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Give Your Relationship Goals the ‘Green Light’

Written by Deborah Grayson Riegal, Communication Coach for JRetroMatch
Jewish Dating, Jewish Singles Communication
Whether you want to end a go-nowhere relationship, find a better match for your lifestyle, or just get back into the dating game after an absence, your first step in getting yourself into the right frame of mind is identifying a goal that makes you want to GO towards something.

What? Isn't that obvious?

Not really. Think about the differences in these goals that any of us might have:

Lose 15 lbs. vs. Feel confident and attractive on the beach next summer
Get out of debt vs. Gain enough financial freedom to buy an apartment or house
Stop dating fault-finding people vs. Find a romantic partner who supports me, and makes feel great about myself

See the difference? Green Light Goals give you a clearer picture of where you want to go by creating a compelling, appealing positive vision of a future state.

It works -- and I'm not alone in prescribing this. In his book, "Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life", Alan Deutschman shares decades of scientific evidence that shows that positively reframing life's challenges can put us in the driver's seat on a faster track towards goal achievement.

So here's some practical magic (aka “homework”):

  • Write down 3 goals you have for your dating life (e.g. “I won’t have date more than three nights a week – it’s too exhausting!”)
  • Re-write them so that they make you say "Yes! I want to do that!" That's how you know you have a Green Light Goal (e.g. “I will make sure that I have enough time and energy to get to the gym, see friends AND go on dates every week.”)
  • Break your Green Light Goal into small, specific actions (e.g. “Meet Kim at Tuesday and Thursday night spin class”)
  • Post those Green Light goals and actions someplace where you can see them every day. As Confucius said, "The palest ink is better than the sharpest memory."

And don’t go it alone! If you need support, try this with a friend, family member, therapist or coach.

Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW, is the Head Coach of, and helps Jewish organizations and individuals achieve personal and professional "Success without the Tsuris" through coaching, training and speaking.

Deborah’s energetic workshops and speaking programs are in high demand with North American Jewish organizations, Fortune 500 companies, national and local government agencies, and small start-ups, and her one-on-one coaching has propelled Jewish professionals across industries and interests to get farther, faster.

Deborah was the Director of Education and Training for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at United Jewish Communities (UJC), where she developed innovative training programs for Federation professionals and lay-leaders, and co-authored an award-winning interactive solicitation training website. Deborah also worked at the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) as the Director of the only program in North America that trains senior citizens to be lobbyists. In addition, Deborah was a key player in the development of New York’s Makor/Steinhardt Center for young Jewish professionals.

Deborah is on the faculty for both the Wexner Heritage Program and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical school. A popular conference speaker for both the American Society of Training and Development and Training Magazine’s Conference and Expo, Deborah was awarded membership into the National Speakers Association in 2005. She is also a member of the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals, the Jewish Communal Service Association, and the International Coach Federation. Deborah is a graduate of Coach U. and is a Certified DiSC® Practitioner.

Deborah’s expertise in developing training and coaching for professionals and lay leaders in the Jewish communal world was highlighted when she authored “Corporate Universities in the Non-Profit Sector”, a chapter in the book The Next Generation of Corporate Universities (Allen, Ed, Wiley 2007).

Deborah earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, and her M.S.W. at Columbia University, supporting her expensive school habit by performing improvisational and stand-up comedy.

She and her husband Michael are the proud parents of twins, Jacob and Sophie, who inspire her to choose naches over tsuris everyday.

For more information, visit or email Deborah at

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