We all want something more out of our lives, from a better job to a better marriage, or maybe just a new car or to take a vacation. Whatever it may be, it’s safe to say that almost everyone wants something. Why not make it a reality this year?
To know what you truly want, you have to take a moment to assess what you have. Spend some time, preferably with your partner, to talk about the past year – what made you happy, your favorite memories, what you feel like you missed out on, and what you wanted to achieve that you didn’t get around to.
IMPORTANT: When you’re going over the past year, don’t dwell on perceived failures, this won’t do you any good. Don’t think in terms of failure, it will block you from success. Instead, think about your missed opportunities with a sense of optimism – it’s something to shoot for this year.
Talk to your partner about what’s important to both of you, and work on a plan to achieve those things. It may be useful to rank your goals in order of importance – maybe you’d really like a new boat, but sorting out the tension with your mother-in-law takes priority – when you know what you want to accomplish, it is easier to start working for it.
In your “year in review” conversation, make sure to talk about the good and the bad, and give them equal weight. If you and your spouse had a particularly great time at a friend’s dinner party, discuss the factors that made the evening special, and what you can do to recreate that feeling. If you had a particularly terrible argument, talk about it with a cool head, figuring out how to avoid hurtful language or how to approach disagreements constructively. Allow yourself to learn from the past year’s events, both positive and negative.
Resolutions don’t always have to be about change, either. Think about what you’re grateful for this year, and what you have to do to maintain that in the year to come. Talk about what is working well, and “resolve” to keep on track. If you’re still succeeding in last year’s resolutions, keep it up!
Starting the New Year can be a great opportunity to look at your life in perspective, to assess what’s truly important to you, and to take the first steps toward solving problems. Spend some time with your partner to determine where the two of you want to be, everyone wants something.
For more on how to work with your partner to achieve your mutual goals, check out the StrongMarriageNow System [link].
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, StrongMarriageNow.com