Guest post written by Tamara Wilhelm of Imagine Hope Counseling

With the start of the new year, making a list resolutions is at the top of priority. However, resolutions are not just for you as an individual. As a couple, making goals for the new year are very important and can help the two of you connect and work toward something together. When making goals, keep these following tips in mind:

  1. Change “New Years Resolution” to “What do we want to see happen in our marriage this year?” Do you want to start a family/have another child? Attend church more frequently? Take a dream vacation? Go on more dates together? This is a great time to sit down and discuss all the ideas & visions each of you have/would like to see for your marriage. Don’t discount something because you think it is too out-of-reach or because you’re concerned the other will not be on board. Throw all ideas out there, the goal is for this step to be a brainstorming session.
  2. Imagine how the marriage would look and feel if you obtained your goals. Imagine what it would look like physically, emotionally & spiritually for your marriage if you grew your family or attended church more frequently. Do you like what you are envisioning?
  3. Be specific in pinpointing what you need to do in order to make the changes. Break your larger goals into smaller goals. In order to go on more dates together, what do you need to do as a couple to achieve this? You’ll need to save for extra spending money for the date, schedule & reserve the time for each other, find a babysitter, & decide how you’re spending your time on your date. Breaking a larger goal into smaller pieces will lead you down a path toward success and manageability rather than having a goal that is broad and unattainable.
  4. ALWAYS write down your marriage goals. Keep your goals somewhere you both can easily see them. Don’t put them somewhere that you’ll get accustomed to and eventually not notice them. You can also move where your goals are posted every few weeks or so. With all the technology we have, setting an alert or alarm to remind us to do something is very easy. So, alert yourself to move your goals so you can keep them fresh in your stream of consciousness.
  5. Review your goals often. Both of you decide how often you would like to sit down as a couple and review the progress of your marriage. Feel free to tweak and change as you both see fit & as goals are attained or achieved.
  6. Hold each other accountable. Having a built-in accountability partner is a bonus! Make sure you each give gentle feedback to each other that is encouraging and uplifting when you see improvements that need to be made, and also point out if the other is being too hard on themselves.

There are so many wonderful and endless possibilities your marriage could achieve in the coming year. Hopefully your marriage visions turn into concrete accomplishments!

Imagine Hope Counseling Group has a passion for guiding people towards healthy, fulfilling relationships. Joleen Watson, Natalie Chandler, Tamara Wilhelm and Teri Claassen understand that Hope is one of the most important things a person needs in order to keep pressing on when life gets tough. Imagine Hope is based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Read more from them here.

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