How To Chart Your Relationship Vision
By Kim Morse
If we are sailing, there are certain things that all of us do before we head out on a journey. The most important is to chart our course so that we know what direction we are heading and what stops we plan on making along the way. Without this, we would be floating aimlessly in the wind, not knowing where to find a safe port.
A relationship can be the same way. Many couples “drop the anchor” of commitment but never think about where they are going from there. What is their vision of what they want their life to be? This is so important because without it, our relationship is like that ship aimlessly in the sea.
As boaters/cruisers this can be unique in that most of us are spending 24/7 with our significant others and without a clear vision there are many areas that can muddy the waters.
CREATING YOUR RELATIONSHIP VISION
1. Make a list of all the aspects of your life. What do you value for yourself and for the relationship. Included should be:
- Relationship itself
- Social action
- Education and personal growth
2. After you have made your list, first write down all the things that are important to YOU about each of these areas. Don’t think about what your partner would want at this point.
We want to examine each of these areas and apply them to all aspects of our lives. For the boating couples and especially those that are looking to go cruising, let’s look at a few of these areas as examples to see how they can be applied to our cruising dreams.
Family: Most of us if we decide to take off on a cruising trip are leaving most of our family behind. This can be much more difficult in general for the women. I know for me, making sure that I can still visit and connect with my grandchildren is crucial.
Finances: How do you plan to fund your plans? Do you want to work along the way, or do you have to wait until retirement for most of your dreams?
Lifestyle: What type of boat do you see yourself on? Are you a blue water or coastal cruiser? Monohull or Catamaran? Do you want to rough it or have all the modern gadgets possible?
Fun: This is one of the best ones because it is during the fun times that we really can bond as a couple. Do you see yourself laying in the hammock of the boat all day or exploring new places or hitting every beach bar along the way.?
3. Make sure that you are totally honest about what you require, need and want in these areas. Requirements are true deal breakers and these are things that you must have for your vision to be fulfilled and for you to be happy. Needs are your emotional and physical needs that will result in conflict if they are not met.
4. After writing down what is important to you, then share your list with your partner. If you have been clear and thorough you will truly see where you and your partner are/aren’t on the same page.
5. After you and your parter have shared your individual visions with each other it is time to write a vision statement. Your statement can be in the form of a paragraph or a list.
TESTING YOUR VISION
You know you have described your vision when:
- The results are hard to achieve, i.e. it will require “stretching”.
- You are excited when you think about it.
- The results of the vision are meaningful to you.
- The results make a difference in your life and, often, make difference in someone else’s life.
- The results are visible and, at least to some degree, measurable.
- The results will reflect your strengths and core values.
The more detailed your vision is the more compelling it will be.
Watch out for the conflicting attitudes. Some attitudes may get in the way of constructing or realizing your own vision. Examples are:
- I can’t really have what I want .
- I want something only if someone else wants it too .
- What I want is not that important .
- Even if I begin, I will eventually fail .
- My partner will laugh at it or not be supportive .
- I can’t stand how anxious I feel when imagine getting what I want .
- I feel guilty for wanting too much.
You will find that your vision will evolve as you grow. Sometimes it will requires new skills and capabilities. Be sure to get the help you need in these areas.
Ask yourself an important question: “What will I have to do, that I don’t want to do, to realize this vision?” Every vision will carry with it some undesirable task(s). Don’t let these make you believe your vision is wrong. Accept that you will have obstacles to overcome and there will be things you will have to do that don’t always seem fun. As you get clearer on your individual and collective vision, write it down to clarify what it looks like. But be careful not to ask too much of “how” it is going to happen. Most of the “hows” in life work themselves out step by step and we can easily become overwhelmed with every detail and that is the best way to kill a budding dream.
It is a great idea to make time with your spouse to review your vision at least on a yearly basis to see what has changed and where adjustments can be made. Growing with, not away from our partner is essential to a lasting, loving relationship.
If you would like an example to follow, click on this link: Life Vision Statement (password – truelove123)
Bob and Kim Morse would love to help you create your vision. For a FREE “Create your Vision” Session, please click the link below.