Now that 2020 has come to a close, I’m sure folks are ready to turn the page a move into 2021.
Resolutions are great because they gives you a chance to clear your mind, reflect on what’s important to you, and move in a positive direction, provide concrete goals that can give you focus and stability, and show others that you are striving towards your dreams. In fact, 74% of Americans say they’re determined to learn something new, make a lifestyle change or set a personal goal in an effort to better themselves in 2021. You can’t imagine the number of people that will be positively impacted!
When we think about resolutions, we usually think of individual goals we want to achieve for ourselves, like losing weight, getting a new job, or saving more money.
But my advice is that many relationships would improve if partners create New Year’s resolutions together as a couple.
Why is that important?
It means you will have a built-in accountability partner. Remember one of the famous acronyms for team is “Together Each Achieves More.” This will ensure that you and your partner stay committed to the resolutions you create.
You can also have fun with it by making it a date night activity and continuing to do so throughout the year as the two of you check-in with each other to see how your resolutions are going.
Finally, this provides an opportunity to celebrate your successes together. Being intentional about improving your lives will automatically improve your relationship or marriage.
To help you start your own resolution list, here are my 15 best ideas for New Year’s resolutions couples can make as a team.
1. Take a look back at the past year together.
By focusing on what happened the past year, you more than likely would have forgotten the little squabbles that impacted your marriage at the moment.
Looking back on the fond memories of the past year will help you look forward optimistically to the year ahead.
2. Create a nutrition plan together.
It’s hard for an individual to stick to eating healthy when the other isn’t.
Creating a healthy eating plan together with exercise can not only help you lose weight, but you will also have more energy to do fun things together.
3. Set aside time on a daily or weekly basis to check in with each other.
Since communication can be the biggest challenge to a healthy marriage or relationship, it’s imperative that you carve out space to check in with each other.
This shouldn’t be the where you just check-in to talk about your resolutions, but talk about life in general.
4. Create a family mission statement.
This statement allows the two of you, as well as your children, to feel a sense of unity and purpose.
It lets each member know that everyone is truly committed to each other’s success and growth.
5. Pay off a credit card.
It’s no secret that finances can be a source of stress and worry among couples.
Creating a strict budget or using the snowball method to pay down debt can make you generally happier.
6. When it comes to sex, explore how you can be more creative.
If you have been married for a while making sex a priority can be challenging.
By infusing a little more creativity and fun in your sex life will all of a sudden make it a must thing to do for your marriage to thrive.
7. Read and discuss a helpful book about relationships and/or marriage.
Sometimes it’s hard to articulate the things you want out of marriage.
Having a book discussion about marriage can really get to the heart of the matter without trying to figure things out on your own.
8. Take turns choosing a new activity to try together each month.
This does a couple of things.
First, you get a chance to have a new experience as a couple every month. If nothing else, this means you will have 12 new stories to tell by the end of the year.
Second, by alternating who chooses the month’s activity, you will have to keep your partner in mind because you will want them to enjoy the event as much as you will.
9. Create a proactive plan for handling conflict.
As you are working to achieve your goals, you can’t expect every day to be sunny and rosy.
If you have avoided conflicts in the past, make plan figure out how to resolve them by remaining respectful.
10. Schedule your annual doctor’s appointments.
If you have your health, you have everything.
11. Choose a cause to volunteer for together.
This is a great way to live out your values and have a wonderful bonding experience at the same time.
You can get a fresh perspective on your life as husband and wife when you are supporting an organization or a cause that really needs it.
12. Plan to host a dinner party for other couples.
There is strength in numbers.
Hosting a dinner party allows you to talk about marriage in a fun and silly way and helps you understand that you’re not alone. Remember, social-distancing is still in affect.
13. Set a goal with your children.
Creating a family goal will not only teach your children how to set goals for themselves, it will create a strong bond with your children as a family unit.
14. Schedule some time for yourselves.
Even with all of these mutual goals the two of you are working on, you must still leave some time for each of you to take for yourselves.
You will value each other more as a couple when you make the space and room to develop as individuals.
15. Plan a celebration.
If you can make and achieve at least 80% of these resolutions by the end of the year, 2020 will be awesome. Celebrate your growth as a couple.
Happy New Year!
Keith Dent is a certified coach and author of “In the Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love.” If you are struggling to communicate more effectively with your partner and set future goals, contact him via email to learn more about how he can help.
Problems can arise in your marriage when a romantic partner makes a mistake, or treats you bad hurts you badly. In your marriage, can you forgive them while holding them accountable? Ultimately, the goal is to reestablish the relationship and prevent them from hurting you again. But, will forgiveness motivate them to “see the error of their ways”? Or, is holding them accountable the key to making sure the situation does not happen again?
Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach and the author of In The Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love. If you’re having difficulty forgiving and or holding your partner accountable, check out http://www.keithdent.com. If you need help NOW, drop Keith a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recent blog, Psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein said this, “In over 30 years as a psychologist, I have never had an adult look back at their childhood and complain that their parents were too understanding. And similarly, I have met many divorced people who still love each other but never really understood each other. My point is that many relationships have broken up and marriages have been torn apart not because the partners didn’t love each other but because they didn’t understand one another.”
So what do you do to better understand your partner?
Do you need help in this area?
Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach and the author of In The Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love. If you’re in desperate need to understand your partner better to strengthen you bond contact him at email@example.com.
It’s happened…you’s a married girl (ala The Color Purple)! Your teenage dream of finding the right man and being dressed in white to walk down the aisle to meet “the one” Cory A. Jones happened. I am currently 42 years old and have so much to tell you that will give you peace in your heart and mind about what to expect about marriage.
Remember when you conceived at age 15 and had a son at age 16? Remember when you thought your life was over when his father left him? Remember when you thought you were unlovable because who would love a girl who had a baby? Well, you met THE ONE who dispelled all those lies. You met THE ONE who gave you value and worth. You met THE ONE who gave you purpose. You met THE ONE who has great plans, gives hope and a future. You met JESUS! He is THE ONE who has never failed you, never left you and never forsaken you.
It’s because of Him, that you started to know who you were as a woman, mother and a potential wife. He’s the one that made the connection between you and Cory A. Jones, your now husband who you met at the worst job you two ever had. He knew who you would need to be beside you and be the father and step father of your children. He would also be the one to dispel the lies about what men do. You know. Those thoughts about past experiences that men will leave, men cheat, men are selfish, men leave their children, and on and on. He’s a good one, D. He will represent sacrificial love to you in good times and bad. He is generous and will shower you with gifts and heartfelt cards of encouragement (even though gifts aren’t your primary love language, you like it 😀). You’ll know that he’s the one not on day one but as years pass and good times and trials come, Cory will show you that he is not what your father did and he is not what your exes have done. He becomes a Godly man who yearns to grow in the Lord and seeks His wisdom on how to lead himself and his family. You should learn to accept that early on.
You’ll learn that marriage isn’t easy. It will take daily work of prayer, reading, counsel, and introspective analysis to continue to heal from past wounds of your father and past relationships so you two could conquer the future together.
When the going gets tough…
⁃ Keep fighting
⁃ Keep praying
⁃ Keep worshipping
⁃ Keep speaking life over yourselves
⁃ Keep loving
⁃ Keep the faith
⁃ Keep learning
Studies show that those who maintained their love for each other scheduled time to be together almost every day have better communication, solidifies commitment and it offers an exciting way to de-stress. While their daily time together varied, the time they end each week was almost always over fifteen hours. What do you think?
I would love to hear your thoughts? How much couple time is needed with your spouse in order to add value to your relationship?
If you would like to share a great story, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember my first Thanksgiving, married to ‘PG’ as if it was yesterday. We crammed about 15 people in our cramped one-bedroom apartment. We rented tables and chairs so we could serve our guests and even played a fierce gave of Taboo. Oh, the memories, but it was also a source of anxiety. So much so, that we haven’t hosted a Thanksgiving since.
If you just got married in 2013, this is the first time you will be celebrating the holidays as a married couple. The holidays are a great time to re-unite with your respective families, but it can also be a time where you feel anxious, fearful and tense depending on the expectations each family puts upon you.
Acknowledging some of your feelings to your partner can help alleviate the tension the two of you may develop over the long holiday weekend. I just worked with a couple and one of their goals was to begin to create memories as a family as opposed to relying strictly on their extended families to create a wonderful event.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when you embark on your first holiday season as a married couple.
Make an effort to maintain transparency. – Since this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, or going to your respective in-laws as a married couple, the holidays are a time to catch up and to take stock in you year. You may hear such things as, “Are you thinking about buying a house?” “When are you going to start thinking about having a baby?” According to Suzanne Lachmann, Psy D. in NYC The holidays can create a feeling of transparency in front of your seemingly judgmental tribe of family and friends. All the troubles you wanted to keep concealed seem to become exposed, or feel like they will. It’s as if you’re suddenly forced to share parts of yourself that make you feel shame. If you convey your transparency as part of your journey it will help you to alleviate the parts of your life were you haven’t reached your milestones as of yet.
The anticipation of being sentimental. – Good, as well as bad memories are usually made during the holidays. There’s a pressure to expect the holiday season to be fantastic, especially as the first year as a married couple. Memories aren’t something you conjure up in advance. You have to live in the moment. So in order to calm, yourself during this time, think how you can just enjoy the weekend. Apply some of what you would normally do in your day if no family is around. That might include things like: going for your afternoon jog, or visiting your favorite coffee shop.
Maintain expectations. – In your first year of, there’s another less-explored pressured experience that comes with the expectations of being the child or guest. The expectation is to demonstrate that you’re marriage is “going well” or to show your love and affection toward one another, despite what may be going on in your marriage. Most couples don’t realize how challenging the first year of marriage can be and your friends won’t either. You play your part in order to impress, appease, or decrease others’ anxiety. Discuss with your spouse how you will approach a sensitive topic that may provide anxiety hope for keep you from feeling transparent.
Once you acknowledge and then work towards accepting that the holidays set an unrealistic standard for transparency, sentimentalism and expectations and created strategies on how to deal with them as a couple, you may find yourself able to let go and live in the moment. Ironically, by releasing your view on the holiday spirit should be, you may find the memories that you desire.
In the final segment of the 5 lessons about your marriage kids learn by example deals with the subject of endurance. Endurance is one of the most important skills you will need in marriage, but is seldom discussed when you say “I Do”.
In today’s world, it is acceptable to move on when things aren’t working, but what are we teaching our kids? When we tell our kids, “Hang in there, don’t give up,” they look at us confused based on our actions never finishing what we start.
If you want to leave a legacy of endurance in your marriage, here are 3 ways you can teach endurance to your children.
Have endurance when it comes to Education.
If you have returned to school, or are striving for a Master’s degree. Show your kids endurance. One of the things, I most admired about my wife was that she finished her degree, while working a full-time job plus being pregnant. It’s very easy to give up especially when you have a full-time job and a family to just stop. By hanging in there to finish what you have started will show your kids that when obstacles stand in their way, they can overcome them if they keep working hard.
Have endurance when it comes to mundane tasks.
Not everything in our lives are thrilling and exciting. Most of our daily lives consist of little mundane tasks that must be done in order to get to the exciting things. Jobs like, cutting the grass, taking out the trash, or fix-it projects around the house might not leave you with the sense of accomplishment.
Remember, it’s better to show your kids that you can finishing the job instead of starting something new.
Have endurance when others criticize you.
If you are in a leadership position, you are going to receive criticism. If you can overcome criticism and still make the right decisions and maintain your integrity, it will have immeasurable effects.
When they have to make tough decisions, hopefully they will have the skills and the strength to choose wisely based on the examples you have shown them in your life rather than succumb to peer pressure.
In the end, if we can provide examples of Love, Respect, Integrity, Giving, and Endurance when it’s time for them to establish their own family you will leave a lasting legacy.
I don’t care for the snow that much. It’s too cold, plus you know my ancestors are from the motherland. We are use to heat and, barely wearing in the clothes. When I was a teenager, I always did enjoy going out in the middle of the night to shovel our driveway. One, I was usually the only one out there, and two it always seemed like Heaven because it was so quiet.
When we think of doing romantic things with our spouse, we always think of the beach, or some remote island. As a LoveStrong couple you have to re-frame what you think about snow. Snow can be very romantic, but you have to take advantage of it before the snowplows, snow shovels, and screaming kids mess it all up. So here are 7 Romantic things you can do with your Mate if you are a LoveStrong couple.
Go for a Walk in a Park. – It will probably be the most peaceful place during a blizzard.
Snowball target practice – Instead of guns, throw snowballs instead, You have to use a tree or some other inanimate object. If you were to have a snowball fight and someone gets hit in the face, there goes your romantic day.
Carve you love for each other in a snowdrift.
Fall off the roof of your car backwards – provided there is at least 8 inches of snow beside you to catch your fall.
Bury your partner in the snow, but do it quickly.
Have a snow picnic.
Go for a Run – Running on snow is similar to running on the beach, in that the snow, like sand, absorbs energy. It takes more energy to run longer on snow than it does on a clean sidewalk, which means it is fantastic exercise.
What other things can you do in the snow to remain LoveStrong. Enjoy the Blizzard of 2013 everybody.