2020 was bizarre, to say the least. We lived in a constant state of anxiety, fear, a confusion that has affected our relationships, our work, our balance. This is why we think it is the right time to formulate the New Year’s Resolutions for couples in 2021, and our peaceful lives in general. We look to 2021 with hope, in search of some much-needed clarity and order.
Why formulate New Year’s Resolutions for Couples?
Our relationships shape who we are, and who we are influences our relationships. 2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for couples. We have lost our personal space, had to deal with financial worries, with non-stop parenting, with each other’s insecurities, and our own anguish.
We have been forced to be closer to each other than ever before, and this might have taken its toll on some relationships.
At the beginning of 2020, as the lockdown was setting in, 19% of parents said that the yelling and screaming had increased after the lockdown, with another 15% admitting to increasing the use of discipline.
2020 Year in Review: A perplexing, incomprehensible story
Most of the year we have been locked in our own homes battling feelings of loneliness, and anxiety. The outside world seemed to be crumbling down on us, and we felt peculiarly powerless in the face of it all.
But we slowed down a bit and started to learn what was important. We started listening to each other, found the time to finally play board games with our children even.
That is a wonderful thing. In the days when we were told to stay indoors the simple idea of going out for groceries and basking in the sun was a blessing. This way we discovered how important the little things were, how lucky we were to feel the kiss of the sun on our cheeks. How lucky we were to have our dear ones to turn to at home…
Then came the time when it was possible to go out, and we discovered how wonderful sunsets are or finally found the time to go on that hiking trail, get to know the beautiful areas around our house.
When we could finally meet up with our friends and extended families, it was such a joy, such a privilege, and a pleasure to drink a glass of wine with your loved ones again.
When the museums and art galleries opened again it was like we discovered the wonders they were keeping in there for the first time.
However, we struggled…
We struggled with making sense of what was happening around us. We were bored, we were anxious, we felt tired, overworked, and many of us had even lost our jobs. We spent lots of time indoors with each other, got plenty of time to know each other, but it somehow left us more bewildered and confused in our relationships.
We weren’t sure what we wanted but simply tried to keep healthy and sane.
6 New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Yes, we’ve all set these resolutions before, made endless lists of things like “losing weight”, “hitting the gym more often”, “eat healthy” just to see them shatter after the first days of January.
These are different though. These New Year’s Resolutions are small achievable steps that we should try and take. They are meant to stimulate your mind, create a deeper connection with the ones around you and the community you’re part of.
Let’s start with some general small New Year’s Resolutions to make for yourself and then we’ll transition to the Couples’ New Year’s Resolutions.
1. Create the habit of writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for. Do it each week!
It will help you learn the lesson of appreciation and cultivate gratitude. Gratitude and giving thanks makes us more aware of what we have. Always striving for more, that “hustling” you find in all the motivational books, will always keep you on edge, unsatisfied.
Gratitude opens your eyes to what you have, brings about a sense of fulfillment and happiness to you and the people around you. Learn to practice it more often
2. Try Something New Each Month
It shouldn’t be something big that will only put pressure on you. It should be a little thing, like cooking salmon for the first time or going out on a date to a place you’ve never been before. These little things are the best.
Start small by going on a new hiking trail or watching a movie you’ve never thought you’d watch. These little things…and do them with that special someone.
3. Speak about your feelings more
Expressing your feelings to your family, and friends might cause you to feel vulnerable. However, this is one way of building trust and breaking any communication barriers.
4. Listen more
Everybody says this, but nobody does it. You should commit to it in the new year and try a little exercise. Call a friend each week for no reason and have them tell you how about their week. Do not say much, just listen carefully, try to soak in every bit of information and feeling. This is the way to empathy and empathy is crucial in relationships.
5. Work on Your Language
Have you ever tried to tell someone how you felt but couldn’t find the right words? Work on that. It’s not about how many books you read, how far you went in school, it’s about practice.
Practice your love and appreciation language. Keep a diary and each week write down a few pages about what you appreciate most about your friends, how certain things make you feel. Write and rewrite those words until you feel they are genuine and express exactly what you’ve experienced.
You might be a great writer but still struggle with putting those frustrations and half-hidden feelings into words. Practice! Keep that diary and stick to it. Write a page each week or each time you feel like it.
6. Check in with your friends and family more often
Call your grandma or your old friend. Simply saying “how are you” will make people feel more secure, trusting, and cared for in any partnership, be it family, relationship, or friendship.
6 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples
All the things we’ve discussed above also apply to your relationships.
1. Say “thank you” and share appreciation more often
Appreciation is crucial in any relationship. We have been discussing this topic for some time now.
It is because we live extremely busy lives that we forget to nurture our romantic relationships. Deep down we love that person, and we truly care. However, we don’t get the time to say it, to show it.
We fall into the trap of thinking they already know how much we love them. That is wrong. Love needs nourishment, it needs words, deeds, touches.
So, try to create a habit. Let’s say you’ve noticed something about your partner that you liked, but didn’t have time to say it or just weren’t in the exact mood. Write it down in your calendar and do it later.
Schedule it if you feel you do not have time for it. Schedule appreciation like any other task. Yes, love and relationships need to become tasks, tasks that you accomplish with your heart, your mind, and your body.
2. Plan a Special Date Each Month
Just take some time to plan them and do not worry about them not living up to some false expectation you might have set in your mind
3. Tell each other how you feel
You might say this is too vague. Then, let us put it this way. Use more feeling words!
Instead of shouting and calling each other names over an open conflict, tell each other how that made you feel. Open up your heart.
4. Engage in dialogue more
We’re all a little guilty of listening to respond, and not striving to understand and empathise with what our partner is trying to convey to us.
The fast world we’re living in pushes us to make everything efficient, minimise a message to its raw practical meaning, and thus leaving aside anything that’s too complicated, like half-hidden feelings, confusions, frustrations.
When we take the time to listen we only listen to what validates our beliefs and tend to ignore painful messages and hard truths.
This needs to change. It won’t happen overnight, but for a start, try to take an hour a week in which you put into words all those frustrations and hard truths that are hard to come out.
Share them with each other and really, truly take the time to listen to each other. That’s called Intentional Dialogue, and we can teach you how to practice it better.
5. Work on Your Love Language
If you haven’t figured out your love language yet, decide to make it a priority. As we have discussed in previous articles, there are five love languages, each with a unique way of giving and receiving love: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Your love language can be a precious insight into what your partner desires more in your relationship and also in what you want more.
Make this your priority and call us up for a free 15-minute online discussion on this.
6. Touch Each Other More, Build on your Intimacy
Do not neglect your intimate moments. Set some clear goals for your intimate life and stick to them. Do not let work, stress, and all sorts of anxiety creep in your bedroom anymore!
Remember that your relationship is work also, a constant work-in-progress – and one that needs your constant attention.
Start by showing each other more affection, and appreciation. Make hugging, holding hands or even a soothing shoulders massage part of your evening routine.
Physical touch is essential to a healthy, loving relationship. You can start with the little gestures of kissing your partner good night and good morning. Hug them in appreciation during the day. It’s the little things that don’t cost much to give but are worth a lot if done more often.
We all look with great hope and faith towards 2021. We pray it is good, kind, sympathetic to our troubled and bruised souls. However, we shouldn’t ask too much from it. For 2021 to be a better year we must resolve first and foremost how we will change.
So, make your New Year’s Resolutions for couples or life in general and stick to them. Do not reach for the stars, do not propose big things. No, take what you think you can do and only add a little bit on top of that. You’ll see …. 2021 is as good as we make it, as good as the resolutions we make. Happy New Year.