What are your New Year’s resolutions for the coming year? Many times people set goals that include specific career, weight, and financial goals. How about setting some specific relationship goals? Below are five things you must do to renew your relationship in the New Year.1) TAKE INVENTORY This conversation can be fun and invigorating or be anxiety provoking! However, this is a conversation you must have to learn the areas that need to be strengthened in your relationship for the New Year. A few great questions to start the conversation can be: “What do you want the new year to look like for us as a couple?” “ How do you feel we can get there?” It is important to be specific in your responses with each other. If you want to take it to the next level, write down your thoughts and ideas and have a date night in a month or two to review them.
Many times if communication is a challenge in a relationship, resentments and hurts can build. In most cases, the other partner may have no idea what the hurts and resentments are in the relationship. How about making a clean start that involves releasing your toxins that are eating away at the relationship by addressing them with your partner? You want to decide to let go of the emotions instead of dumping them on your partner. Before discussing with your partner, you can journal your feelings and start focusing on how the relationship can have a pleasant aroma after taking out the garbage.
3) BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR TONE
When you share your hurts and resentments with your partner, I recommend saying it in a calm, low tone of voice. You want to stay away from telling your partner what they are doing wrong rather focus on how it makes you feel. You can also take it a step farther by asking your partner how you can improve in this relationship. This will allow you to set the tone for open dialogue and constructive criticism on both ends.
4) CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Imagine planning a vacation without knowing where you want to go? Usually we know where we want to go for vacation and make a plan to get there. Why not do the same things for your relationship? Instead of expecting your partner to do all the work, take the lead in initiating change. This can be a time to focus on yourself and how you can contribute in a more positive way to your relationship.
5) SET A REGULAR BOARD MEETING
How many of us work for companies that have regular meetings? How about setting a regular meeting with your partner, be it weekly or monthly, to discuss “old business” and “new business” as part of the “meeting agenda?” I recommend that couples set up a “couples dialogue” session, which includes a designated speaker and listener for a set amount of time. The meetings do not have to be “formal” but can also include casual walks, after all men tend to open up during recreational activities.
The New Year is a great opportunity to review where the relationship has been and where you would like it to go, but keep in mind that both partners have to be ready before diving into a relationship conversation. You want to stay away from the words “we need to talk.” I would recommend asking the partner, “ when would be a good time for us to discuss our relationship goals and how we can improve going forward?”
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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter.