Relationship Resolutions That Work

There’s no time like the New Year to make a change. And what could benefit more from positive change than your relationship with your fiancé or spouse? This year I suggest you do something new.

Make a relationship resolution!
This is a joint commitment to change that will benefit you as a couple. Choose one goal that involves your mutual success.

Your relationship resolution could be to:

  • Plan a weekly date night
  • Begin a devotional routine
  • Run a 5K together
  • Join a small group

The possibilities are only limited by who you are as a couple and who you want to become.

The trick to landing on a great relationship resolution is to choose one that both interests and benefits you both. Don’t try to drag your spouse too far into your own interests if it’s going to all work and no enjoyment for them. For example, if you’re a hard-core climber and your spouse is not, you may not want to make climbing Everest your joint goal. It may enthrall you but exhaust your partner.

Instead, express consideration of each other in formulating your goals. Likewise, your success at work may benefit you both, but it will only engage you. Choose something that requires participation from each of you.

In the end you’ll find this process much more fulfilling. Keep in mind that you’re completely free to make a personal resolution as well. But this relationship resolution is solely for building the both of you.

After locating an area of common interest and benefit, decide that it’s worth doing well. Take the time needed to walk through some further considerations.

For many, the only thing that’s as predictable as making a New Year’s Resolution is watching it fizzle out long before spring. Failing to follow through on good intentions can make us believe that real change is out of reach. It’s not.

Here’s why many New Year’s Resolutions fall flat far before February:

  • You don’t plan for it.
  • You’re not ready (or willing) to make substantial changes.
  • You try to change too much.

So instead of hurtling toward certain failure, take 3 steps to succeed.

Here’s how to make a Relationship Resolution that works!

1. Make a plan.
Making a half-hearted resolution on a whim is worse than making none at all. If we don’t consider what really needs to change, we’ll never put together the discipline to follow it through to the finish line.

Last year my wife and I began talking about our resolution in early December. It wasn’t until the afternoon of New Year’s Day, after a long walk, that we committed to one significant change. We sealed it with a prayer and planned to carry it out weekly.

Agreeing on the goal gave us a sense of unity. Carrying out our resolution weekly grew our sense of teamwork. Looking back on this year gives us a sense of accomplishment. Looking forward we are filled with hope.

Question: What one change could make a significant improvement in your life?

2. Count the cost.
Jesus said,

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

This wisdom still holds water today. Careful planning and consideration are required to make a relationship resolution that adds up to real change. Add up the real consequences of the change you’re planning, and you’ll be willing to pay the price for success.

Change is hard work, but it’s worth it. My pastor is fond of saying, “Nothing changes until something changes.” It’s pretty straightforward. Wishing is one thing. But altering your life to produce a preferred outcome is altogether different.

Question: What are/aren’t you willing to change in order to succeed?

3. Get specific.
Failure to focus guarantees a variety of failures.

I’m sure you’d like to lose weight, read the entire Bible, run a marathon and build an impressive portfolio of investments this year. But please choose just one substantial goal that will challenge and benefit you both. Be aggressive, but be realistic. If you blow this goal out of the water, you can always up the ante next year.

Less is more. Focus on one life-altering, substantial change, rather than trying to tackle every area of your life.

In conclusion…
Before you click away from this post, take a moment to imagine what your life could be like one year from now. If you and your fiance or spouse landed on a great goal, and then carried it across the finish line:

  • What would you accomplish?
  • What would that do for your relationship?
  • What would you attempt next years?

The possibilities are endless. You have just begun to discover what God can do with two lives working together.



Joe lives in upstate, NY with his wife and four daughters. He is a pastor at New Life Ministries, the church he grew up in. After 15 years of marriage and ministry, he's passionate about helping others navigate the challenges of life through a strong connection with God. For more information, visit Joe's blog.

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