It’s that time of year again! People around the world will form New Year’s resolutions with the intent of improving their lives over the next 12 months.
Unfortunately, though, most people don’t follow through!
Research suggests that, even though 52% of people feel confident that they’ll stay on top of their resolutions, only about 12% of people even come close! Those aren’t very hopeful odds as we break into the New Year, but there’s good news yet!
According to a study published on USA.gov ranked the following as the most common resolutions:
1. Drink less alcohol
2. Get a better education
3. Get a better job
4. Get fit
5. Lose weight
6. Manage debt
7. Manage stress
8. Quit smoking
9. Save money
10. Take a trip
You might notice that not ONE of these common resolutions has anything to do with improving relationships… And that’s a big problem!
We think that the other areas of your life, from the enthusiasm you have for self-improvement to your commitment to developing new habits, can all stem from (and be supported by) a healthy relationship with your spouse. Think about it – if you and your partner are rock solid, offering each other encouragement and holding each other accountable throughout any challenges you may face, you’re that much more likely to stick to plans and follow through on your goals.
A strong marriage can fill you with confidence, give you a reason to be a better you, and perhaps most important – it means that someone will hold you accountable for what you want to accomplish.
What does all of this mean?
Well, instead of making resolutions to lose weight or develop a new skill, resolve to work on your marriage – and it will build a foundation for achieving your other goals as well! Not only will improving your marriage set you down a path toward improvement of all kinds, you’ll also be tackling this resolution with a partner – and that’s all the more reason to stick to it!
Here are a few great places to start:
• Develop communication skills – learn more about emotional triggers and communication styles (especially your own), and resolve to be more open, honest, and conscientious in your communication.
• Make a budget and stick to it – remove arguments about money from the equation by making a detailed budget, then making it the law of the land! Make sure you both agree on it, and once it’s set – it’s set.
• Spend more time together – simply enjoying each other’s company away from distractions – without burying yourselves in TV or technology – will do wonders for you marriage. You’ll feel more connected, get back in touch with each other’s sense of humor, and so much more…
• Improve conflict resolution – disagreements are going to happen from time to time, but how you handle them makes a world of difference. Spend some effort learning about conflict resolution, effective apologies, and controlling your temper – allowing little spats to pass without causing too much damage.
• Jumpstart your sex life – the physical connection you share is hugely important, and can be worked on and developed just like any other area of your marriage. Talk openly about sex with your spouse and make sure that you’re both getting the most of out it.
Each and every one of these marital resolutions will have a positive impact on your relationship – and ultimately, on your whole life. You’ll feel more secure in the marriage, and happier in a general kind of way… Which usually translates into the confidence and energy to tackle other areas of self-improvement, as well as an important support structure – your spouse.
Start with your marriage. Focus on improving that first, and just see what kind of difference it makes throughout the rest of your life. Happy New Year!