Tis the season for resolutions! This year, instead of resolving to get in shape, save more money or get organized, why not make a resolution that will improve your relationship with your significant other?
Many New Year’s resolutions fall flat by Valentine’s Day, and often, it’s because they’re too vague or too lofty. However, there is a way to make a resolution that you’re likely to keep. We’re far more likely to follow through when a goal is attainable and broken down into small steps, and by setting the right goal, you can set yourself up for success.
Each of the goals to follow is actually a part of a larger goal: improving your relationship. Unlike resolutions to lose 25 pounds or run a marathon, you can fulfill any of these resolutions today. They’re measurable, doable steps that add up over time to help your relationship grow stronger.
I will give compliments. Some experts say that it takes as many as 20 bits of positive feedback to outweigh a single bit of criticism, and when that criticism comes from someone you love, it can be even more impactful. That isn’t to say that you should never offer constructive feedback, but be aware of the power of your words. Consider starting with the goal of offering at least one compliment a day and going from there. Just be sure to make your compliments sincere and thoughtful—otherwise they lose their meaning. Like a diamond pendant that is always complementary, words that build up the one you love bring out the best in that person.
I will be honest. They say that honestly is always the best policy, and it’s true. Honestly is essential to trust, and trust is essential to any lasting relationship. Sometimes being honest isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s worth it in the long run. Resolve to speak the truth in love, even when it would be easier to tell a lie.
I will say thank you. Saying thanks is a key component of a healthy relationship. It lets the other person know that they are appreciated and it helps you cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Strive to say thank you five times a day—whether for something your partner does (like take out the trash) or something he or she is (such as a good listener). Or, if you’d really like to say thank you, consider doing it with a piece of jewelry, such as a garnet ring.
I will speak well of the one I love. It’s easy to gripe to friends about all of the little things that irk you about your significant other; however, spending too much time complaining not only casts your partner in a bad light, but also changes your perception of him or her, making you more likely to notice (and be bothered by) all of those little quirks.
While building a strong relationship is a lofty goal, it’s reached by small, everyday steps such as these. Try one of these resolutions to take one step at a time.