Lots of people make a New Year’s resolution, but how many have resolved to improve their relationship this January?
While you might take the annual vow to lose weight, save money or stop biting your fingernails, it’s easy to forget the resolutions that could improve things not just for you, but your partner and children too.
Instead of resorting to the same old resolutions you make and fail to keep, why not focus your energies on making some small changes to how you approach your relationship and see how big the improvements can be.
We’ve suggested five resolutions that don’t require input from anyone but you; just making some amendments to your own behavior can have a knock-on effect on how your partner responds to issues in your relationship too. Try one, a few, or even all five – and don’t forget to let us know how you get on.
Let go of the past
The beginning of a new year is a good opportunity to put past arguments to bed. Your relationship will never move forward if you revisit the same old squabbles time and time again; instead of resolving the issue you’ll only build further resentments.
If your partner has made a mistake and apologized then accept their apology and look at ways of building trust in your relationship to reassure each other it won’t be repeated.
For tips and advice on building trust, click here.
Work on your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and manage our own emotions and those of the people around us. People who are emotionally intelligent tend to have better quality relationships than people with poorer social skills.
When we have low emotional intelligence, we tend to become overwhelmed by our own emotions and the emotions of others. This inability to deal with emotions leads us to engage in behaviors that break down the quality of our relationships and push people away. What we need is the skill and awareness of how to bring people closer and to build their trust in us.
Read about how you can bring people closer and stop pushing people away in this article.
While it might not come naturally to everyone, the good news is it’s possible to improve your emotional intelligence at any time. Check out our top tips for building emotional intelligence here.
If things in your relationships are getting you down it’s easy to fall into a cycle of negative thinking that will only make things worse. Try to focus on the positives in your relationship – it’ll change the way you react to difficult situations and ultimately lead to fewer arguments.
To start, simply aim to criticize less and compliment more – praising your partner will show you how much you really value them, and is likely to put them in a positive frame of mind too.
Share your goals for the year ahead
Couples who feel supported by each other tend to have happy relationships. Sharing your personal and professional goals with your partner will allow you to help each other achieve what you want over the coming year and celebrate your successes together.
If you’re not yet sure what you’d like to get out of 2013, now’s a great time for some introspection. Think about what you really want and need then share it with your partner; it’s much easier to achieve your goals when you’re both on the same wavelength.
Make a compromise
Disagreements are a normal part of any relationship, but it’s important they’re resolved properly to avoid any lasting impact. The best way to move on is to compromise with your partner and show that you’re able to put your own interests to one side to help strengthen your relationship.
Set a good example for the year ahead and make one big compromise that your partner will really appreciate. It could be anything from giving up smoking to cutting out any selfish habits that really wind your partner up. If they can see you’re prepared to make compromises for the sake of your relationship they’ll be more likely to follow suit.