Married, dating or single? Regardless, we can all make little changes to improve our relationships and lives. Here are 15 resolutions that can make all the difference.
Hint: Pick one or two! Don’t try to do everything and don’t be too rigid with yourself. After all, we want your life to get better, right?
I resolve to BOOST MARITAL INTIMACY by…
- Offering simple physical affection once a day. Remember to refuel your partner’s personal-touch piggy bank daily. Hold his hand on the walk from the parking lot into the store. Give her a hug when she gets home from work. If, by the end of the day, you haven’t performed an out-of-the-ordinary physical show of affection, lean over for a good night kiss. The act doesn’t have to be monumental if it’s done with love.
- Giving my loved one a frequent, genuine compliment. “You look nice today,” “I forgot how good you are at [fill in the blank],” or “You make me laugh,” are just the tip of the compliment iceberg. And the best part? You’ll find yourself spending time thinking about the personality traits you appreciate in your partner.
- Sharing my feelings, weekly. If your partner often wishes you’d open up more, consider sharing a feeling once a week. Start small if this doesn’t come naturally to you. Pick a time and day when you are most apt to feel something. Friday after work? “Babe…I can’t tell you how relieved I am to be done with the week. I am really looking forward to spending the weekend with you.”
- Always having a date night on the books. Life may not accommodate a weekly date night, but you can get the ball rolling by scheduling that dinner and movie now. Book the babysitter, make a reservation and buy the tickets. Schedule the next date night as soon as the last one ends.
- Surprising my loved one with a gift, monthly. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but bringing home a token of your affection, “just because,” can make your partner feel loved, seen and important. Looking to spice things up in the bedroom? Consider an overnight stay in a swanky hotel, lingerie, a fun toy or a new video.
I resolve to DATE BETTER by…
- Asking more direct questions. Finding the date’s behavior questionable? Don’t beat around the bush and leave yourself wondering if the behavior is typical. Ask him or her about it. “Do you normally drink so much and drive home?” “You mention money a lot in our conversations. Are you stressed about finances?” “You seem to be distracted by your phone. Is everything ok?”
- Believing the red flags. It’s easy to make excuses for people you date. “She probably didn’t mean to yell at that waiter.” If this sounds like you, this year, let a person’s behavior stand for itself. If their actions make you uncomfortable, listen to those feelings and cut things off. There are other fish in the sea whose behavior will put you at ease.
- Giving the nice guy or girl a second (or third) date. Alternatively, you might find yourself less interested in the guy or girl who seems nervous, “too nice,” or “too into you.” If you could be friends with the person, it might be worth giving him or her a second (or third) date. Change up the venue and type of activity to see if they bring something different to the table in a different setting.
- Being less evasive. Yes, you just met this person (theoretically) but the idea is to get to know one another, right? You don’t have to unleash your entire life story on night one, but if you can’t share personal details, it’s time to push yourself further.
- Playing no games. Reply to texts and calls on a timeframe that doesn’t factor in “what he/she will think.” Don’t withhold genuine compliments for fear of scaring someone off. The right person won’t play games and will not be turned off by someone who’s forward. If you’re dating someone who plays games, see #1 or #2 of this section.
I resolve to LOVE MYSELF BETTER by…
- Giving myself a daily compliment. Before you get started with your day, find something to appreciate in yourself. This will be harder for some than others, but it doesn’t have to be major. “You have killer hair,” “Nice job on hitting snooze only twice this morning,” or “I love how empathetic you are.” If nothing else, you can acknowledge your determination to find a compliment. 🙂
- Backing out of my toxic relationship. Do you constantly feel drained, exhausted, judged or negatively affected after hanging out with someone in your life? Do you find yourself secretly wishing you’d spend less time with him or her? It may be time to do just that … spend less time with him or her.
- Scheduling time for myself, weekly. Some people have a really hard time putting themselves first. If you fall into this camp, schedule in the time and tell your partner in advance of your plans. “I need some ‘me’ time. On Saturday morning, I’m planning to go for a two-hour hike at 8am.” If you’re a parent of small kids, be sure to leave the house so you don’t get sucked into the drama.
- Cooking myself a nourishing meal, weekly. If finding time (or the ability) to cook is difficult, join a meal-delivery service like Sun Basket. Pre-portioned, prepared ingredients come right to your door, eliminating the need for a shopping trip and some basic prep work. Plus, these services typically accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions and cooking experience levels.
- Finding more work-life balance. If you want to work less, make it happen in 2018. Talk to your boss about prioritizing tasks and finding ways to cut back without affecting the team or your overall career. If balance doesn’t feel possible, it may be time to consider a new job or company.
If you find yourself struggling to make changes in your life, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We have trained and credentialed coaches ready to help you achieve your relationship goals in 2018.
To your emotional health,