Marriage Goals Are More Than Just an Instagram Hashtag

How to set intentions and aspirations for your relationship—and why it's so important.
Married couple holding their baby and smiling
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Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
The Knot Contributor
  • Erin is a freelance contributor to The Knot and loves creating lifestyle, travel, beauty, relationships and commerce content.
  • In addition to writing for The Knot, Erin contributes to a wide range of publications including The Everygirl, The Everymom, Scary Mommy, Romper, Bustle and Brides.
  • Erin lives just outside of New York City, has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and two Master’s degrees in Education and Administ...
Updated Feb 22, 2024

We don't have to tell you that getting married is a big decision—huge, in fact! And once all of the fun and excitement leading up to your nuptials finally settles, focusing on building and maintaining a happy and healthy marriage should take center stage. Here's where marriage goals come into play.

Beyond just a social media hashtag to use when you post a pic of your spouse, marriage goals can help your relationship continue to grow and thrive through the years. I spoke with Sophie Cress, a licensed marriage and family therapist with over eight years of experience, for her insight into how to set marriage goals, as well as examples of goals for marriage to get you started in creating your own.

In this article:

What are Marriage Goals?

Marriage goals are exactly that—goals to have within your marriage. More specifically though, Cress says, "Marriage goals are a set of specific and measurable objectives that couples establish to work towards building a strong, healthy, and satisfying relationship."

She explains that these goals for marriage can range from small habits (like expressing gratitude to one another on the reg) to more significant milestones and longer-term goals—such as financial stability or raising children.

Why You Should Set Marriage Goals

According to Cress, setting marriage goals is a crucial step for couples who want a strong and flourishing relationship. "Goals serve as a guide for progress, creating a sense of purpose and direction within the marriage," she explains. "They present a shared vision that unites both partners toward common objectives and values."

Establishing shared aspirations can strengthen your connection, as well as set the stage for both personal and mutual growth and potentially tackle conflicts before they arise. As Cress notes, these set intentions (such as spending a certain amount of quality time together) "enhance the bond between partners, forming lasting reminiscences and strengthening the connection."

How to Set Marriage Goals

If you want to establish more formal marriage goals, it's important to take a collaborative and thoughtful approach and consider all the unique aspects and dynamics within your relationship.

  • Step 1: As with most things in relationships, the first step to setting marriage goals is communication. "Engage in open and honest communication with your partner to identify values and aspirations that you share," says Cress. Write it out and make a list if it helps!
  • Step 2: Start simple. Identify goals that are measurable and specific. For example, instead of beginning with the goal of establishing financial security, begin with a smaller, more specific goal that can help get you there—such as enjoying more meals at home.
  • Step 3: Encourage and support each other's pursuit of these shared goals with energy and enthusiasm. Keep these goals a priority, even when it might feel challenging to do so.
  • Step 4: Set time aside monthly or bi-monthly to review your progress. How are your marriage goals coming along? What's working, and what's not?

10 Examples of Marriage Goals

Just like every marriage is different, every couple's goals are going to be different too. Your goals for marriage should be reflective of your joint wishes and aspirations, while being unique to your relationship's strengths and weaknesses. Here are some ideas to get started.

Financial Goals

Whether you're shooting for a long-term financial goal like becoming homeowners or reaching early retirement or smaller action items like monthly investments, this is one of the most popular and essential marriage goals to set.

Travel Goals

Travel can be expensive and a great motivator to work towards. You can set goals to save towards specific trips or bigger-picture goals like spending a weekend away together just the two of you once or twice a year.

Health Goals

Health and wellness are an integral component of any relationship, so consider setting goals to improve your health together—like taking daily walks after dinner, signing up for (and actually using) a gym membership or incorporating vegetables into every weekday dinner.

Family Planning Goals

If you want to grow your family, setting family planning goals can be helpful in terms of creating a realistic timeline. Maybe you want to travel more before starting a family or want to have a solid emergency fund set beforehand.

Spend More Time Together

Between work, life, friends, family, hobbies and health, it can sometimes feel like you and your spouse are ships in the night. Achieve the goal of spending more time together by planning ahead, scheduling date nights and sticking to them.

Communication Goals

Goals around communication can look like setting aside 15 minutes a day after dinner to share your day, having phone-free meals a certain amount of times per week or even working on maintaining eye contact when the other speaks.

Organization Goals

Finding ways to organize and streamline your daily tasks and to-dos can do wonders for your marriage. Achieve organization goals by using a shared calendar, adopting and maintaining storage systems throughout your home, creating shared grocery and shopping lists, etc.

Intimacy Goals

Prioritizing your physical relationship can also be done through goal-setting —whether it's having sex two times a week, making sure you kiss before bed each night or sharing a prolonged embrace each morning.

Keeping Things Fresh

Comfort and routine have a funny way of leading to monotony pretty quickly, so a great marriage goal is to focus on keeping things fresh together. This might look like aiming to try a new skill once a month, a new restaurant once a week or exploring new hobbies or physical activities together.

Goals For Friends & Family Time

As important as it is to have quality time together, having time apart is also an essential part of any healthy marriage. A great way to make sure you're both filling your cups inside and outside of the marriage is to set goals that have to do with doing other things: Scheduling and planning nights out with friends, solo family visits and nurturing other key relationships in your life is a necessary to ensure your partnership stays strong.

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