By John Thurman M.Div., M.A. LPCC
2015 will be here before you know it. Can you believe how fast 2014 went by?
If you are like many others, you will probably make some New Year’s Resolutions this week. I want to give you a proven method that will help you with your personal resolutions as well as any resolutions you have for your relationship.
In my most recent blog I shared some of the encouraging research about New Year’s resolution and gave you three ideas to consider.
To recap the research:
- Believe your resolutions can be done.
- Keep it real.
- Sweat, do the work.
- Develop resistance.
- Be persistent.
Now I want to give you a proven, practical way to continue to build on the changes you want to make and keep in both your personal life and in your relationship.
Resolving to actively change something in a relationship that will bring partners closer together – like deciding to introduce a date night or a shared sporting activity – is easy to follow through on because it is very possible to observe, notice, and feel the change.
The process of change is easier if supported by a clear structure. The SMART goal system provides a simple way to structure and keep track of resolutions:
Specific – a simple, straightforward and focused goal that is as defined as possible.
Measurable – A measurement allows for feedback and completion date.
Attainable – This should be no pipe dream but something that can be achieved.
Realistic – It’s important that if special skills are needed, the partners have these.
Timely – A time-based goal can be energetically pursued while still being realistic.
SMART goals have become second nature to many people across the globe and are a great way to keep changes manageable. By having specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely resolutions, it’s easier to see the way forward.
Here are four more relationship resolutions you might consider.
1. Make your relationship a priority. Be intentional about keeping your spouse in the #1 position.
2. Laugh and play together. Instead electronic media try a board game, go for a walk, have fun.
3. Don’t try to change your spouse. Learn how to love and accept each other, “warts and all.”
4. Pick a relationship book and read it as a couple.
Hoping that you are off to a great start in 2015.