With the new year comes a fresh start, a clean slate and new opportunities and adventures. We've all probably packed on a few extra pounds during the holidays, and it's time to get to work on those New Year's resolutions (BTW, did you know that by far the most common resolution is to lose those extra pounds?).
What are your resolutions and goals for the upcoming year? What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to become?
Have you shared those goals and resolutions with your spouse? Have you set goals and resolutions together?
The power of a personal cheerleader
Whatever your goals may be, sharing them with your spouse could very well be the key to seeing them successfully completed within the next 12 months. Studies have shown that making your goals known to a trusted friend dramatically increases your success rate. This is largely because you feel a sense of accountability when you make your goals known. There's a little extra drive and motivation to reach the finish line when you know someone's there waiting for you.
Who better to choose as your trusted friend than your spouse? He or she already knows you inside and out and understands you better than anyone else. This one person knows your strengths and weaknesses and is very much invested in you and your personal development.
You spouse can and should be your greatest cheerleader! They can pick you up when you're down and remind you of the vision you have for your future self. They can provide much-needed motivation to keep you moving forward with your goals when things get hard.
I once read the story of a couple I greatly admire. In an interview about their marriage, the wife commented that her husband always gave her "wings to fly." What an awesome compliment! That is something my wife and I have been aiming for ever since.
So, here's my first challenge to you: sit down with your spouse and let him or her know what your New Year's resolutions are. Ask him or her for support and help so you can accomplish those resolutions. Ask your husband or wife to help keep you on track when you're slipping, and offer to do the same in return. By being each other's cheerleaders, not only will you each find more success in reaching your individual goals but you will also grow closer together in the process. Then, definitely go out on a fancy date and celebrate your successes together!
Along with individual goals, there is great power in setting couple resolutions together. My wife and I have found that there are few things that drive unity more than working together towards a common goal. And there is incredible satisfaction and fulfillment found in achieving goals together as a team.
Your couple resolutions can be anything you can dream up! Here are a few ideas of couple-goals to get your creative juices flowing:
Go on at least 1 romantic getaway during the year (Plan it well in advance so you can enjoy the anticipation and build up together!).
Finish that graduate degree.
Save an extra $X dollars each month.
Run a marathon together (or maybe just a 5k...).
Purchase your first home or your second home.
Go on a campout together.
Pay off those student loans that have been hanging over your head.
Get scuba certified together.
Make that trip to Hawaii happen.
Finish the basement together (or at least design it together).
Hike a fourteener or two together.
Read a book together.
Make a baby together (fun, fun!).
Whatever your couple resolutions may be, just make sure you have some! Set resolutions that are meaningful for both of you. Create a vision of the kind of marriage and life you want to create together. Then, work each day to fulfill that vision. Sure, some days you'll see more progress than others. In fact, some days it may feel like you have taken a step back. However, by the end of the year you'll be able to look back and proudly admire how far you've come together.
Couple resolutions are powerful because they build connection, create happy memories and nurture friendship. You and your spouse will feel closer together as you work in unity to achieve common goals. Kind of magical.
So just remember, by setting meaningful couple resolutions together and diligently working towards them, not only will you be able to achieve great success as a team but you will also certainly nurture your marriage in the process!
This article was originally published on Nurturing Marriage. It has been republished here with permission.
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.