As we make our way into a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on the state of your relationships, and to set yourself up for a successful new year.
Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or just want to strengthen ties with friends and family, here are five ideas for getting off to a positive, proactive start to the year.
What went well
Tip #1. Take inventory of your relationships. As you look back on the year that passed, think about the relationships that have been important to you and consider how they’ve changed over the course of the year. Consider the highs and lows of each relationship and what has been going well and what could be improved. As a shorthand, Sonika and I ask each other, “What went well? And what still needs attention?”
What do you want to see happen?
Tip #2. Set goals. Once you’ve taken inventory of your relationships, set goals for the coming year. What do you want to achieve in each relationship? How do you want to be treated? What kind of communication do you want to have? Then consider what actions you might take to reach those goals. To some, the words “goal” and “achieving” might sound too much like a business proposition. But relationships are no different from businesses or sports in this sense. You have a much better chance of getting what you want if you clarify what that is (i.e. a goal), and then come up with actions to back it up.
Relationships need time
Tip #3. Make time for your relationships. Life can be hectic, and it’s easy to let relationships fall by the wayside as we get caught up in our daily routines. Even during the holidays, we’re often so busy and stressed out that we need a holiday after the holidays, just to rest. Make time for the important people in your life. Don’t forget that you are one of those people! If necessary, schedule regular dates or phone calls to catch up to make sure your relationships stay strong and connected.
No downside to appreciation
Tip #4. Express gratitude. Often and generously. The end of a year is a great time to express appreciation for those who have been important to you. Reach out to people who have supported you and thank them for the positive impact they’ve had on your life (start with your partner or kids). Appreciation is one of the few things you can share freely without ever running out. And there are no negative side-effects of appreciation. No one ever said, “We’re getting divorced because we appreciate each other too much”.
Relationships don’t improve themselves
Tip #5. Seek help when needed. If you’re struggling with a particular relationship, don’t be afraid to seek help. In our experience, relationship problems don’t go away by themselves. “Time heals everything” does not apply to our unproductive patterns. Relationship issues can be complex; they require focused attention. Consider talking to a relationship coach or a therapist to help you navigate difficult conversations or come up with solutions to any issues you may be facing. We are available for private coaching; you can always send us a message or call our office for an informal chat to see if we can help.
In summary, the new year is a great time to reflect on your relationships and make plans for the future. Take the time to evaluate your relationships, set goals, make time for those who are important to you, express gratitude, and seek help when necessary. That’s a good recipe to set yourself up for success in the new year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023 full of love and connection!
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LoveWorks: We believe relationships are meant to be an empowering, fun, passionate, safe place to grow, love, and learn. Where we get to be more of who we are, not less. We know it’s not always easy, but it can definitely be easier! With our unique and practical approach to relationship, you learn how to resolve conflicts quickly and enjoy fulfilling intimacy for the rest of your life. To learn more or contact us, visit www.loveworkssolution.com.