The beginning of a new year is a prime time to not only reflect on personal goals, but is also a great time to go into the new year and create an even stronger marriage. But if you’re like me, by the time the end of January rolls around (or before), you’ve forgotten exactly what it was you set your focus on back when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.
There are many reasons this often happens to our best laid plans and intentions. And since working to improve our marriages as wives is so important, I’d like to offer some ideas for what to avoid and what to do to improve the successfulness of this pursuit.
In order to give you a clearer picture, I’ll share with you a resolution I’ve set in my own marriage for 2020.
4 Things to Avoid and Do that Will Strengthen Your Marriage Resolution
- Avoid being unrealistic with your goal. My marriage resolution for 2020 is to be more affectionate. This might not be an unrealistic goal for myself; however, expecting my husband to notice and reciprocate every single time—or even half the time—isn’t realistic. It’s also not realistic to think I’ll be able to go from reserved and somewhat inhibited to an extremely affectionate wife who’s ready to hop in the sack the moment my husband walks through the door!
When setting a marriage resolution for the new year, consider what is realistic for you to do that is still challenging, and commit to slow and steady growth in this area. If we ever grow discouraged, then we might need to slow our pace a bit more.
- Avoid being vague about what you want to achieve in your marriage. Though being more affectionate with my husband is a worthy goal, it’s also rather vague.
Instead, make your goal as specific and measurable as possible. For example, I’ve specified being more affectionate by each day initiating a kiss and hug. I’ve also thought through when I will do this, and have made it my goal to aim to do this when he comes home and before we go to bed (measurable).
- Avoid setting a resolution without the support of another wife. Instead, find another girlfriend who wants to set a goal in her own marriage as well. Then hold each other accountable, praying for each other in this pursuit each day.
An accountability relationship involves being very specific and measurable as well. First, agree to a set timeframe—like holding each other accountable for three months. After three months, reevaluate how it’s going and whether you want to continue. Second, agree on when and how you’ll check on each other. Will it be once a week? Will it be with a phone call, text or get together? The more you spell out each of these details, the more successful you’ll be.
- Avoid trying to accomplish your goal in your own strength and wisdom. Instead, ask God each day to give you the ability to stick with your goal.
There’s no better reminder of the importance of this than Proverbs 3:5-6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I believe this is probably the main reason why we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions. It’s so important to invite the Lord to help you stay the course, especially when you notice you’re losing your motivation.
Wife Step: If you’ve made a marriage resolution, which of these tips could help you to strengthen your resolve? If you’ve not set one, there’s no time like the present to set and keep a marriage goal!
Beth Steffaniak is an author, marriage blogger, life-coach, pastor’s wife, empty nester and proud grandma. She resides with her husband in southern Illinois, where they enjoy leading marriage workshops together, as well as investing in helping people grow closer to Christ, each other and the disconnected. You can find more of her writing at www.messymarriage.com.