The New Year is upon us, and with it the sense of a fresh start. It’s the time of year when we take stock of our lives, reflect on where we want to be and resolve to makes changes that will help us live the life we want. Yet we know that most New Year’s resolutions are broken within months, if not weeks or days. Perhaps this is because our goals are too big or because we don’t put the proper support and planning into place in order to achieve our goals. (Why do we think that going to the gym will suddenly be easier in January, the month of bad weather and short days?) Instead of making the typical resolution that’s destined to fail, why not make a Relationship Resolution?
The idea is to take small actions that will have a positive impact on you and your relationship. To ensure success with your Relationship Resolution focus on the little things you can do to help improve your relationship. Be realistic. You’re not likely to pull off a complete personality change just because a new year is starting. So “stop criticizing my spouse” might not be a realistic resolution. But, just maybe, you can resolve to focus a little more on the positive.
Below are seven relationship resolutions. Choose two or three to start, or come up with a couple of your own resolutions. This isn’t a relationship overhaul (remember those typical New Year’s resolutions that fail due to poor planning?) This is relationship fine tuning—little actions that will bring a smile to each other’s faces. And that might be all your relationship needs to increase the intimacy and fun. If your relationship really does need an overhaul, these actions might be the first step to improvement and give you hope to carry you through the heavy lifting your relationship needs…once you put the support and planning into place.
- I will find ways to connect with my partner throughout the day, whether by phone, text or notes.
- I will take the time to really kiss my partner each day. (It doesn’t have to be a make-out session, but more than just a kiss in passing as I move on to the next thing that needs to get done.)
- I will go to bed at the same time as my partner. This gives us the opportunity to talk about our day, cuddle, or make love. Even if it’s just a quick hug before going to sleep, at least we’re together instead of in separate rooms.
- I will use techniques to manage my own stress instead of taking it out on my partner. For example, after a stressful day I might let my partner know that I need 20 minutes on my own to unwind.
- I will let my partner know I appreciate them everyday, whether it is by thanking them for doing something around the house or telling them how much I like spending time with them.
- I will do something to make my partner’s day easier and won’t ask for anything in return, even praise. For example, making their lunch, taking out the garbage or picking up the dry cleaning.
- I will let my partner know when I need their support, and what kind of support I need. Rather than expecting them to read my mind, I’ll tell them when I need a hug, when I need them to just listen, or when I need to hear their advice.