Every year, people of all walks of life look to the beginning of the New Year as a fresh start, a chance to set goals for self improvement over the 12 months to come. The unfortunate reality, however, is that while plenty of people make New Year’s resolutions, very few are ever accomplished.
Research from the University of Scranton shows that only 8% of Americans actually succeed with their resolutions, despite roughly 45% of Americans making them nearly every year.
Most of these resolutions have to do with making healthy changes (like losing weight or quitting smoking), improving finances, or taking steps to a happier life (like pursuing hobbies, removing stress, laughing more, etc.).
Oddly enough, resolutions to improve relationships rarely show up in surveys – but the resolution-makers are missing something very, very important: resolving to improve your marriage (and sticking to it) can actually help you improve ALL of the areas those common resolutions focus on.
Think about it – if you decide to make your family and home life more supportive, happier, and healthier, you are also creating a supportive environment for other positive changes you want to make. Things like a healthier lifestyle, getting exercise, thinking positively, watching your spending, and all the rest are all made easier when you have a support system – namely your spouse.
If the two of you can work together to make your connection as strong as it can possibly be, then the two of you have the tools you need to push each other (and hold each other accountable) to achieve goals throughout the year.
One of the most important components of achieving your New Year’s goals is specificity. Instead of just a general “I want to improve my marriage this year,” set specific goals that you can measure and track. If you want to spend more time together, plan to have a date night once a week, and keep track of whether or not you do it!
If you want to improve communication, lay out exactly how you plan on achieving this – write it down! Maybe it’s a reminder to yourself to keep your temper in check, or to be a better listener, or to be more expressive with your opinions. Whatever area you want to improve, make a detailed plan. The more detailed your plan (and the steps within in), the more likely you will be to stay on track.
This New Year, look to spend more time with your spouse, improve your communication, work together on a budget, and take steps to improve your sex life. Improving these aspects of your life together will help you build the strength and confidence to achieve your other goals, and pursuing them will become a team effort for both of you!
Having a strong marriage, where both of you can act as a support system for each other, will boost your confidence and overall happiness, and with this improved attitude, make all of your other goals that much more attainable.
Happy New Year!