As the calendar turns another page, many of us find ourselves contemplating the year gone by and setting resolutions for the new year. While physical health and career goals often take center stage, it's equally important to direct our focus toward the relationships that shape our lives. It is a great time to set our intentions for relational health as well. This new year, let's make a conscious effort to strengthen the bonds we share with our partners. Here are some meaningful relationship goals to consider for the coming year.
Make time together your top priority.
During the hectic pace of everyday life, it is easy to let the importance of spending time together slip into the background. Have a resolute intention to set aside certain times for each other throughout the course of this year. It may be a relaxing evening at home, a weekend getaway, or even a weekly date night. It could be any of these things. The key is to cherish and savor the time you have together.
Build a positive perspective on the relationship.
Small things often—a six-second kiss, expressing appreciation for each other, having conversations often—all of this may support you in building a strong foundation for your relationship. As Dr. John Gottman's research has shown, couples that are satisfied with their relationship have 20 positive interactions to 1 negative one during times of non-conflict. All the positive interactions support having a positive perspective on the relationship.
Improve Your Communication Skills:
The ability to communicate effectively supports the foundation of a healthy relationship to begin with. It allows you to feel seen, understood, and validated, which in turn deepens the emotional connection and friendship levels. You should make it a priority to enhance how you communicate with your partner. One way to accomplish this is by actively listening to each other, openly sharing your emotions, or trying to understand before being understood. Showing interest and curiosity in your partner will allow you to get to know each other on a deeper level. When you engage with others regularly, you might want to think about implementing communication exercises or strategies such as active listening.
Cultivate Rituals of Connection:
Activities and interests that are shared lead to a sense of togetherness. Find or rediscover pastimes that you and your partner both love doing. Whether it's learning something new together, going on a hike, or cooking together, engaging in activities that you do together helps to establish a connection and generates memories that will last a lifetime. Not always do we share interests, and that is normal. Showing support and interest in your partner's activities of choice will allow you to get to know each other better and may strengthen the bond and feelings of appreciation towards one another.
Express Appreciation Towards One Another:
Expressing appreciation, gratitude, and interest in each other can have a significant influence on the relationships that you have. Set a goal for yourself to routinely acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of your partner, regardless of how big or small they may be. Keeping a gratitude notebook and implementing thankfulness rituals into your daily routine are also beneficial options to consider. A positive perspective on the relationship can be created through the use of this straightforward practice.
Encourage Individual Development:
While it is crucial to take care of your relationship, it is equally important to encourage each other's personal development. Encourage the individual you are with to work toward their own objectives and ambitions. Support them in reaching their dreams. Among these options are the pursuit of additional education, a change in job, or personal development activities. A solid support structure for individual journeys should be provided, and it is important to celebrate each other's accomplishments.
Approach conflict in a constructive manner.
Conflict is an unavoidable aspect of any relationship; nevertheless, the way we handle it can make all the difference. Make it your mission to approach conflict in a productive manner rather than trying to avoid it. The goal is to learn and practice skills for conflict resolution, to concentrate on understanding each other's points of view, and to make a commitment to finding solutions that are good for both parties. As mentioned before, Dr. John Gottman’s research showed that couples that are satisfied in their relationship have a 20–1 ratio during times of non-conflict. The research also showed that these couples had a ratio of 5-1 positive to negative interactions during times of conflict. For that reason, it is important to emphasize building a positive perspective on the relationship. Addressing conflict when we are calm and not when we are flooded. Self-soothing and active listening are key to effective conflict management.
Build a Satisfying Physical Connection:
An intimate physical connection with your partner is important in relationships. You should make it a goal to always cultivate this component of your relationship. When you want to strengthen your physical connection with someone, prioritize friendship and emotional intimacy. This can be accomplished through little gestures of affection, intimate chats, or more intentional moments of closeness. Having fun together is also a great way to build on this area.
As you embark on the adventure of the new year, it is important to keep in mind that constructing stronger ties involves both intention and work. By establishing these relationship goals, you will be able to create a partnership that is more connected and meaningful for both parties. By placing a high priority on your relationship, you are laying the groundwork for a relationship that not only endures the test of time but also flourishes with each passing day.
Cheers to a year filled with love, progress, and the strengthening of our relationships together.
Contact me here, if you are interested in becoming stronger together.