The New Year is just around the corner! As January 1st approaches, we can’t help but think about new beginnings and start making plans for the year to come. Just about everybody has things they want to improve on, and restarting the annual cycle has a way of putting those goals and concerns right at the front of our minds.
Unfortunately, most of those resolutions – even when they have best intentions – fall by the wayside pretty quickly. We obsess over the opportunity to begin anew, but soon the luster wears off, we settle back into our routines, and keep on doing the same old things we did last year. Research suggests that just 12% of people come anywhere close to fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions.
Part of the problem is ineffective goal setting and tracking… Not sticking with initial efforts, making too drastic of a change too quickly (especially with things like diet and exercise), or not knowing where to begin. People also lose sight of their goals because they don’t back up their actions with a purpose.
With that idea in mind, resolutions to improve your marriage provide you with accountability (by sharing the promise with your spouse), as well as a sense of purpose to keep you on track. You are a part of your marriage every single day, and it affects nearly everything you do. What sense of purpose could be better? Making your marriage as strong, happy, and satisfying as possible has a direct impact on your own happiness, sense of support, and overall satisfaction with life!
So – even if you’re making other resolutions this year – choose one of the following to tackle in the New Year:
• Improved Communication – This could be simply talking more openly with each other, improving your listening skills, asking each other more questions, or feeling more comfortable tackling difficult topics. Start small and work toward talking comfortably and calmly about anything!
• Better Sex Life – Trying new things, feeling more confident, flirting throughout the day, setting aside time for intimacy, etc. can all help improve your sex life. Like any of these goals, it takes time to really see results – but if you stick with it, remember the purpose behind it, and really put in the effort, your sex life will only get better and better as 2017 goes on!
• Conflict Resolution – Resolving conflict, apologizing, and offering forgiveness are actually skills that you can develop. Taking the time to learn the methods is like an investment into your future, allowing you to more effectively deal with problems when they arise, and not hold grudges and negative feelings toward each other. You can commit to studying the pieces, and put them into practice every time a conflict happens.
• Budget – So many couples fight about money, but don’t have a budget or financial plan to help them get on the same page. With this resolution, the two of you can make a financial plan for the year to come, agree on it, and refer back to it any time there’s a disagreement about spending.
• More Quality Time – This is probably the best thing you can do for your marriage, and it’s as simple as setting time aside – away from distractions – to spend with one another. This helps nearly every aspect of your marriage, from communication to sex, simply because the more quality time you spend together, the closer you get… And the closer you get, the more you care.
If you can both agree to take on one or more of these things as your 2017 New Year’s resolution, you stand a good chance of sticking with it. You’ll have each other for support and accountability, you can move as gradually as you need to, and you have the ultimate sense of purpose: the health and safety of your relationship!
Here’s to a new year, and improved attitude, a commitment to positive change, and making your marriage the best its ever been!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com