From enhancing communication to spicing up romance, these New Year’s resolutions for couple’s can transform your relationship.
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As someone who loves resolutions and goal setting, New Year’s for me is less about partying hard and more about making a list of what I want to achieve and how I want to be in the year ahead.
In fact, on New Year’s Eve, you can find me in bed at a decent hour, and on New Year’s Day, I’ll be curled up on the couch, planning out all the things in my trusty journal.
More than any other time (except for perhaps birthdays) the start of the year is always full of the magic of new beginnings, where anything seems possible.
So no wonder I’m not alone in taking the opportunity to change the course of my life.
The practice of making New Year’s resolutions is nothing new either – we’ve done it for over 4000 years,
Originally part of a 12 day religious festival called Akitu, Babylonians would either crown a new king or commit to their reigning king and make promises to the gods to repay debts and return borrowed objects (source).To honor their promise would result in favor for the gods. If they failed to deliver on their word, watch out!
(Maybe we need such incentives or punishments to keep our resolutions?)
As well as making resolutions for ourselves, Ben and I also make New Year’s resolutions as a couple.
But before I get into them, let’s just differentiate between resolutions and goals.
A resolution is more about an intention to do something or be something, whereas a goal can be more specific with steps worked out that will enable you to achieve your resolution.
For example, you might set a resolution to increase your net worth. Then you can set goals to achieve this, such as invest a set percentage of your income.
Many people use the terms interchangeably but for this article, I’m focused on the traditional definition of resolutions. If you’d like goals, then head over to 101 marriage goals.
Why setting New Year’s resolutions for couples is important
Making New Year’s resolutions as a couple offers more benefits than you might think, and these won’t just up the overall quality of your relationship, they’ll also uplevel your own personal growth.
- Shared vision and goals: Collaborating on resolutions allows you to align your individual aspirations with those of your partner. By setting goals based on your resolutions, you can work together toward a shared vision for the future, fostering a sense of unity and purpose.
- Enhanced accountability: When you make resolutions together, you naturally become each other’s accountability partners. This mutual support system can motivate both of you to stay committed to your goals and provide encouragement during challenging times.
- Strengthened communication: Discussing and setting resolutions as a couple requires open and honest communication. It provides an opportunity to share your hopes, dreams, and concerns, ultimately deepening your understanding of each other and improving your overall communication skills.
- Deeper connection: Having joint resolutions can lead to a deeper emotional connection. As you work together to overcome obstacles and celebrate achievements, you create lasting memories and experiences that contribute to the narrative of your relationship.
- Clever resource management: Working together on resolutions allows you to pool resources – both financial and time-related. This can make achieving them so much easier.
Ultimately, making joint New Year’s resolutions fosters a sense of unity, cooperation, and growth within a relationship.
New Year’s resolutions for couples
These New Year’s resolutions for couples are grouped under larger intentions.
Set the stage for a stronger bond
Feeling close and connected is key as a couple.
- Commit to spending quality time together each week
- Explore new hobbies or activities as a couple.
- Uplevel your relationship using tips from popular marriage books like The 5 love languages, The seven principles for making marriage work or the 80 80 marriage
Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love through the five love languages will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner.
John Gottman’s study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.
Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy.
he 80/80 Marriage pushes couples beyond the limited idea of "fairness" toward a new model grounded on radical generosity and shared success, one that calls for each partner to contribute 80 percent to build the strongest possible relationship.
Navigate the New Year
- Take on joint projects or initiatives to strengthen teamwork.
- Create a framework you’ll use to make decisions that affect you both.
- Set aside time to discuss future plans and aspirations.
- Practice active listening and validate each other’s feelings.
- Set aside regular “communication check-ins” like a weekly relationship meeting.
- Discuss boundaries and expectations to reduce assumptions and resentment.
Foster appreciation within your relationship
- Practice daily gratitude exercises to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.
- Express appreciation and compliments regularly to each other (here’s how to show appreciation to your partner).
- Keep a gratitude journal where you jot down moments of joy and thankfulness.
Resolve conflict effectively
- Learn and implement effective conflict resolution techniques, such as active listening and “I” statements.
- Take breaks during disagreements to cool off before resolving the issue.
- Commit to resolving conflicts with empathy and understanding, aiming for compromise.
- Encourage each other’s individual growth and self-improvement.
- Explore opportunities for joint learning or skill-building activities.
- Support one another in pursuing personal passions and goals.
- Work out a balance between individual growth and the growth of your relationship
- Plan regular date nights to keep the romance alive.
- Surprise each other with thoughtful gestures and surprises.
- Explore new ways to keep the spark alive in your relationship.
Create a vision
- Create or reaffirm your shared vision as a couple.
- Discuss and set new milestones you’d like to achieve together.
- Work out your couple’s values and align your life to them
- Based on your past knowledge and experience, identify triggers and potential issues, then create a plan for tackling challenges.
- Commit to transparency and honesty in all aspects of your relationship.
- Seek professional help if needed, such as couples therapy, to rebuild trust.
- Prioritize intimate moments, both emotional and physical.
- Communicate openly about your desires and needs in the relationship.
- Explore ways to increase emotional and physical intimacy.
Navigate family dynamics as a couple
- Discuss how to balance time with extended family and create boundaries.
- Plan how to handle holidays and family gatherings to reduce stress (here’s how to survive your family Christmas).
- Support each other in dealing with family-related challenges.
Create a positive home environment
- Collaborate on home improvement projects or organization tasks.
- Establish routines that promote a peaceful and harmonious living space.
- Share responsibilities and chores to maintain a balanced household.
Strengthen your financial position
- Set a budget and financial goals for the upcoming year.
- Discuss and align on financial priorities and spending habits.
- Work together to save for shared aspirations and emergencies.
- Increase your net worth.
Plan exciting experiences
- Create a “bucket list” of experiences you both want to have.
- Plan vacations, outings, or activities that challenge your comfort zone.
- Embrace spontaneity and adventure in your relationship.
Prioritize health and wellness
- Commit to regular exercise routines or outdoor activities together.
- Cook and enjoy nutritious meals as a way to bond and stay healthy.
- Support each other’s mental health by practicing mindfulness and stress-relief techniques.
- Plan and celebrate important milestones and anniversaries.
- Create meaningful rituals to commemorate your journey as a couple.
- Use these occasions to reflect on your progress and set new goals.
Keeping your resolutions throughout the year
Now you’ve decided on your New Year’s resolutions, here’s how to keep them:
Create specific action steps to achieve your resolutions: Breaking your resolution down into specific goals with action steps will help you turn your intentions into reality.
Regular check-ins for progress: Make it a habit to schedule consistent check-ins where both of you come together to review the progress you’ve made. These intentional discussions provide a space for honest communication, fostering mutual support and accountability.
Adapt and refine for relevance: Embrace the flexibility to adjust and refine your resolutions as circumstances evolve. By remaining attuned to your changing needs and situations, you can ensure that your goals remain relevant and achievable throughout the year.
Celebrate and learn from the journey: Treat achievements as cause for celebration and setbacks as opportunities for growth. By acknowledging successes and learning from challenges, you cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement, both individually and as a united couple.
By incorporating these proactive steps when you set your New Year’s resolutions for couples, you’ll create a solid framework for maintaining your commitment, navigating obstacles, and fostering lasting personal and relational development.