching relationship goals means committing to changing your behavior. The focus should be on you and not what you believe your partner should do differently.

The guiding question is: How wide is this gap and what can you do to narrow it?

When you begin to take steps to answer this question, you start accumulating the information you need to create your relationship goals. Don't rush this--it should be a process that you come back to over and over again.

Ready to discover more about relationship goal-setting and other practical ways to transform your relationship?

Find out how to create the relationship of your dreams: Sign up for the free Relationship Toolbox Newsletter at and immediately receive two FREE reports that will help you achieve your relationship potential.

Rich Nicastro, Ph.D. is a relationship coach who is passionate about helping couples protect the sanctuary of their relationship.

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Healthy Relationship Program - Set Goals and Transform Your Relationship

If you want to insure that your relationship stays healthy, be aware of what you contribute to it and how you can keep bringing new experiences to exchange with your partner. Following are three concepts you can focus on. They are being strong, committed, and flexible. Let's examine how each of these concepts can help you create your own wonderful relationship. These can be viewed as secrets, but great relationships are really works of love.

The Secrets to a Happy and Healthy Relationship

Having a happy relationship is totally worthwhile if you have strong convictions as to what you want your relationship to be. Being faithful to your mate and not letting anything come between you can be achieved with self-discipline and self-control. Without saying a word, by putting your partner's needs before your own makes a powerful statement.

Strengthening your commitment to each other through mutual responsibility for how your relationship functions is a by-product of not placing blame or finding fault with each other. The value of your relationship continues to increase with trust and appreciation. There are no rules about how that takes place - the main thing is to just tell your mate how much you appreciate what is done for you and is being brought to your union.

Understand the 80/20 rule, which states that a majority of your duties will come from one or the other of you - sometimes you will give 80% of your time to your relationship and your mate will only be able to give 20%. On the other hand, there are times when you will only be able to give the 20% and your partner will be picking up the other 80%. Compromise often, and focus on the critical priorities needed to strengthen your commitment to each other.

Whatever you do, don't forget that humor is a vital component in relationships. Life is a serious set of circumstances - live in the moment and look for the humor in as many life situations as you can. Don't allow your relationship to drown in the misery of dull and boring days without end. Laugh out loud! If you have trouble laughing at yourself, learn how important that one small thing is, and how it can lift a ton of stress from your shoulders.

Take time to recognize the unique characteristics you bring to your relationship and then look at and appreciate those that your partner brings - while they might be in direct line with yours, they may be polar opposites, but in either case, realize you are both contributing to the health and happiness of a relationship of value.

Confucius stated, "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Look at each day and review what was accomplished, focus on how to make tomorrow even better than today. Remain flexible!Although your relationship goals are formed, the path you have to travel to accomplish them never is.

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The Secrets to a Happy and Healthy Relationship

Every morning between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m., without fail, my cat Buffy jumps on the bed, intending to wake me up so she can get me to feed her. You may wonder how I know my cat's intentions. Well, animals are great communicators if you know how to tap into what they are telling you.

Stubborn Persistence Keeps You Together: Relationship Lessons From a Cat

When I get up, Buffy runs out of the room and toward the kitchen. Without fail, I close the door so she cannot jump on me and awake me again. Maui, my other cat, remains sleeping contentedly on the bed during this morning ritual. She is not as persistently "food-focused" as Buffy is.

What makes Buffy so persistent, given that every morning is the same thing? She wakes me; I close the door. Every morning. Although I can understand what she wants from me, I do not understand why she doesn't eventually give up. If it were me and I got the same rejection every day for over 18 months, I would be more likely to say, "Forget this; what I need is opposable thumbs so I can get my own food!"

Maui and Buffy are nearing their second birthdays, so I would think they would know the routine by now. My husband Javier feeds them when he gets up, which is fairly early, but not as early as Buffy wants her breakfast.

As she woke me this morning, I realized that there is a lesson here about being persistent in the face of disappointments and rejection. No, I don't mean you should become a stalker if the one you are interested in has given clear and regular signs that s/he does not return your affections.

I like to think of it as staying hopeful even in the face of disappointments. Striving toward the goals, dreams, and visions for your life, despite setbacks and unwanted detours is difficult. It also brings some pretty awesome rewards if you can stay focused.

How persistent are you? How easy is it for you to persist when you cannot see progress at the rate and speed you expect?

What if your relationship with the one you love is feeling heavy and stuck? How persistent are you in working toward resolution? In seeking answers? In maintaining hope that you can work it out?

Please remember that you do not have to figure it all out all alone. That's why I do what I do. I help people who are struggling with their relationships to find their own answers and create the solutions that work for them. I also help you to remain in a state of hope while you seek to define your answers and create a plan of action. I help you stay focused and accountable to what you want to achieve in your relationship goals.

Take this lesson from my cat, Buffy, and maintain that optimism, realizing that you do not have to do it alone.

Find this and many more helpful tips, tools, and recipes for creating a happy relationship in my book, Creating Happily Ever After: A Marriage Manual For What to Do After the Honeymoon is Over at [].
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Stubborn Persistence Keeps You Together: Relationship Lessons From a Cat

Ok you are who you are? Often I am told by couples, that they aren't romantic, don't need to be, often they claim they don't have time or money for romance or really feel silly being romantic with each other. It's a bit cruel but I like to then ask them why are they seeking my services as a relationship coach?

It's Easy, Not Cheesy to Be Romantic in Your Relationship

If being in a relationship is important to them, then why I ask, are they resistant to the thought of showing their partner how much they love them? Secretly, I feel in today's modern society we have all got a little over exposed or even over whelmed with "being romantic" & Hollywood hasn't helped. Take a movie like "Pretty Woman" where the multi millionaire sweeps the girl off her feet with a date starting with jewels, a private jet and the opera. How could we ever match that?

So allow me to put together a few easy and simple romantic tips that will help normal couples get into a habit because ultimately its the habit of being romantic that we want to develop.

Romantic Tip 1. Practice "Even-Day/Odd-Day" Romance:

On even days it's your turn to be romantic, and on odd days it's your partner's turn. It can be as easy as a compliment to your partner or an extra (seven seconds) hug.

Romantic Tip 2. Become Friends with your florist:

Purchase the occasional gift basket, stuffed toy or the old faithful rose petals, Sprinkle them on the bed, bath or corridor. (however please note you are in charge of cleaning them up afterwards too)

Romantic Tip 3. Make your Mealtimes magical. (Yes, even with the kids)

Jazz up the presentation of a special meal? Buy a little hunk of dry ice. place it in a bowl of water on the table. You'll create wondrous, billowing white clouds!

Dress up for dinner at home. Find some italian music and have in playing in the background. (turn the tv off)

Take a walk after dinner: Leisurely stroll through a local park or public garden.

If on a budget - stay in but have dinner-for-two prepared in your home by the best chef in town or go out for Dessert or Coffee afterwards.

Romantic Tip 4. Make a New Year's resolution to be a more creative with romantic, to have more time for romance or to organize the budget to include some romance cash.

Romantic Tip 5. Make romantic plans for your next anniversary, st valentines day, birthdays or your next vacation:

For most women, birthdays are not our favorite day of the year,as we are reminded that we are getting older so gentleman make sure you think of many compliments and reassurance of how beautiful she is to you.

So set a Relationship Goal today to start, with one step at a time, even if you have to set a goal, to do one easy romantic unexpected thing in your relationship this month. Then plan for two the next month.

I guarantee you and your partner will discover, romance and the added benefits are easier and more rewarding than you thought.

Kerre Burley is an international keynote speaker who lives in Hoi An, Vietnam. Kerre is in huge demand as a platform speaker on topics from Relationships, business management to laughter therapy.

Kerre provides a perfect environment for strengthening or rebuilding existing relationships with agreement on creating new relationship beliefs and values, through her Relationship R& R Package Holidays. Coaching & guiding couples in crisis with new strategies, actions and outcomes to solidify a couples bonds, vows and future together.

Kerre also conducts premarital counseling, wedding ceremonies and vow renewal services to couples in Vietnam from around the world. She has been happily married for 20 years to her second husband Peter.

Discover Kerre's secret tips to Romancing & Reconnecting By visiting her website []
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It's Easy, Not Cheesy to Be Romantic in Your Relationship

When you think of goal setting, it's not a sexy topic. At first blush, you might not think about goals and your relationship at the same time. However, unless you give attention to your relationship, it will stay the same. We just love that quote defining insanity:

Relationship Goal-Setting: It Isn't Sexy, But It Works

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

So ask yourself: Has your relationship been "stuck?" Are you going insane? Maybe it's time for you and your partner to start creating some relationship goals.

For example, if you are dating casually, you may have a goal to advance the relationship to exclusivity. If you are in an exclusive relationship, you may have a goal to get engaged, get married or move in together. If you are happily married, you may have a goal to build an extraordinary relationship. If you are unhappily married, you may have a goal of reviving your relationship.

Individual Goals vs. Joint Goals Made Simple

There are two categories of relationship goals:

(1) Individual goals about the relationship, and

(2) Joint goals about the relationship.

Here is an example of each. "I want to become a better listener" is an individual goal. "We will add more play and fun to our relationship by making an extra date night on Wednesdays" is a joint goal. Here's the difference: with the joint relationship goals, both partners must agree to them and participate in them.

Our Goals Setting Process Made Simple

  1. On our own, we write or revise our own individual goals. These individual goals include personal goals and individual relationship goals. These do not need to be agreed upon, and sharing is optional.
  2. Next, we individually write some ideas for joint relationship goals.
  3. We share our joint relationship goals with each other and begin the process of crafting mutually agreeable joint goals. When we both come up with a similar goal, it's easy to meld our individual versions into a common goal. When they don't meld, we discuss them. Some become joint goals, and some get pitched.

For example, Lewis' proposed goal of a scuba diving vacation got nixed when he discovered Diane is not a fan of the underwater world. However, Diane's proposal for working together on a flower garden was happily adopted by Lewis. We never try to coerce each other into adopting a joint goal that we are not both excited about.

Things Not To Forget

We make our goals comprehensive, covering all aspects of our relationship: home, family, work, leisure and finances. We ask two questions that help us create our joint goals:

(1) What do we value in our relationship, and
(2) What do we want to improve in our relationship?

We write down our goals. Why? The kinetic energy of hand writing goals seems to help with the manifestation process. Our goals, whether joint or individual, become clearer and easier to understand when written. Most importantly, we can refer back to our written goals to see how we are doing. This helps us stay committed.

Think Big, Plan Small

We think BIG about our goals so that they excite us. For example, a set of financial goals might include: be debt-free, obtain a vacation home and retire at age 62. However, once we agree on the big goal, we plan the small steps necessary to achieve those goals. These small action steps are things we can achieve in the current year. We love feeling successful and we always celebrate our little wins. We make sure our celebrations are ridiculously fun!

Benefits of Goal Setting

First: We connect to each other as we dream about our future together.

Second: We discover where our dreams are not in alignment and decide how to deal with that without judging or arguing

Third: We create action steps that will ensure our success as a couple.

"Hold an image of the life you want, and that image will become fact" -- Dr. Vincent Norman Peale

The Fun of Sharing Our Individual Goals with Each Other

Although our individual goals don't necessarily have anything to do with our relationship, we can choose to share these with each other. This helps us understand what is important to each other. Intimacy is instantly created. Furthermore, we find ways to help and support each other accomplish our goals. For example, Lewis has a goal to walk 20 minutes each day and Diane has a goal to do two Toastmaster speeches a month. We support each other by scheduling daily walks together during which Diane practices her speeches.

Using a Coach

When you have a coach, you do what you say you're going to do. Why? Because you know that your coach is going to ask you if you followed through. We like to call it "healthy pressure."

Throughout history, kings, presidents, rulers, athletes and actors have used coaches. Today, coaches are used in many areas of life, including relationships.

There is no lack of information about coaching. Suffice it to say that we have used a fabulous coach and now offer relationship coaching to others.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Here it is--an oldie but goodie--like business goals, relationship goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. The more your goals embody these five characteristics, the more likely you are to achieve them.

Whether single, dating or not, or in a relationship can download two free chapters of Diane and Lewis Denbaum's book "Madly In Love Forever." For details on how to claim your two free chapters go to
"Madly In Love Forever" is available as a softcover book, Kindle Book, eBook, audio CD, or MP3 download. Diane and Lewis are relationship success coaches and their book is packed with heartfelt stories, easy-to-use help and no-nonsense advice to help you create the happy relationship you desire. You can put an end to the loneliness and frustration of "relationship suffering." Most chapters contain practical action steps that readers can start using immediately. Visit the Denbaums' on Facebook at

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Relationship Goal-Setting: It Isn't Sexy, But It Works