With the start of a new year, naturally there is an opportunity to think about what changes you want to make and where you want to focus your energy in the coming days and weeks. Whether you are a seasoned couple, having spent many years together or a new couple still awash in the glow of infatuation setting intention for the year ahead will be a boon to your relationship. The work you do now will set the tone for the days ahead.
Here are 4 resolutions for your marriage to tackle in 2016.
Put your marriage on the front burner.
Too often intimate relationships, especially your marriage end up on the back burner, if it’s on the stove at all! Jobs, kids, hobbies, spiritual lives, personal free time, tend to come before “working on your marriage.” They shouldn’t! The health of your marriage is a driving factor in how successful you are at all the other ventures you tackle. How satisfying your personal relationships are tends to impact the rest of your life including your physical and mental health. While certainly not the only factor, when your emotional house is in order you free up space and energy to go after your goals and dreams with the support of your partner. Make sure your relationship gets its fair share of your time and energy by making a plan. Beyond the old “regular date night” save all, create a real concrete idea of ways you are going to make your marriage a priority. Try to avoid fuzzy goals like, “spend more time together” or “have more sex.” Instead try, spend 1 hour every evening together or kiss each other every day.
Create 12 goals for your marriage and tackle them one month at a time.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, resolutions tend to be out the window before the end of month one! That’s why 12 goals is key, if you fall right of the resolution wagon, there’s always next month’s goal to get you back on track. In addition, you have a set amount of time to work on a specific goal which will hopefully motivate you to get it done! Your resolutions for your marriage can be simple, or more involved. Relationship goals are so personal, in fact the more personal they feel to you the better. An example of a simple goal might be to try something new together; take a class together, cook a new recipe together once a week or create a couples book club. They can be deeper and more long term too; find a good therapist and attend a set amount of therapy sessions or attend a marriage retreat. The point here is that you are taking action to better your relationship no matter what the current state of your relationship is.
Find help if you need it.
You may have been sailing by for awhile wondering if this is the best your relationship can be. Finding the right relationship help can be a daunting task and it may take a few tries to land on the right mark. Too often couples wait until they are in crisis to start looking for help. Common issues like a sexless marriage, constant conflict and arguing or just a lack of positivity and warmth can all improve with the right help. If you sense there is room for improvement in any area why not jump at the opportunity to set the right course now. Online relationship help can be a great place to start, especially if you ready for help right now. Relationship apps are another fun way to find some help in a light-hearted way. They are not a catch all and are certainly no replacement for skill based relationship education, they are a fun way to tackle your relationship goals with technology on your side!
Create a relationship mission statement.
When you have a mission, you can take purposeful action towards concrete goals. Tsh Oxenreider over at The Art of Simple Living introduced us to the idea of a family purpose statement. It’s a wonderful way to set meaningful intention for and about your family. It works just as well for couples too. The state of your relationship is likely on your mind if you are thinking about resolutions. As Tsh says in her steps, “there is power in putting a dream on paper.” When you take the time to set intentions and commit them to paper you increase the chances of success!
Happy New Year!!