Updated: Feb 12, 2021
With each new year, many people start off with positive energy and hope that this year will be better than the last, some start with goals they want to achieve for the year. These are usually focused on health, finances, career, or professional aspirations, but what about relationship goals? The ones I've heard are generally about spending more time with their family. Whilst it's well-meaning, it’s not defined, and like other new year goals it’s difficult to achieve or maintain because other life priorities begin to take over, and the energy we had starts to fade.
When coaching people on changing some aspect of their life, I focus on the habits that they currently have and what new habits they need to successfully make that lasting change.
A habit is something that we do unconsciously, usually something small that is done regularly which then has a bigger impact over time. Think of your morning routines, what do you do automatically without thinking or with your social media? When you have a habit of doing something, not much effort is required, right? One of the reasons why new year goals fail is because a habit wasn’t created to help achieve the goal.
The same principle can be used for relationships, rather than being goal-orientated, focus on the habit, something small that can be done consistently over time, and will have a positive impact on the relationship overall.
For example, create a habit of recognising, appreciating the qualities or actions of your partner. This increases the positive feeling and strengthens the bond that already exists between you. Continuously bringing up the other person’s faults, ultimately damages the relationship, so instead create a habit of appreciation for a healthier relationship.
When thinking of relationship habits, focus on what will make you and your partner truly happy and fulfilled, not how society defines it. What relationship habits do you want to have?