A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start that applies to every area of your life, including your relationship. To keep your relationship interesting, commit at the beginning of each year to getting to know each other better, trying new things, and finding new ways for fun and adventure.

Instead of letting another year go by without checking in with your partner, make an effort to grow your relationship by focusing on resolutions that feel good this year. You don’t have to subscribe to growing apart the longer you’ve been together or becoming bored in your relationship. However, it takes equal parts effort from both parties, and resolutions at the start of the year are a great way to keep your relationship thriving.

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Let’s dive into five new year’s resolutions you can make with your partner to ensure your relationship is thriving and you have your best year yet as a couple and two ways you can approach the conversation to enroll your partner in this.

1. Create a couple’s bucket list for the year

You most likely, at some stage of your life, have created a bucket list of things you want to cross off the list in your lifetime or set goals for your year but have you done this with your partner? This fun exercise can get you excited, connected, and with a clear vision for your next 12 months together. Some prompts to get you started are:

  • Where do we want to travel together?
  • What new things that neither of us has done can we do?
  • How can we spice things up?
  • What new hobbies or activities do we want to try out?
  • What favorite movies shall we watch together on date night?

2. Make relationship check-ins a quarterly occurrence.

Schedule these out ahead of time and take the time to check in with each other to see how you’re doing and what you desire for the next quarter and ask each other the following prompts:

“I am so grateful for you for…”

“I love it the most when you…”

“What I would love even more from you is…”

3. Take turns each month planning each other surprise date every 3 months.

It doesn’t have to be grand and expensive; it could be as simple as a dinner date at their favorite restaurant that you booked, where you get dressed up and allow them to be the receiver for the evening (where you book, plan and order for them). OR light candles, create a loving space in your home, and hide your phones for the night so you can deeply connect. It sounds so obvious, yet it’s easy to overlook and spend too many date nights scrolling on social media or getting distracted by external things that interfere with the connection and intimate experience with your partner.

4. Try one new thing together every month. 

That could be a new restaurant, a staycation at that new boutique hotel, or a new toy or position to keep things spicy. Routine lulls the mind to sleep, and a lack of newness can lead to boredom in a relationship. To cultivate that deeper level of connection and intimacy, the secret to keeping the honeymoon phase alive is newness, fun, spontaneity, and adventure.

5. Support each other to go on solo trips (or with their friends). 

“Absence makes the heart go fonder,” it’s true! A few days apart gives you the space to start to miss those pet peeves you have about one another. Remember, you don’t need to be everything to your partner, and encouraging them to spend time away with friends or family will allow them to go out and seek support and friendship outside of the relationship, which means more energy for you both when you’re together.

When you’re ready to discuss with your partner, make sure you do these two things:

Everybody knows that effective communication is essential for maintaining a relationship and ensuring both partners are happy. Why? Because lack of communication or miscommunication leads to resentment. When there is resentment.

Create a loving environment and pick your spot

If your partner is watching sports, it’s not a good time to open the conversation that you want to vision the next year together or ask about their deepest desires or biggest fears – that’s a quick way to get shut down or be met with defensiveness.

Ask permission and respect their boundaries.

Respect your partner’s boundaries, and you’ll demonstrate that’s the new standard you’d also like reciprocated. For example: “hey, I’ve been visioning out my year, and I’d love for us to make time together to set some couple resolutions, does Saturday work for you?” Then when the time comes, “Is now a good time? Are you ready?” 

If they just got a work email or they’re mid-conversation with a friend via text when they need an extra five minutes, you run into an opportunity of miscommunication, and that isn’t the place you want to get started when you’re introducing something new into the relationship.

To conclude, all relationships can benefit from creating resolutions, whatever time of year, because it’s the act of continuing to commit to one another, aligning your vision for the next 12 months, and planning for the amazing things you want to do together before the busyness of the year begins. It can be easy to fall back into the routine (or, in some cases, rut) of how it’s always been. Relationships are supposed to change and evolve as the two humans in the partnership develop and grow. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to ensure you grow together in the same direction for the year ahead.