New Year’s Resolutions: The Power of a Promise

by Greg and Priscilla Hunt

Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful a promise is? With a promise we steal some of the uncertainty from tomorrow. We stake a claim on the unknown future and declare that we will not leave it to chance or whim. With promises, those we make to others and to ourselves, we become leaders of our lives and loves rather than victims of uncertainty.

Promise-making is what we’re doing every time we make resolutions, whether they be New Year’s resolutions or otherwise. Every resolution is a commitment to be intentional about what comes next.

Why not use this time of year to exercise your power as a promise-making couple? If your relationship is already strong, there’s no time like the present for making specific commitments that keep your relationship fresh and growing.

If for some reason your relationship is less than satisfying right now, you have an opportunity to alter your current course. You can’t change your past, but you can shape your future. You can decide together what you want it to be and then love your way toward that future on the wings of the promises you make.

Here are a few promises you might consider making for 2016:

1. Initiate at least 5 times as many positive moments in your relationship as negative moments (John Gottman, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail)

2. Learn your partners “love language” and choose to speak it every day (Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages)

3. Listen to your partner with the goal of understanding his or her perspective (Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc.)

4. Become a member of Better Marriages for year-long support of your relationship or give a gift membership to another couple to “pay it forward”

5. Take an online Couple Checkup to determine your strengths and growth areas

6. Attend a face-to-face or virtual Marriage Enrichment Group to share with other like-minded couples who are committed to growing their relationships. Doesn’t fit your schedule? Access recordings of each virtual MEG by topic here.

7. Identify, celebrate, focus and build on current relationship strengths. Write them down!

Don’t waste time and energy on making new year’s resolutions that you know you won’t or can’t keep. Resolve to invest time and energy in your relationship and experience relationship success in 2016!

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