Opening up about your goals and dreams can profoundly increase the intimacy in your relationship

“Part of what makes life meaningful are the goals we strive to achieve.” – Dr.John Gottman, 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work.

With a new year upon us, many of us start 2019 with new goals.

Your goals may be overcoming your attachment insecurity and getting out of debt. Your partner may have goals such as writing a book and eating healthier.

Underneath every goal and dream lies the secrets to what is meaningful. Goals offer insights into who we are and who we want to become.

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Sadly, many of us do not talk about our dreams with the most significant person in our life.

Opening up about your goals and dreams can profoundly increase the intimacy in your relationship. Not only will you learn something new about each other, but you can also team up to create shared dreams or support each other in achieving independent dreams.

Here are 10 open-ended questions to ask each other about your 2019 New Years resolutions:

  1. If 2019 was going to be your best year yet, what would have to happen?
  2. If you could only achieve one of your New Year’s resolutions, which one would you choose? Why is this one so important to you? Is there a deeper purpose to this goal?
  3. How might I be able to support you in achieving your New Year’s resolutions?
  4. What challenges do you think you might face as you start working towards this resolution? What might we need to do differently so that you can achieve this?
  5. What New Year’s resolutions do you have for our relationship?
  6. What is one thing you’d like to do more in our relationship? What needs to change so we can do this more often?
  7. How can we team up together to achieve our New Year’s resolutions, even if some of them might be different? (Hint: Brainstorm and listen to understand, then problem-solve.)
  8. What shared goals should we create this year? Why is this goal meaningful to you?
  9. What do you think is going to be our biggest challenge this year?
  10. What is one relationship habit you want to develop this year?

With the new year starting, it’s also a great time for reflection. Here are some more questions to build deeper intimacy (or in my cheesy language: into-me-I-let-you-see) when reflecting on 2018:

  1. What went well this year for you? Personally, professionally, and relationally (romantic relationship, friendships, and family)?
  2. What didn’t go so well? What challenges did you face?
  3. What challenges did you overcome in 2018? How did you celebrate this?
  4. What un-lived dreams did you make progress on in 2018? How does it feel to recognise this?
  5. What major goals did you accomplish in 2018? What was so meaningful about these goals?
  6. What obstacles did we overcome as a couple? Was there anything in particular that I supported you on?
  7. Share one thing your partner did over the past year that was deeply meaningful for you.
  8. What was your biggest life lesson in 2018? Why does this lesson stand out for you?
  9. What was your favourite memory for 2018? What is so meaningful about this memory?
  10. If you could summarise 2018 into a sentence or a single word, what would you say?

Many of us often struggle to open up about our challenges and our dreams. I know I used to. Use the new year as a new opportunity to build a deeper connection with each other.