Happy New Year! How are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? According to the University of Scranton, only 8% of Americans actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and with the busy lives most people lead today, it is no surprise. Most people are desperately scrambling for relaxation time in between work, relationships, and children.
It may even be that in today’s individualistic society, accomplishing New Year’s resolutions all alone makes the task that much more unappealing and intimidating. Depending on your goal, it could even take more time away from your significant other.
This New Year’s Eve instead of setting “New You” resolutions, take the opportunity to increase the closeness, intimacy, commitment, and satisfaction between you and your partner. Here’s how:
- Each partner makes a list of possible New Year resolutions.
- Share and compare your lists. See if you have any in common. If so, circle them and agree on one or two. If you don’t have any in common, brainstorm some together that are currently relevant to your relationship (e.g. financial disagreements, external stress, not enough date nights, etc).
- Create a schedule. Be really specific about the days and times that will be dedicated to your common goal. For example, if your resolution is to start going to the gym, you agree to meet at the gym after work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6pm-7pm.
- Reach your resolution together! Research shows that couples with congruent goals in their relationship see an increase in life satisfaction, commitment, and relationship satisfaction. In addition, those same couples experience a decrease in negative affect. Another study showed that couples who spent more time together during the week experienced a decrease in stress between one another. Finally, research supports that relationship goal congruence consequently results in goal progress!
Working towards something together has the potential to bring couples together, giving each partner the opportunity to show their support and motivate one another while simultaneously strengthening the friendship component of the relationship. Start a New year on a new path towards a “new us”.