Welcome 2021! This week for the podcast I am going back to the vault and bringing out one of my favorite podcasts – wrapped around goals and resolutions in your intimate relationship. I will talk about how to come up with SMART goals and what those are exactly. We will talk about the importance of coming up with the purpose of sex in your marriage and what it looks like for you and your spouse. Are you ready to create change? 2021 is your year!
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With the New Year, you are going to hear a lot about goals and resolutions. I’m all for setting goals! Goals have always been a huge part of my life.
When I was about nine years old, I think, I got my first Franklin Day Planner. My mom worked for Franklin, and both she and my dad were HUGE users of the products, and they taught me how to think about my values, then set long term goals based on those values, then short term goals to meet those long terms goals, and then daily tasks to achieve the short term goals. Man, I kept that day planner faithfully for many, many years. I’ve always been an early adopter of technology, so when calendars and address books went digital, I was on board. I had a palm pilot pretty early on, and then that, of course, got upgraded to a blackberry, and eventually, a smartphone. On all of those devices, I’ve always had a running task list that points me towards larger goals I have for myself.
But as I’ve done more work on myself the past few years with coaching, I’ve realized that my potential doesn’t just lie in what I can accomplish, but who I want to BE! I did a whole episode about this at the end of 2018 (Episode 36). I get to decide WHO I want to be, and that is going to shape what I want to do long term, short term, and daily.
But, since this podcast focuses on your sexual relationship, I’d like to turn this concept that direction.
I want you to ask yourself some questions and write down the answers. I’ve created a worksheet with these questions and space for you to write your answers. You can download it for FREE on my website www.amandalouder.com/podcast/88.
What do you want your sex life to look like in the next year?
Do you want it to be better? How do you want it to change and improve? I would encourage you to set some specific goals.
What can I specifically do to make it better?
Many times we think our sex life is entirely dependent on our spouse, and in some ways, that can be true. But many times, we aren’t looking at ourselves enough and seeing what we personally need to change to make things better.
I have many clients who have said that the way their sex life would be better is if their spouse would quit asking for it so much. But I think you need to turn that around on yourself. What do you need to do? Maybe you need to create more desire for yourself, so you are in the mood more often. Perhaps you need to not reject them so much. Maybe you need to be more compassionate about where they are coming from. So this question is really what work do I need to do on myself in this area.
When making your goals, choose intentionally what you want the purpose of sex to be for you. What is the purpose of sex in your marriage? How can you create that? What might you need to give up to do that? Control? Resentment? People-pleasing? Are you willing to open yourself up to being vulnerable?
What goals can I set for myself
This is where you can really set some SMART goals. Remember SMART goals are
S – Specific (direction, meaningful, actionable)
M – Measurable – (quantifiable to track progress or success)
A – Achievable – (realistic and you have the tools and resources to attain it)
R – Relevant – (it aligns with your life and values)
T – Time-based – (it has a deadline)
What goals can we set as a couple
This would be a great exercise to sit down together and decide as a couple what you want for your sex life and set some SMART goals that way too.
So maybe you have some goals about the frequency of sex. You could set an individual goal of how much you want to initiate. Even if your partner doesn’t say yes, you can still call it a win when your goal is to initiate, and you do it. Maybe as a couple, you want to set a weekly or monthly goal of how many times you want to have sex. We tend to talk about the frequency of sex of “how many times per week.” Sometimes, if it’s not very often, we go to “per month” or even “per year.” Another option is to track how many times and when you do around the woman’s menstrual cycle. See if you can see patterns about when you are more in the mood or less in the mood. Maybe if you can figure out a pattern, then the husband can anticipate higher and lower times.
There are apps that can help you keep track of how many times you have sex, what kind of sex, positions, all sorts of stuff, if you want to get that detailed. I like the app Clue, which tracks my cycle as well as sex. There is also one called xTracker that is more just for tracking sex.
Maybe it’s because I’m a number person, but I have personally tracked how much sex we are having for YEARS! When you aren’t putting a lot of effort into this area, it naturally declines, and I knew I didn’t want that to happen. So I’ve kept track so I could see month to month, year to year, what was happening. I see patterns of when we tend to do it more and when we tend to do it less. But by tracking it, I’m making a conscious effort not to let it decline.
What would increasing the frequency of sex do for your relationship? What would it create? And I’m not talking about sex 3 times a week and you are dragging your feet on it. I’m talking about you genuinely excited to connect with your spouse in this way each and every time. What would that create? Is it worth it?
Maybe you have some goals to spice things up in the bedroom, but you don’t know where to start. I think sometimes we get a little leery about googling ideas because we don’t know what we are going to come across, and I totally hear you. So here are some apps I’ve tried that are kind of fun. All of these apps are on iOS, I’m sorry, I’m not sure about Android, but I’m sure you can find similar ones there.
- iPassion – has some fun question and answer games.
- Gottman Card Decks – has all sorts of questions to ask each other and ideas for new things
- Disckreet – is a private messaging app where you and your spouse can send messages, pictures, and videos, and they won’t get uploaded to the cloud or be available on other devices. It takes a special password to get in.
- Spicer – is a fun app where they give you suggestions for new things to try with your partner, and you can yes, no, or maybe. If your spouse matches what you say, then you get to see the answers and make a list of things you want to try. Some ideas are probably too far fetched for most LDS couples, but lots of ideas to stretch your mind.
- Ultimate Intimacy App – is pretty robust and comes from a Christian perspective, so nothing too crazy. It’s got conversation starters, intimacy games, private chat, 200+ positions that are drawings, so no nudity.
Beyond goals of frequency or initiating, I want you to think about what you want the TONE of sex to be. Is it full of duty, resentment, annoyance, frustration, or pity? Or is it full of fun, excitement, passion, pleasure, connection, and love? I think most people WANT it to be good but are you creating that with your current thinking?
As a couple, you can create a vision for yourself of what you want your sex life to look like. Becoming an intimate team and creating a sexual style together that meets both of your needs. You can even come up with a sexual mission or vision statement. Whatever works for both of you.
When creating this shared vision, think about closeness, connection, pleasure, and comfortableness. Create a clear vision of what will make it easier for you to want to say “yes” and what will make it easier to say “no” to competing priorities.
Speaking of saying “yes,” maybe you want to make this the year of YES! A year of saying “YES” to the sex. A year of saying YES to building your relationship. A year of trying new things. A year of becoming the sexual being you were created to be.
Now, if you are having trouble with any of this, I want to encourage you to sign up for some coaching with me. We can work through all of this together so you can create the sex life you truly want in the New Year!
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