Couple

The New Year is traditionally a time for reflection and a time for change. It’s a time when we think about how to make the coming year better than the one before. Typically, people vow to stop smoking, lose weight or begin an exercise program, and all too often, these plans don’t last beyond the first few weeks in January.

It is hard to make significant changes in long-established habits, and difficult to stay motivated when you don’t see clear results. Sure, becoming healthier is an important goal. But what if you could put that effort into making changes that would be truly meaningful to your life and the lives of those around you?

A relationship reset is that kind of change. To start on this important journey, you just have to ask yourself three simple questions.

What kind of relationship do I want?

Few of us have the perfect relationship, but we seldom focus on how the relationship would ideally look. Maybe it would be:

  • Respectful, kind, considerate?
  • Exciting, adventurous, challenging?
  • Affectionate, loving, romantic, sexy?
  • A peaceful, supportive partnership?
  • All of the above or something else?

How have I contributed to creating the kind of relationship I want?

Here is a chance to take an honest look at your own efforts to make your relationship what you want it to be. Remember, this is about you, not your partner.

What concrete steps do I intend to take in the next year to improve my relationship?

The key here is to be specific as possible, and again, to focus on your own actions, not your partner’s. Some possible actions might be:

  • Greet my partner with a hug and a kiss every day.
  • Avoid letting irritation creep into my tone of voice.
  • Ask, rather than tell.
  • Make time to focus on my partner.

Sure, it would be great if your partner wanted to make some relationship resolutions, too; and maybe you could do this together. On the other hand, a relationship is a system. If one part of a system changes, the whole system is different. To paraphrase Gandhi, be the change that you wish to see in the relationship!

Elaine Wilco is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience. She maintains a private practice in Alpharetta focused on helping those with intimacy issues. Follow her at facebook.com/IntimacyAtlanta.

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