There are often times that we, as a couple, need a bit of a reset – a time to come together and ensure that we are on the same page. Sometimes, it may be over the holidays as the beginning of a new year is often a time for evaluation, assessing, and planning for the upcoming twelve months. We may choose to take a look at things around our anniversaries or even birthdays to analyze things like our health, our spiritual direction, our priorities, and set goals regarding what we would like to do differently. Let’s not forget our relationships in this annual assessment!
CONSIDER THIS: Sometimes we need to take a breath and take time to review the past year to assess what we did right, what is not working, what we can do better, what changes we can make to improve our relationship, and what goals we can work together to accomplish over the next year. In your mind’s eye, think of two positive things that have happened in the past year to your relationship and two areas that need improvement.
Whether your relationship is already amazing or you are working toward getting there, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on what our partner is not doing rather than consideration of personal changes we want to make to be better individuals. Make sure you spend at least, if not more, energy and effort with your own personal growth so that you can be the best you can possibly be personally in your relationship this year. Consider the following questions:
1. Over the past year, the primary stress factors for me personally were ______, _______, and ________. Consider how you have dealt with these primary stress factors and how they may have affected your relationship.
2. My time and attention this past year have been primarily spent on _______ and _______. If this has taken time away from your relationship, how can this change in the coming year?
3. Are there any outstanding personal issues that I have not dealt with that are causing stress or strain in our relationship? How can I begin to deal with them this year?
CONNECTING CONVERSATIONS TO HAVE WITH YOUR PARTNER:
Sit quietly together and consider where you want to go in the next year together as a couple. Here are 10 Questions to get you started!
1. Is there anybody in our lives that is not supportive of or tries to undermine our relationship? Should we consider limiting contact with them this year? Do we need to cultivate some couple friends this year who encourage and help strengthen our relationship?
2. What’s the single most important thing I could do to improve our relationship this year?
3. What’s the most important decision we need to make together this year as a couple?
4. What is the biggest obligation we as a couple need to meet this year?
5. What area of our lives most need simplifying and what is one thing we could do to accomplish that?
6. In terms of our health, what is one change we could both support that would help in making a move toward the goal of being healthier?
7. What is our biggest financial goal as a couple and what is one single thing we could do this year to move closer to that goal?
8. If there is a time-waster activity that gets in the way of us spending time together, what can we do to spend more time together this year?
9. What can we do to encourage/uplift each other on a regular basis this year?
10. What is one change we could each make that would help strengthen our faith this year and one change that would help strengthen our relationship this year?