We were recently at a conference in Nashville with Michael Hyatt and Best Year Ever LIVE. This is our 2nd year to attend this two-day intensive goal setting event. But goal setting just doesn’t encompass what this time is really about. One aspect is reviewing the accomplishments of the past year.

I am a driven, high achiever; so goal setting isn’t new to me however it’s not usually accompanied by a review of the past. If I’m looking back, it’s to check something off as “complete” or because I feel regret and shame about not accomplishing something I set out to do.

Spending some time revisiting the past year’s goals and dreams was very helpful. It revealed action patterns and beliefs that could be getting in the way of my success.  Hear Michael Hyatt’s podcast on Setting Goals as a Couple.

One of the tools taught at this event was developed and is still used by the US Armey called the After Action Review. The steps are pretty clear and here’s how they play out:

  • State what you wanted to happen
  • Acknowledge what really happened
  • Learn from the experience
  • Adjust my behavior

State what we wanted to happen. 

Now that’s an interesting step.

Mike and I set individual goals for several areas of our lives, but we also set goals together. Being married, it is important to us to move in the same direction with our relationship. One way to do this is set goals together.

One of our goals for the past year is to take 3-4 trips (breaks) from our usual daily life to reconnect and recharge.

We find that a minimum of one time away every three months or so is the best rhythm for us to step away from the day-to-day. This break can take many forms. It could be a week-long cruise or just a couple of nights at a friend’s home.

Acknowledge what really happened.

So, how did we do? We accomplished this goal for the past year! YES! Was it easy? NO! Life is always trying to get in the way of things we claim as important. However, that’s why setting goals together is even more important. This way you’re both anticipating the same outcome. Here is how it was to get away and reconnect and refresh.

Learn from the experience.

We dreamed about what would be ideal for us. Decided specifically how much money we could afford to budget for get-aways, and then we PUT THEM ON THE CALENDAR. Then, we made reminders to book reservations or make plans with friends. Now you know just because you put stuff on the calendar doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. You have to be intentional and do the work. But we did, it worked, and we WENT!

Adjust my behavior.

No adjustments needed here since we accomplished what we set out to do – Right? Well, every year is different, so it’s not going to work the same time after time. But we did accomplish what we’d set out to do, and this gave us confidence and fuel to do it again!

This goal is on our couple’s goal list again!

How can you use this After Action Review process to your advantage?

Start small. Set a goal as a couple that will have a deadline of one or two weeks. Use the After Action Review to see how you did and adjust. Reset the goal or set another for the next one or two weeks and go for it. By repeating the process and stretching out your deadlines, you’ll see results and be able to dream a little bigger.

The more you practice these skills, the better you’ll get at winning each one!

Tell us what goal you’re going to set for your first attempt at a couples’ goal.