New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration, a time of reflection, a time of dreaming about the future and a time of making resolutions for the year to come. Most New Year’s resolutions are short-lived, I honestly don’t remember if I made a resolution last year or not never-mind what it was (if there was one). Most resolutions take the form of wanting to save more, desiring a better figure, or wanting to give up something, smoking for example. The majority of resolutions are in the area of self-improvement of one type or another.

According to Peter Economy (the leadership guy), it seems, for both men and women, relationship resolutions are way down the list, falling under the banner of spending more time with family and friends. We’d like to suggest that they need to be a lot higher on your priority list. Here is Peter’s list of the most common new year resolutions.

We have a few ideas about these resolutions and how you can use them to make your relationships better.

1. Diet or eat healthier (71%). Diet and exercise are important elements for our overall health and well-being. In marriage why not slim down on those harsh comments or critical tendencies. ‘Eat’ healthier by choosing words of appreciation.

2. Exercise more (65%). Look for opportunities to be kind, practice patience, when you want to fly off the handle exercise self-control. Sometimes people are reluctant to start exercising because it isn’t easy but in the same way that exercising brings great results so does investing time and energy in your marriage.

3. Lose weight (54%). Too many people carry a lot of baggage into their relationship or take on dead weight through hurt and disappointment. Forgiveness will enable you to shed those pounds that are getting in between you both.

4. Save more and spend less (32%). Finances are one hot topic in marriage and this is a good principle but we want to challenge you to save more and spend less in the area of your relationship. Save up good memories, create them and treasure them. Spend less time on your phone or devices. Time is precious don’t waste it.

5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%). Couples grow apart when they do less and less together. Maybe this year is a good year to take up a new skill or hobby together, you might have to try a number of things before you find one you both enjoy.

6. Quit smoking (21%). Smoking produces toxic air. It’s time to open the windows and let that old air out but also think about what’s causing you to ‘fume’. Anger is a destructive force in relationships and letting off steam might only bring surface relief. Consider going to a counsellor and getting help to talk through your problems if you have unresolved anger and you’re struggling to forgive.

7. Read more (17%). Reading is a fabulous hobby and as book lovers, we don’t find this one too difficult. Why not read a book about marriage to give you some inspiration and guidelines.

8. Find another job (16%). A lot of people are dissatisfied with their employment situations and want to change things up. Job dissatisfaction can really impact a relationship especially if there is a lot of stress and pressure in the workplace. At home, there are lots of jobs that need to be done that perhaps we don’t like too much either. If you see your spouse struggling under their home workload why not find another job you can do to help them out? It’s the little things that are the big things.

9. Drink less alcohol (15%). Apparently, more men make this type of resolution than women. There aren’t any facts or figures regarding why some people make this new year’s resolution whether it’s for health reasons, financial reasons or relationship reasons. We want to encourage you to drink in each other’s words, pour out love to each other and find that high of being in love with each other again. It’s not impossible to regain lost joy.

10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%). Right down at the bottom of the top ten comes something that probably should be number one but don’t just ‘spend’ time, ‘invest’ quality time with those you love. Engage with your spouse, talk to each other about more important things than when dinner is ready or what to bring home from the shop. Chat together, laugh together, love together.

There are a few things worth noting about relationship resolutions.

Don’t focus on changing your spouse. Too many people think that their problems would evaporate if they could transform their partner. Expending time and energy trying to nag or manipulate your spouse into change will only bring resentment. That’s not saying that your spouse doesn’t need to change but they need to be motivated to do it if that change is going to be permanent. Seeing you succeed in change will be a more powerful motivator than trying to force them.

Do focus on changing yourself. You can’t control or change others but you can change you. We aren’t talking about changing personality or becoming fake but you can practice things that you know are healthy for you and healthy for your relationship. Practice makes permanent so make sure that you are practising the right things.

Don’t give up. There is no power in a resolution that’s made on New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t provide a magical force which enables you to keep it. It’s difficult to find any solid figures on how many New Year’s resolutions fail but varying articles indicate it’s somewhere around the 80-90% mark. That’s a lot of failure! The power to change isn’t based on whether you’ve made a promise to yourself at the beginning of the year, the ability to change comes from daily decisions. If you feel like you’ve ruined your New Year’s Resolution because you messed up one day make a new resolution starting there and then.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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