As a couple, you might be interested in creating New Year’s resolutions to improve your relationship. But you might be stumped about where to start – especially since resolutions tend to get a bad rap.
The reason? We usually don’t follow our hearts or our values.
We asked three relationship experts for their suggestions on setting meaningful resolutions for 2013. Below you’ll find specific steps for creating goals that truly help you cultivate your connection and boost your relationship.
Focusing on Your Identity as a Couple
Jeffrey Sumber, M.A., a therapist, author and professor, suggested couples ask themselves these three questions when crafting their resolutions:
“Who are we as a couple?”
“What do we want to create in the next year in our relationship?”
“What are we willing to contribute to the process moving forward?”
Clinical psychologist Meredith Hansen, Psy.D, suggested couples first discuss 2012, specifically focusing on the positive aspects of your relationship.
Next, consider how you’d like to “grow” your relationship in the New Year, she said. “Pinpoint aspects of the relationship that you would both like to improve and jointly identify steps you can take to initiate that change,” she said.
For instance, according to Hansen, if your goal is to be more respectful to each other, one partner might say, “I will work to improve the words and tone of voice I use during our interactions.” The other partner might say, “I will work on stopping what I’m doing in order to make eye contact with you when you’re talking to me.”
Read more: Margarita Tartakovski, Psych Central