Resolutions vs. Alignment
During this time of year, there is a strong desire to make personal improvements. Parts of this desire are innate, while others are imposed by culture. What impact does this have on romantic relationships? When and how do you include your spouse in your resolutions and/or goals for the new year?
Let’s talk about how to begin setting long-term plans for your partnership. Here’s how to start a dialogue with your spouse, avoid the pitfalls of focusing your energies on things that aren’t important to you, and honour the parts of yourself that are important to you.
Choosing a moment to talk about your future plans with your partner
First and foremost. Make sure everyone is in the correct frame of mind to have this conversation. Bringing up the subject during rush hour after a long day at work, for example, may not be the ideal option. Check in with your partner and see if they’re in a welcoming and open space to talk (be specific about the topic). If they aren’t, make a time that is convenient for both of you.
Many people have standard personal objectives such as increasing their income or decreasing weight. While these are useful, take a look at this instead.
Consider your future selves in the next 20 years. Assume you lead an embodied existence. Consider the following three questions:
- How do you feel about your life together?
- What brings you joy in your relationship?
- How are you connecting to the world around you?
Discuss what your future together looks like based on the answers to these questions. Are your dreams and visions in sync with each other? How will you meet everyone’s needs if you don’t?
Next, I’d like you to pay attention to the aspects of your relationship that are aligned with that future version. Those portions should be nourished and honoured. You’ll discover that there are areas of your relationship that you already excel at, such as exchanging liking and appreciation and taking responsibility during disagreements. What aspects of your relationship are you happy with as a couple? Identify these traits and respect each other’s devotion and hard work.
What does it mean to honour your relationship?
- Taking a quiet moment to acknowledge all your joint accomplishments
- Making your quality time together a priority
- Practicing active listening as much as possible
- Resting when you are tired and not overcommitting yourselves with engagements
- Taking breaks from everyday tasks to tune into each other
Finally, take note of every decision you make in your partnership and individually from this point on and ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with my relationship vision?” Knowing where you both want to go makes staying on track to get there much easier.
It is simpler to appreciate the trip when you are aligned with the aim of your partnership.