The beautiful thing is you get to choose. I don't know what state your marriage is in, but I'm here to tell you 2016 is offering you a fresh start, a chance to nurture your marriage like never before, a chance to change the things you know need to be changed, to look deep inside and really commit to being better.
I really don't care how bad things are right now because I know they can get better for you. (However, if you are in an abusive relationship you should seek professional and ecclesiastical help and ignore my last statement.) Things can improve. You can change. Your spouse can change. Your marriage can change.
No matter how discouraged you may be about how things played out in 2015, leave the past in the past. Don't look back. Live in the present, while looking forward to the future. Hard to do, I know.
You can leave behind the arguments, lack of connection, frustrations, disappointments, shattered expectations and petty fights about spending too much. You can leave behind your snarky comments, sarcastic remarks and rude demeanor.
You can become kind. You can become thoughtful. You can become patient. You can become well-mannered. You can become selfless. You can become a better spouse. It's possible. And seeking to be a better spouse is probably one of the best ways you can live in the present, while preparing for a better future.
Now, change doesn't happen overnight. We all know that. And we all know that New Year's resolutions usually die after the first two weeks of January, but not if you are SMART about your goals. I mean, goal. My recommendation to you would be to set ONE GOAL—yes, one little goal—in the marriage department this year.
Act on your goal and follow through. Like, now. Today. Right this second. Do it. Don't let a day go by when you don't act on your goal. The success of your goal really is in your hands.
R - Remember your goal every day
Set reminders on your phone. Create a physical reminder (Make it your wedding ring, post-it notes or a paper you can leave on your mirror—something you can see daily.) to help you remember your goal every day of 2016, not just the first two weeks of January.
T - Take time
Change takes time. The rewards of your goal will come, but all according to the law of the harvest. So keep at it, and soon enough you will reap the rewards of your goal. Guaranteed, by December 31, 2016 you will look back in amazement at how "one little, measly, awesome goal" changed you and your marriage for the better.
So, here is my invitation to you: Join my "one little, measly, awesome goal club," and CHOOSE TO BE A BETTER YOU, AND THEREFORE A BETTER SPOUSE, IN 2016. If you do join my little club, I can promise you will find a greater measure of happiness, fulfillment, purpose and connection in your marriage this year. You will learn how beautiful marriage can be when it is nurtured, taken care of and focused on.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.