2012 is slowly winding down, and it is time to start thinking about what the New Year will bring. With New Year’s Eve coming on Monday, you have the entire last weekend of 2012 to make plans for relationship resolutions. If you are like most couples, the past year has been filled with happiness and sorrow, success and mistakes. In saying goodbye to the year, why not take the time to say goodbye to the things that haven’t been good within your relationship? Take the time to sit down with your partner and discuss ways to make your relationship better.
-Forgiveness. In order to move into the New Year with a positive frame of mind, it is important to forgive the past. If you have not forgiven your spouse for a wrong, now is the time. Unforgiveness is like a slow poison that seeps throughout your being, filling you with a bitterness that will eventually become a wedge between you and your partner. Forgiveness does not mean you condone what your partner did. Forgiveness is a means of coming to peace with it so that you can move forward.
-Evaluate your biggest problems. For some couples this may be finances. For others it may be lack of communication, or any myriad of issues. Discuss your problems, and come up with ways to improve. Take the time to listen to each other ideas so that both of you are equally vested in the decision.
-Talk about ways to improve upon that which is already good. Every couple has certain strengths within their relationship. Talk about those, and let them be a validation to the both of you that you are doing something right. Talk about ways to make things even better. Make a vow to never take the good parts of your relationship for granted.
-Discuss your sex life. As long as you’re evaluating your relationship over the past year, now is a great time to discuss your sex life. Be playful about it. Laugh together. Make suggestions as to how it can be better.
-Give yourselves something to look forward to in 2013. Perhaps you want children. Is 2013 the year to start a family? Perhaps you are thinking of buying your own home. Now may be the time to start making plans. Perhaps the both of you want to become healthier. Doing it together can be a fun way to make your goal a success. Plan meals together. Cook together. Go for walks together. Hold each other accountable. Give up at least one bad habit each, whether it be smoking or drinking too many soft drinks.
Make 2013 a year that you both will remember as a positive one for your relationship. At the end of 2013, you can re-evaluate. By doing this you are mindfully making your relationship a priority.
*Cheryl is also the Charlotte Conflict Resolution Examiner. Be sure to subscribe!