We have ushered in a new year once again. Most people consider it a tradition to come up with their personal resolutions, and many use this as an opportunity to look back to the “year that was” and reflect on the changes they wish to achieve for the coming year. Whether it’s about losing weight, striving to excel in the workplace, quality time with the kids, to save up more or quit smoking or drinking... resolutions are all about desiring a better life.
The New Year is always the symbol of new beginnings and of striving to be a better you. Richard Carlson, author of the bestselling book, "The Don't Sweat Affirmations" quotes that, "Yesterday is just a vanishing thought. Today I have the opportunity to start fresh and create miracles". Indeed, it's never too late for a fresh start.
If there is one area in our lives which often deserve a fresh start, it is the area of relationships - this is true for most married couples. The New Year is one of the perfect moments to look into your relationship as a couple and consider areas which you feel you need to work on, what keeps you connected and aim towards developing your love and friendship even more.
Aside from your own individual resolutions, make one as a couple. Here are some suggested resolutions as inspired by my own personal learning experiences, as well as shared insights from my married friends:
1. Have a regular one-on-one dialogue with your partner. Schedule a regular time to sit down with your husband or wife to "talk". It could even be a monthly thing for you and your spouse. Choose the proper venue and right time to do this. Consider an atmosphere with as little distractions as possible. During your dialogue, be sure to listen, listen, and listen. Be conscious of your words and emotions. Never ever pre-judge or assume; instead, give each other "talking time" to express and be open of each others' thoughts and feelings.
2. Keep the romance alive in your relationship. Increase your level of physical intimacy and sexual relationship. Plan your send honeymoon by taking an out-of-town trip or going out on a romantic date. Spend a quiet, intimate moment at home without the kids by watching romantic movies; set up a candlelight dinner, or play your favorite love songs. Write each other love letters or surprise each other with simple gifts. Resolve to say "I love you" to each other more often.
3. Improve your family relations. Discuss ways to resolve family conflicts together most especially with your respective in-laws. Reach out and extend yourselves to each other's families. Be a loving support to each other in times of family conflict.
4. Work out your personal differences. Rather than focusing on your partner's faults and weaknesses or unresolved issues, work on how to lovingly relate with one another. Be conscious of each other’s emotional needs such as constant affirmation, trust, understanding and acceptance. Be your partner’s best friend by helping each other rise above your respective mistakes and weaknesses.