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5 Relationship resolutions for 2020

As the new year gets underway we all get busy doing life and forget we made those new year’s resolutions. Sometimes we succeed at keeping those pledges and other times, well, we all know what often happens. Lose weight, start exercising, go to the gym, stop eating crap. And on and on it goes.
What about instead of making a better you, make a better relationship? In the process of improving your relationship, you will improve yourself.

Here are 5 resolution strategies that you can build into your marriage immediately.

  1. Focus on your Friendship

Research has proven that couples who focus on their friendship stay together! So here is one way to increase your friendship level. In a word, connect. Connect more actually. Instead of the once-in-a-blue-moon date nights, schedule them in. Twice a month works for a lot of married couples. Put them in the calendar and commit to doing it. It helps to share that calendar with your partner. We want to avoid surprises and disappointment.

  1. See into the future

Before the fire goes out on those new year’s resolutions sit down and talk about your dreams, inspirations, aspirations, goals, and fears. Where do you see the relationship in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years? To get inspiration for the future look no further than the last year.  What was your favourite memory from the last 12 months? What did you do that you want to do again as a couple?

Did you create shared meanings, and was there intentionality in the things you did together? Did you play together? Can you increase the level of joint activities?

  1. The 60 Second Blessing

As the proverb goes: “the power of life and death is in the tongue”. Couples often forget that it is the small meaningful things that build and give life to the relationship rather than the big ticket things. When was the last time you showed appreciation to your partner? When did you actually sit down and say something really nice to them, about them?

Get cosy with your partner and take turns expressing your love and appreciation for one another – it’s that simple. Make it real, make it intentional, and have some fun.

  1. Ditch the gadgets and the TV 3 times a week.

Life is busy enough without having to cramp into it other people’s lives. Facebook, Instagram and mindless Netflix ‘originals’ are destroying quality relationship time.  Make time for your loved ones and for yourself this year. Be intentional again. Switch off from social media and spend time with each other. You have far greater success in creating time together if you schedule it in. And for what its worth these are the cheapest date nights you can have. Commit to being present with each other and learning to enjoy their company and talk.

  1. Listen more

This one follows on from the last point. If you are taking the time to be present and engaged with your spouse then listening has to increase. There are really only 2 choices when it comes to listening. You either listen to respond, or you listen for understanding. Unfortunately, we all are guilty of listening to respond rather than to understand the heart of our spouse. It is a challenge to stop yourself from trying to fix, minimize, judge and ignore what people say. The real trick here is to be curious. Actually, take the time to hear what they are saying and ask questions that draw out their thoughts and ideas. Some people have to put themselves in the shoes of a reporter and just be curious. Give it a go. This is one way to really validate what they’re sharing with you and this gives them confidence. Real intimacy is the outcome from listening well.

And a bonus strategy

  1. Get physical

There plenty of good reasons for having more sex. It feels good for one thing but above it create meaningful connections. All sorts of good chemicals are released into the brain with intimate physical contact between two people who are committed to each. Schedule it in if need be but at the very least start by creating desire between you and see what happens.