Creating New Year Resolutions With Your Spouse

Creating New Year Resolutions With Your Spouse | KeatingBartlett.com

This is the second year that Zack and I have decided to create our own New Year resolutions. I saw another couple do this and though “Wow! Why haven’t I thought of that?”. We spend so much time creating goals for ourselves each year, but it’s not typical that a couple would create resolutions together for their own personal relationship. So I decided to try it out. Like any other resolution, it lasted a couple of months and then I completely forgot about it for a little bit. Being that we started 2016 in separate countries, it was so important for us to focus on our marriage as much as we could. So they really helped for those first few months. Then we instantly came back to them when he returned home and life became stressful and hard again with all the transitions.

While we failed at sticking with them for 100% of the year, the time we did spend focused on them helped us out a ton. By the end of the year, our marriage was significantly better and stronger than it was at the start of the year. So since this new year is going to be full of so many changes, we decided to make resolutions again this year so that we’re continuously focused on ourselves regardless of how busy life is getting for us. As new parents, I feel that these are even more important as it can be easy to put your marriage on the back burner when you have a new addition to the family. So if you’re a new parent or are about to be this year, then these are essential for your relationship!

SO WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS WITH YOUR SPOUSE?

For the same reason that you create resolutions for yourself. To improve your marriage in some way throughout the year. To give yourself a goal and something to work towards to make your marriage stronger and better than ever. To work together with your partner to find new ways to grow together. It can be something small like finding more time for date nights or dedicating a certain part of your day to tech-free time together or something bigger like learning to communicate more effectively, rebuilding trust, or any other bigger issue the two of you may be having. The goals will vary from couple to couple, but the point of it is to focus on something that isn’t working as well in your marriage and find new ways to fix it and make it better. I’m a strong believer in fixing things that are broken rather than throwing them away. A marriage is no different.

HOW TO CREATE RESOLUTIONS WITH YOUR SPOUSE:

Pick a night or time of the day where the two of you are both home together at the same time and can have that uninterrupted time together to talk. This can be late at night after the kids go to bed or even during a lunch date in the middle of your work day. Whatever works for you and your schedules. I’d say to give yourselves a good hour to really dig deep and talk about the issues you may be having in your marriage. As I mentioned before, your marriage goals are going to be different from other couples. So don’t feel bad or weird if your marriage needs a little more work. These resolutions are in place to help you fix those issues!

When we make resolutions, we make a resolution that we’re working on together as well as one for each of us as individuals to keep it a bit more well-rounded. So first and foremost, go over your individual needs. This takes good communication skills and sometimes a whole lot of patience. But don’t be afraid to tell your partner if you’re lacking in terms of what you need out of the relationship. If you need them to listen more, then tell them. If you need them to help out more around the house, then ask for that help. If there’s a more serious issue that hasn’t yet been resolved, then bring it up. Your spouse needs to know what you need out of the marriage as well as what they can do to help you and make sure those needs are met. In return, you too need to listen to your partner when they tell you what they need from the marriage as well. It’s a two-way street so be patient and understanding when listening to what they have to say.

Once you determine what you each need to be focused on individually, it’s time to come up with a resolution that you both are working towards together whether it be learning to communicate better or taking the time out of your busy schedules to focus on your marriage. Find an issue that you’re having and find a way to resolve it or work towards making it better. Maybe this even involves getting a therapist involved and dedicating an hour of your week to marriage counseling. That’s perfectly okay too! Again, do what you have to do for your marriage.

OUR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017:

So after a bit of a discussion with my husband, we came up with the following resolutions:

MY RESOLUTION: To learn how to ask for help more often.

While I hate when women expect their partners to know what’s going on in their heads, I myself am guilty of never asking for help because I expect Zack to know when I might be needing it. Most times it’s smaller things like helping with the dishes or cooking dinner or straightening up the house. When I ask him to do something, he never has an issue doing it. In fact, 9 times out of 10, he gets up instantly to do it. But the problem is that I never ask him to do it. And I need to do that more often. So now I’ll be trying to do better with delegating household tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed and stressed out all the time feeling like I have to do it all.

ZACK’S RESOLUTION: To be a bit more patient and understanding when I’m having bad mental health days.

In his defense, he just doesn’t know how to help sometimes when I’m having a bad day. I know he feels lost and a bit confused when I’m moody out of nowhere or if I just wake up not feeling like myself. I imagine that’s quite frustrating for him. So this is actually something we’ll be working on together a bit. I need to communicate with him more when something is bothering and tell him how he can help me. In turn, he’ll be learning to be more patient and understanding of the fact that sometimes it’s just not my fault that I woke up the way that I did. So this will be a work in progress this year.

OUR RESOLUTION: To learn to listen more and talk less.

Gosh we’re so bad with this. It’s horrible, you guys. It’s the one thing that keeps us from having excellent communication skills. We’re both talkers more than we are listeners. We both want to be the one that’s heard and when it comes down to having to be the one to listen, we both seem to mentally check out a bit. And it just doesn’t work. So we need to learn to work together to solve issues in a way that benefits both of us. And this will have to involve those listening skills that we’re lacking. So this will be our big goal for the year.

Our marriage is in a really good place right now so I have high hopes for this year in terms of our marriage goals and resolutions. I have no doubt that we’ll be even better by the end of the year and I am so excited to see where this year takes us. This year, I challenge you and your spouse to take your marriage to the next level and create some resolutions of your own!

Do you make resolutions with your spouse each year? What are your resolutions for this year?

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  • Jen

    i think this is a wonderful idea! Marriage is a partnership and creating goals like this together will only make your relationship stronger. 🙂

    • Thanks Jen! I completely agree! It’s so good to do check-in’s throughout the year to make sure your marriage is running smoothly. With everything we have going on in our lives, it can be super easy to push issues off to the side which can lead to larger, more serious issues down the road. So tackling them head on throughout the year is so beneficial!

  • Leslie Soto

    You are so right! I just had that “why didn’t I think of this” moment when I was reading this post. I think i’ll sit down with my hubby tonight and make some new year’s resolutions together. This seems so empowering and it can really bring you together as a couple when you talk about these things!

    • I’m so glad you found this helpful and motivational! I hope you find it beneficial for your own marriage! 🙂

  • This is such a great idea and a great way to work aspects of marriage that need improving. I’m definitely open to trying this out with my spouse.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’m so glad you found this helpful. I’m always looking for ways to improve our marriage. If something’s not working, we address the issue and fix it. So these goals and plans are really important to us.

  • What a perfect idea. It seems like common sense that couples would do this yet I’ve never thought of this. I definitely would love to try this.

  • I’ve seen couples do this and I’ve always thought it’s the coolest thing! Definitely something I want to do with my husband if/when I get married. 🙂

    • I love doing them! 🙂 they’re always so helpful. We do check-in’s throughout the year as well to make changes when needed.

  • Such wonderful resolutions, Keating! My husband and I didn’t make resolutions this year but we set goals for our first year of marriage so I’m excited to work on those.

    • Thanks Jenny! That’s so great that the two of you set some goals for your first year! I hope you’re able to achieve every single one of them 🙂

  • I can’t tell you how much I love this. Unfortunately, it’s hard enough trying to encourage my husband to make any goal or resolution. Who knows, maybe making them together would make all the difference.

    • I’m so glad you loved this Angie! My husband also isn’t big on goals and resolutions so I actually kind of trick him into this each year haha rather than going into it wanting to set some resolutions together, try just having an open and honest conversation instead. Look at it as more of a check-in (which I also feel is super important to do every few months). It’s a great way to see what needs are or are not being met in your marriage and together you can come up with a way to solve them together. So rather than saying “let’s make a resolution to listen more”, just simply tell him something like “I’ll try to ____ if you try harder to ____”. Does that make sense? I hope? lol Sometimes it’s the way you approach and word things that makes all the difference with men haha

  • We started doing this a few years ago together and it’s amazing! Helps you keep each other on track and grow closer together!

    • That’s great Chelsea! I’m so glad it works out well for you! It’s such a helpful tool in growing together as a couple.

  • This post was perfect! My husband and I have been talking about sitting down and chatting about our individual resolutions and this post really helped with ideas for resolutions for us to make together!

    -Kylie https://livingwhimsicaldreams.blogspot.com

    • Thanks so much Kylie! I hope this was helpful and motivational for you! This is so important to any relationship. It’s always good to check in with your spouse periodically to make sure both your needs are being met and find ways you can improve upon it. It’s so helpful in growing as a couple.

  • Amanda Rae

    My fiancé and I do this! Very cute.

    xoxo Amanda
    http://tiredofmondays.com

    • That’s so great!! I hope it works well for you! I always see huge changes in our marriage when we implement these resolutions 🙂

  • Great idea, goal planning with your partner/spouse is definitely a great way to strengthen and move into the new year with a positive outlook and fresh start!

    • Thank you so much! I like your point on going into the new year with a fresh start! That’s so important and I really should have highlighted that in my post as well (maybe it’ll have to be its own post in the future). But we do our best to enter each year without the stress of anything that happened in the prior year. So any issues we may have had, aren’t allowed to be issues anymore. We’re then spending the next year working on fixing those so that they’re no longer issues for us. And this goes for issues that have been resolved as well. Once they’re resolved, they’re not to be brought back up later. It really helps in keeping it positive as you enter into a new year.

  • Thank you! 🙂

  • That’s so great, Laura! That’s another awesome way to connect with your spouse and work on something together as a couple! 🙂 it wasn’t necessarily a resolution of ours, but when my husband was overseas for 12 months, we both made it a priority to focus on our health in that year. It helped me so much motivation-wise to know that he too was working on it as well (although my healthy living habits seemed to have stuck more so than his did haha). That year, I was the healthiest I’d ever been 🙂

  • Thanks Rachel! I definitely feel so much stronger as a couple when we’re able to sit down and talk about these things. It’s really important to lay it all out there on the table so that you know what needs to be worked on to make your marriage stronger. Otherwise those issues can really build up and become bigger down the road.

  • Thanks so much Lauren! 🙂 my husband and I are big talkers. And while he’s better at listening than I am, it’s still something we really have to work on. I feel like that’s one of our more bigger issues that we’re consistently working on. Definitely involve your spouse this year and find something the two of you can work on together!

  • Thanks Alissa! I’m glad you and your husband work together on your own resolutions as well! It’s such a great team-building exercise that can have a lot of great long-term benefits as well.