A glance back before turning ahead

25 Jan

As we all look forward to another year of opportunities, it’s important to remember to look back and check out our progress from last year’s goals. It’s easy to start fresh on new ground but if last year’s plans were forgotten will new ones share the same fate?

The Mr. and I married on New Year’s Eve five years ago… And as we’ve learned over the years, it wasn’t a coincidence that we chose this holiday either. Since we met, our lives began to merge with one shared dream or goal after another. We were excited – for everything. Every New Year we made small and big plans – both together and apart…

In our first year, we bought a condo and renovated it; hosted a belated celebration of our marriage with friends and family; and finally, rewarded ourselves with a honeymoon on our first anniversary.

Our second year, I finally graduated from college; we then decided to move across the country for new careers in a thriving economy. We shook off our comfort zones for the glow of opportunity and haven’t looked back since…

The last three years we’ve focused on traveling, debt reduction and our writing. In as little as 3 years we’ve hit multiple new destinations, became debt free in 2010, the Mr. wrote his second book and I started this blog.

There have also been goals that we didn’t reach. Looking back we realized that sometimes we just aimed too high – or even had too many to fulfill within the timeline we gave ourselves. I tend to be the one who focuses on what we failed to finish but the Mr. does a great job at highlighting our successes and thankfully reminding me to give myself a pat on the back for even the smaller accomplishments…

Even though our daily grind was sometimes overwhelming, in the end we were always happy knowing that we used our careers, time and mindsets to support and reflect our shared purpose in marriage.

So while keeping on the lookout for new and exciting adventures, take the time to look back and consider where you have come from. Have your decisions reflected who you are as both individuals and as a married couple? Would you have done anything differently? Are you living your lives to the fullest, and if not, then why?

These answers have a very big impact on your future goals! How could anyone look forward with confidence and excitement if past dreams were forgotten or no longer reflect your current lifestyles? This is where an honest review, although sometimes humbling, can refocus your priorities to reflect your current big picture.

Avoid an unexpected wake-up call by checking on your progress more often than not… And when better than around New Year’s? Be open to new ideas or even complete revisions – goals should be tailored to fit your lifestyle which is apt to change on a regular basis. Once you get the hang of checking in regularly, the fun really begins… With two of you, you have an advantage against most by doubling your efforts to save time and money – who’d have thought that!?

Just start small and keep your expectations realistic – each goal met boosts your confidence and sharpens your focus in both life and marriage. Soon you’ll begin to set your sights higher and nothing will ever seem impossible!

With looking back at what we have accomplished in the past five years, the Mr. and I are more than excited to aim further. We plan to travel the world, build our own house, write books together, and so much more…! Time really flies whether you live day-to-day or plan each one to its fullest – so don’t wait to start on those dreams!

Out of ideas? Here’s a quick list of possibilities… What do you have on your list?

Eliminate/reduce bad-debt
Plan a trip for your anniversary this year (don’t wait for the milestones to celebrate big!)
Increase your charitable donations by % either monetarily or by volunteering your time
Set aside a date night every other week for a whole year
Write your wills together and purchase life insurance
Save up for a house deposit or start researching places you would only dream to live!
Get a financial advisor that can help map your goals financially
Plan and spend more time with friends together
Purchase gym memberships for one another (we all need gym buddies!)
Take a class together – cooking, dancing, art, whatever!
Design your dream house together
Save up and replace that old (insert junk name here)
Research and tackle your dream job (it’s never too late!)
Make room in your house for a new angel or pet

Click here for a more focused goal setting approach within your marriage

Click here for different types of relationship goals to get you started

Cheers with Wine!

the Mrs.


5 Responses to “A glance back before turning ahead”

  1. Catharine February 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

    I love you sis.. I wish I had your words of wisdom and encouragement everyday..:)

  2. Jessica B January 30, 2011 at 11:27 PM #

    Keeping it real. You are awesome! A tap on the back for you!
    I am on the same page as you. The little steps are as good as the big steps. Thats why life is AWESOME!

  3. Nicole January 25, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

    Hmmm, I think it’s great to make goals and then to look back and see how far I’ve come! Love your list!!

  4. Posky January 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM #

    My goal for this year was to max out every aspect of my life in the most extreme way imaginable but debt free.

    • the Mrs. January 25, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

      That’s quite an interesting challenge – I like it!

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