Can you believe it? In a span of a week, we’ll say adieu to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open arms. Have you prepared your annual “New Year’s Resolution” list yet?
Resolutions often get a bad rap but they work for you if you give your 100% in taking a leap and making significant changes in your life. And they say that two is better than one, so fulfilling these promises with your significant other can help you stick to your words, and hopefully strengthen your bond. Instead of “New Year, New Me,” how about “New Year, New Us”?
Have you thought about the changes you’d like to see? What are the positive differences you want to achieve as an individual and as a couple? What are the issues you have to talk about? And what are the ones you have to let go?
If you’re looking forward to another blissful year with your partner and you want to improve not just your bond but your individuality as well, here are some resolutions to list down and achieve.
1. Eat mindfully
Let’s face it: We’re not getting any younger. Our bodies aren’t too. That said, we have to cut those salt, sugar, and grease-packed diets and turn to healthier, fuller options. Encourage your partner to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, to hydrate, and to stay out of junk foods and fast food chains. Your healthier future self will thank you.
2. Exercise together
Next to eating mindfully, you should also try to get up from your comfy couch and start working out. Hit the gym with your partner to sweat out and feel your calories burning and muscles toning. If you don’t like going to the gym, you two could jog around the block, ride bicycles, or swim together. Motivate each other toward a healthier lifestyle (and gorgeous sculpted silhouette).
3. Break bad habits together
Do you smoke and you’ve been wanting to quit? Do you drink alcohol more often than you should? Are you always late for work? If you have bad habits you want to break, I think it’d be easier if you do it with a companion who’s also on the same track. Limit yourselves to a certain number of cigarette sticks per day. Make a two-drink rule. Stop hitting the snooze button. Everything’s better when done together.
4. Travel, travel, travel
Make new memories by listing down the places you’ve never traveled to before. By the end of 2018, make sure you have crossed, if not all of them, most of them. Or at least, make it a habit to travel to at least one new destination per month. Take pictures. Do crazy, fun things, even those scary ones. Munch exotic foods. Meet new people. See the world through your eyes, not through the screens.
5. Volunteer together
Doing charity work and voluntary services are great ways to make your year more meaningful. Spare just a little bit of time, money, and other resources to help out a good cause.
6. Turn the phone down
Stop multitasking with your technology; Set a block of time aside to accomplish personal and work tasks that involve the use of gadgets and then move on to your quality time with your partner. If you’re talking to them, give them your hundred percent undivided attention – and that includes banishing the bleeps and buzzes of your phone that create the distraction.
7. Make better financial decisions
We’re not suggesting to limit your romantic dates to save money. Financial literacy is about knowing how to stretch your dollar and making wise money decisions. Limit your fancy dinners and try to find more practical ways to spend the night. Aside from saving, you may also learn to invest, start a business, and engage in money-making ventures.
8. Teach one another a new skill
Are you familiar with the old adage, “opposites attract”? While it seems to be a struggle when your interests don’t match, you can take it as an opportunity to spice up your relationship. Introduce one another to new skills. Let him teach you how to play cards or chess while you teach him how to play the piano.
9. Do something creative together
The dullness and toxicity of the workday world could take a toll on us, draining away all the creative juices left in our system. To avoid feeling completely burnt out, encourage each other to do creative things every once in a while.
Destress by going to art classes or buying painting materials and then making art at home. Watch a good film and discuss the story afterward. Stroll around while taking Instagram-worthy photographs of each other. Visit a museum. Jam with musical instruments or attend a concert or band sessions.
10. Be more assertive
When you sense a fight coming, try to calm yourself momentarily and ask, “Is it worth arguing for? Is it worth disturbing the peace for?” Pick your battles and don’t let petty arguments rock the boat. If it’s necessary to bring up an issue, make sure you resolve it without having to disrespect the other party with small backbiting comments and insults which can erode the foundation of your relationship.
11. Practice emotional honesty
This year, try to be more open to your partner as if you’re unmasking your truths and insecurities with your best friend. Seek each other’s company to talk about the things that are bothering you. Listen with an open ear and a loving heart.
12. Make each other a priority
If the past year’s responsibilities had been too harsh on your schedule, try to make up for the lost time this forthcoming year. Set aside some time, at least once a week, to see each other. Go out for a meal. Stroll around the park. Splurge on a classy getaway occasionally. Have sex. Or simply binge-watch your favorite series together on your pajamas while sipping wine. A little extra time together can make all the difference.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. When she’s not using her pen in writing self-help articles focused on love, dating, and relationships, she spends her time creating poems and screenplays, painting, and making music.