Author: Maya Maria Brown, M.A. Counseling Psychology, Relationship Expert
Want to set some 2022 new year’s resolutions as a couple? Check out our best tips for relationship resolutions and how to set - and keep - your relationship goals for 2022.
How to approach new year’s resolutions for couples
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Another year has come and gone, and it’s time to set your 2022 new year’s resolutions.
Sigh. You think back to previous years of resolutions that didn’t make it past January 5. You want things to be different this time. You want to set realistic resolutions that you can actually stick to.
Let me guess: you want to set new year goals for 2022, but you don’t know where to start.
And it’s not just about you - you and your partner have a vision too. You want to have the relationship of your dreams. Things might be good, but they could always be better. You want to set relationship goals for 2022, but that feels even more foreign than the solo resolutions.
Does this sound like you?
You might be thinking that I must have the magic key to setting and keeping your new year relationship goals.
And you’d be right.
I’ll walk you through the whole process of making relationship resolutions that will make 2022 your year of love.
Setting goals for couples
Setting new year goals
When it comes to your relationship, new year’s resolutions can transform your connection with your partner.
Quite simply, setting couples goals is a great way to align your expectations and work together on your relationship.
Think about it: without new year's resolutions for couples, you might not know where your partner’s priorities are. Or even your own. You might want different things from your relationship, and are at odds without even realizing it.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
As a couple, new year resolutions are an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Now is the time to create healthy relationship habits, get rid of bad relationship habits, and work together on building the relationship you both dream of. Each new year's resolution for couples that you set can make a difference.
But first, let’s take a look at common reasons why people have trouble keeping up with their new year’s resolutions.
Why new year's resolutions fail
The bottom line is that if you want to stick to your new year’s resolutions, you need to set yourself up for success. After all, 80% of new year’s resolutions fail, so let’s get down to how you can avoid common pitfalls.
We have found the most common reasons why people struggle with new year’s resolutions. Based on those reasons, here are 6 ways you can set resolutions that you can actually keep, with some new year’s resolutions examples.
“One tiny action might feel insignificant at first, but it allows you to gain the momentum you need to ramp up to bigger challenges and faster progress.”
New year’s resolutions are an opportunity to align your goals as a couple.
There are 6 things you can do to help ensure you stick to your resolutions.
Using prompts for couple goals can help you and your partner set new year’s resolutions together.
6 ways to keep your new year’s resolutions
A conversation I’d like to have more often is: _____.
The kind of love I would like to feel is: _____.
Something I’d like to incorporate into our morning or evening routine is: _____.
Some ideas I have for dates I’d like to go on are: _____.
One way I’d like us to be more active together is: _____.
Three words to describe the kind of partner I want to be are: _____.
Something we can do to start a gratitude practice is: _____.
Something I’d like to try in our sex life is: _____.
Communication exercises I’d like us to try are: _____.
A shift I’d like to make in how we divide responsibilities is: _____.
A vision I have for our relationship one year from now is: _____.
One way we can be more proactive in our relationship is: _____.
12 prompts for couples new year’s resolutions
Once you’ve considered how you can keep your new year’s resolutions, now you’re ready to come up with your new year’s resolution ideas for 2022.
If you love couple goals, now’s your time to shine. You and your partner can use relationship resolutions to identify what is important in a relationship, and address some bad habits in a relationship or toxic relationship habits.
Don’t worry, we’ll help you figure it out. You can set romantic couple goals, sexual couple goals, and practical couple goals to make 2022 a year to remember.
Whether or not you’re a married couple, goals can help you deepen your relationship and enjoy each other more. Sharing the same goals for your relationship could be the most important part of a relationship, so let’s get to it.
A great way to come up with your new year’s resolutions as a couple is to have an annual relationship conference. This could be a quiet afternoon you have together with no distractions, or you can even go away for a retreat to let yourself really center your relationship.
Come in with the shared goal of reviewing highlights and challenges of the past year, and envisioning together what you want the upcoming year to look like.
You can do the following activity anytime, but new year’s is a great time to review your goals as a couple. You can write your responses to the prompts individually and share your answers, or together as a couple. These can be the basis for your relationship conference to get you thinking.
Couples new year’s resolutions activity
According to Jonathan Alpert, a psychotherapist, we are more likely to drop out of a goal if it’s vague. Set specific resolutions that have easy ways to track your progress
Example: instead of “Have better communication,” try “Spend 10 minutes a day talking about our feelings.”
Alpert also says that we are more likely to be successful with positive self-talk. Instead of setting a resolution for something you want to avoid, rephrase it so the resolution is something you want to do.
Example: instead of “Don’t be so negative,” try “Write in a gratitude journal three times a week.”
Shift your mindset.
Kathy Caprino writes about how some of the things we want to change will keep repeating themselves until we change something within ourselves. Sometimes, an external problem can be addressed with an internal shift.
Example: instead of “Stop lashing out when I’m angry,” try “Start a mindfulness practice to learn how to be present with my anger.”
Plan for small changes.
Instead of trying to make a big change all at once, BJ Fogg teaches us to break our goals down into tiny steps that are easy to take.
Example: instead of “Run 10k together every day,” try “Run for 5 minutes together every day” and up the number in small increments over time.
Build new habits into existing routines.
BJ Fogg also talks about attaching new habits with ones you already have. That way, your new habit will have a context and an association with things you already do, and it will be easier to remember.
Example: instead of “Hug my partner more,” try “Hug my partner after I brush my teeth every morning and evening.”
Focus on who you want to be
As James Clear says, “The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.” Set resolutions that help you aim for the person you want to be.
Example: instead of “Buy my partner more presents,” try “Find opportunities to be a generous and giving partner.”
So go ahead - set some new year’s resolutions that you feel good about! One routine all couples can try for the new year is to track and share your feelings with your partner using the app Coupleness. Start your free trial today!