If you can remember the New Year's resolutions you made going into 2017, then kudos to you. I'm sure I had an entire journal entry's worth of them at the time but all I can really remember now is vowing to make it through graduate school (which I did). Sometimes, it helps to make resolutions with a friend or partner so you have someone to hold you accountable. For example, you might resolve to work out more next year with a close and reliable friend as your designated gym buddy. Similarly, making resolutions for your relationship with your romantic partner can be just as productive.
First of all, just taking the time to do this will be beneficial for your relationship because you'll both be encouraged to reflect on your year together. Before you get started, make a list of all the things you enjoyed about your relationship this past year to remind yourselves why you're together and what you love about each other. Next, make a list of anything you'd like to work on together or anything you wish you or your partner would be more mindful of in the future. It's important to be open and understanding throughout this process rather than being defensive or critical. Know that you and your partner are a team and you should always be working toward a happier, more successful future together.
If you think you and your partner are ready to set some #couplegoals for 2018, here a few ideas to get you started.
1. Listen more attentively to one another.
Even if you've been together forever, there's always more to learn about the person you spend most of your days with — especially if they're going through a difficult time. Sometimes, they might even be struggling with something you know nothing about. Remember to ask them how things are going at school, if they've set any personal goals for themselves lately, and if there's anything you could be doing to support them. Instead of scrolling through Instagram while you and your partner are together, make an effort to genuinely listen when they open up to you. The more you do this, the more natural it'll become and your relationship will be stronger for it.
2. Start a new hobby together.
Learning something new or simply dedicating time to do something you both love will encourage you to spend more quality time together. Maybe you've both always wanted to join a running group or you'd like to make trivia night a weekly thing. Whatever it is, make sure that your partner is equally interested and isn't just obliging because they want to please you. Having fun together is the foundation of any great relationship.
3. Plan a romantic date night at least once a month.
Everyone knows the honeymoon phase doesn't last forever but that doesn't mean you and your partner can't still make an effort to keep the romance alive. In the midst of studying for midterms, maintaining family obligations, and surviving flu season, carve out some time on your calendars every month to have a romantic night together. Whether this means staying in and cooking together or catching your favorite classic movie at the drive-in, it's worth the effort. Agree to make this a regular occurrence — something you commit to weekly or, at the very least, monthly throughout the year.
4. Go on a trip together.
If you're at the stage in your relationship where you feel comfortable enough making new year's resolutions together, you're probably ready to go away together. Plan a weekend getaway to a nearby town or go all out with a backpacking trip across South America if that's within your budget. You should at least aim to go on one trip together in the new year. The time you spend together away from the responsibilities of everyday life will help you get to know your partner in a whole new way. You'll learn how they adapt to new places, manage their finances, and cope under pressure in the event of any travel mishaps like a delayed flight or lost luggage.
5. Start a new tradition.
This is so easy to do that you've probably already created cute traditions with your partner without even realizing. This can be as simple as getting frozen yogurt together whenever it rains — a thing I actually did with a former partner — or watching the sunrise on weekend mornings. As long as it's something you both enjoy doing together, it's worth committing to regularly. Any excuse to spend time making memories with your partner is a good one.
Most importantly, don't forget to check in on your progress throughout the year. If you've lost track of some of your resolutions, don't be afraid to pick them up again at any time. Every day is a new beginning. You don't have to wait for Jan. 1 to roll around again.
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