It is inevitable that at some point we will meet someone that we want to share our whole self with and grow together with. However, it is extremely easy to like someone so much that you forget your goals and everything you have been working hard for. It is no secret that relationships can be a distraction and l used to be a strong believer in that. This stemmed from the relationships l saw my friends involved in. These relationships completely steered their focus away from their life goals, solely to their relationship. However, when l met my boyfriend, l realized that it should not necessarily be the case.
Here are my four simple ways to stay focused on life goals whilst in a relationship.
1. Identify your main goals
Being in a relationship with someone is such an incredible feeling but is also so easy to forget your goals and everything else that is important to you. A great starting point to avoid this is to identify your main goals. Think about something you really want to accomplish or achieve in the next year. Is it to get ‘AAAABBCC’ in University for this academic year? To pass your driving test? To buy your first car with your own money? Whatever they may be, write them down and break them down according to how important they are to you. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “very unimportant” and 5 being “very important”, where do these goals of yours lie? When my boyfriend and l first started dating, l knew that as important as he was to me, l still had other goals, such as my education, that to me were more important and l wanted to accomplish them. Writing them down was good because it meant l could look at them whenever l wanted to and that helped me stay focused and on the right path.
2. Prioritise and plan
Prioritization is most commonly defined as putting first things first. It is one of the key things that can lead to one being happy with everything that is important to them. Whilst your relationship is important, so are other things in your life. After identifying your main goals, using the rating scale, you have to list them in order of what is most important. This means that it is easier to keep up and plan. When you prioritize your goals, you are also able to prioritize your relationship.
The best saying that l have come across in life says “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Planning enables you to be more productive. Naturally, when you plan a to-do list, you are motivated to cross off as much as you can from the list. Not only does planning help you achieve targets but it also allows you to be able to balance your relationship and your everyday life. When you make a schedule of the times you are studying and working, it is then easier for you to schedule in time to see your partner too. Remember, if you don’t plan you are setting yourself up for failure.
3. Support each other
It is very important to support and to be supported in a relationship. A simple way to do this is to share your goals with your partner and include them in every part of your life. Remember that they have goals too and when you share yours, they will be more than willing to share theirs. Update them on any progress or setbacks that you may encounter. You would be surprised how often your partners are willing to help you out, or simply make sure you have a healthy balance of work and play.
When l first met my other half, one of my worries was that l would push him away because l was too education-focused. However, by sharing my worries with him, we were able to come up with a great system that enabled me to still spend the majority of my time studying but also have him around so we were still in each other’s company. In fact, he has helped me with my revision numerous times in this past year from helping me highlight notes, to picking up study essentials for me when l am too busy or even making me some snacks whilst l am revising. This here is a great example of support in a relationship. Because l communicated with him, he was able to encourage, support, and motivate me. This in turn also made it easier for me to support him in his goals and when we achieved our key targets, it was a celebration for us both.
4. Expect the unexpected
Sometimes in life, things don’t go as we plan them to. You may have a terrible week and not achieve your weekly goal. Or you may not get the best test mark you were hoping of. You can have an A to Z plan of how to do something. But the reality of life is that anything can get thrown at you. All you can do is deal with it. Commonly when things like these happen, you may end up bottling it up and becoming distant from your partner.
Whilst times can get hard, it is always important to have faith in yourself. Do not give up on yourself and your partner. If you put the above tip into action, your partner will always be there to bring you back up and that is me speaking straight from experience. Never think of failure as a lose-lose. Think of it as a lose-win. You lose a chance at achieving your target but you win a life lesson. Mistakes happen for a reason and as long as we learn from them, we can overcome anything.