Too often, New Year resolutions are too vague or too broad. Fear not, friends. Below, read through some helpful resolutions that should bring copious joy to you and yours. Claim these golden nuggets as new year resolutions for married couples and the other relationships that provide contours to your life.
Resolution 1 – Claim some stillness
Every person and every couple needs a little stillness. Stillness makes us more aware of the pulse of creation with its laughing faces, rustling leaves, and flowing water. Stillness reminds us that life unfurls and flourishes even when the news is dire and deadly. Stillness opens the soul to the voice God and our partner that may arrive with a rush of wind or a “still” small voice. Claim some stillness, friends. God is moving and speaking even when we are unable to do the same.
Resolution 2 – Honor family traditions
The holidays offer us a celebratory song; a chance to slow down to honor family rituals and traditions. The tune highlights the warm currents that gather us around big tables, impressive centerpieces, familiar dishes, good conversations, lovely spaced. We gather in love, God’s goodness and light making the food tastier and the conversation richer. Enjoy the celebrations, friends. Give thanks for blessings, health, family, and new beginnings. Enrich your partnership with wonderful traditions.
Resolution 3 – Practice forgiveness
Forgiveness is risky business. If you practice forgiveness, you recognize you hurt someone or they hurt you. Forgiveness presupposes personal insight, an awareness that the wounds are real and will not spontaneously heal. Forgiveness requires movement toward the tattered relationship, and a willingness to take off the temporary dressing and expose the wound again. Forgiveness is at the heart of our partnerships if they are to deepen. Look in the mirror and claim the grudges, friends. Pray, ponder, and move closer to the one who seeks healing – release – from untreated missteps and misspeaking. It means your release too.
Resolution 4 – Finish well
Friends, endings are as important as beginnings. When facing discouragement, fatigue, and mounting frustration, it is important to finish strong and finish well. After all, negativity is never diffused with more negativity. Too often we let pessimism and insidious rip currents embitter us and siphon the joy from the soul. When this happens, we want to kick, bark, wave our fingers at our “perceived foes,” and walk away from it all. What do we leave behind after the messy departure? Unfinished business. The call to love the neighbor. Our dignity. In a rough spot? Pray. Listen. Take care of your responsibilities.
Resolution 5 – Recognize the beauty of your partner and neighbours
You are the potter and we are the clay. Imagine how the contours of life would transform if we were intentional in recognizing that all are created to be beautiful and purposeful. Imagine if we were able to view the cracks in the clay – the brokenness in ourselves and neighbors – as worthy of forgiveness and mending instead of exclusion and rancor. My advice? Spend some quality time with your partner and neighbors. Enjoy the refreshment, curiosity, and openness they bring to conversations and relationships. In all that you do, be willing to widen the circle.
Resolution 6 – Walk in your neighbor’s shoes
Do you ever walk in your neighbor’s shoes? Do you find it easy or challenging to process and then affirm a neighbor’s viewpoint? I am convinced that we face an empathy shortage in our homes, communities, and partnerships. Empathy does not mean agreement, it implies understanding. Are you able to disagree with a partner while still finding a way to affirm that the partner’s contributions – voicings – were valued and appreciated? Unfortunately, we often allow our need to be “right” trump our responsibility to hear the other voices at the stable. Community collapses when it becomes unsafe to share opinions, concerns, and alternative visions. Walk in someone else’s shoes!
Resolution 7 – Speak the common language of love
We find a hearty assortment of languages and cultures in the world. Although this implicit scattering of peoples poses significant communicative challenges at times, we do encounter some common ground if we attune our hearts and ears to the stories our neighbors seek to share with us.
I suspect our common language is love, friends. Love that hopes all things, believes all things, and endures all things. In loving our neighbors and our partners to the best of our abilities– all language barriers are overcome.
Resolution 8 – Pack light
What do we tend to over pack? Well, in addition to heaps of “stuff” we do not need, we carry too much worry, bitterness, jealousy, and the like reflecting our sense of vulnerability, our fear of losing control. It hurts are souls and our relationships. “Packing light” is an instructive built on trust. By leaving some things behind and letting some things go, we make space for the currents of love to shift our direction and enrich our journey.
Resolution 9 – Let go of anxiety
Friends, anxiety is paralyzing. Shaped by earlier, unsavory experiences with loss and disappointment, we sometimes look to the future with cynic’s eyes. Could it happened again? Will I make that same mistake a second time? Our relationships and heart are sullied by all the anxiety. What should we do when the worries of the past and present begin to diminish our hope for the future? For starters, let’s acknowledge that life does not always proceed as planned and that’s OKAY! Second, let’s work on TRUST, recognizing that our loved ones are right next to us even when we fail miserably.
Resolution 10 – Hope beyond the missteps
Friends, we will stumble. Often. Our missteps and “misspeak” can be painful at times, rendering us discouraged, alienated, and anxious, perhaps ready to step away from the job, project, or relationship for good. Do you have the vision to see beyond the slump, though? Passionate about our potential for success, joy, and deepened relationship, declare to yourself and your lover, “We’ll walk beyond this valley.
Final thoughts on New Year’s resolutions for couples
Well, there you have it, friends, New Year resolutions for your relationship that should offer you renewed peace and insight. Practice these ones often and let the healing begin. Best wishes as you step into a new year together.