#Goals: How Intentions Support Our Relationships
Modern society is all about goals. We set goals for our careers, for our finances, and even for our vacations and leisure activities. One area of our lives that we don’t often think of as goal-oriented, though, are our intimate relationship. But what if we did? When it comes to encouraging us to better ourselves, setting intentions can help us adapt our behaviors in ways that serve our relationships, improve communication, and make us feel closer to each other.
What Makes An Intention?
One of the major differences between setting a goal and and setting an intention is that goals tend to be quantitative or clearly measured — to get a promotion or improve your mile time. Setting an intention, on the other hand, is more analytical. It asks you to consider what matters most to you, to consider where your life — in this case, specifically your relationship — can be improved, and to be specific about what actions you plan to take. Intentions are action-forward.
Another element that makes intentions distinct from goals is that intentions encourage mindfulness. Each time you engage in the action directed by your intention, you’re acknowledging that you’re acting in this way for a reason and you are present in the moment. Few things benefit our relationships like mindful communication and connection and intentions encourage that type of interpersonal engagement.
What kinds of intentions can benefit your relationship? While every couple is different, intentions should fulfill several key conditions. As Jess Lively, a specialist in intention setting, describes it, intentions should be actionable, positive, and flexible, and they should be both immediate and long lasting — something you can do right now and continue to do going forward. As you work with your partner to set intentions for your relationship, keep these criteria in mind.
To get you started, consider some of the following simple but powerful intentions:
- Say “I love you” every day. Maybe you already do this, but are you present when you say the words? Too often, giving a partner a kiss goodbye and saying I love you is automatic, a mix of habit and superstition. Consider this an opportunity to shift how you speak these words, leaving behind passivity and filling them with power.
- Prepare meals together. We’re all so busy that most of us are lucky if we get a few meals together with our partner each week. Even if it’s just once a week, make a point of selecting a meal, getting the ingredients and preparing it together. Don’t be afraid to try something new, to make a mess, and let this be a fun moment in your week.
- Spend Time Alone Together. If you have kids, you may spend a lot of time with your partner, but not a lot of time one-on-one. Set an intention to spend time alone together on a consistent basis — beyond those few minutes before you fall asleep. Maybe it’s just grabbing a cup of coffee together and enjoying it technology free on a lunch break or hiring a babysitter so you can go out together for a few hours. That time is vital to your relationship’s health.
Intentions are the small actions we take in order to be more present in our lives and in our relationships, but it can take a mental shift to implement them. That’s why Emi is here to help. As part of our daily relationship reminder program, we encourage you to set clear intentions for your relationship — and we’ll support you in your efforts to follow through on them. Sign up today to learn more about our program and take the first step towards deeper connection.