It’s a new year, and you want to work on a new you, right? New Year’s resolutions are fun to set for yourself, but what if you have a partner who shares your “new year/new me” plan? Is it possible to set goals and work on them together? Or, should you remain independent in your resolution list and support your partner in hers? Here are some ideas to help you plan and stay on track.
1. Get in shape together.
If your or your partner’s goal is to get in shape, then definitely do it together! Regardless of your fitness level, sharing motivation when you’re too cold, tired, hung over, or overstuffed to get out and work out is always more effective than trying to motivate yourself. It doesn’t mean that you need to literally stick together (as in, share the treadmill)—just push each other to be active.
Setting a small goal is easier to achieve when you can see the light at the end of your workout. Compare these two resolutions: “I’m going for a 30-minute run each day after work.” and “I’m going to go to the gym more often.” The first defines a specific goal, while the second leaves too much room for interpretation (and, possibly, excuses).
Encouraging your partner to be more active is easier when you do those activities as a pair. You’ll both feel better in the long run. Plus, a healthy body = better endurance (in everything in life)!
2. Network for fun and profit.
If your partner’s goal is to broaden her career horizons, then encourage her to attend networking events with you. You can both benefit from meeting new people in your respective industries. Going to events together can encourage your partner to get out of the house, and sharing new experiences can be fun. Because lots of people will have a similar goal, it’s likely that you’ll be in a room with other networking newbies.
3. Share financial goals.
If your partner’s goal is to save up for a vacation, a couch, or even a litter of kittens, then work together on it. Being honest about your financial stability with your partner will only strengthen your mutual trust. Any mature adult would be offended to learn that her partner isn’t actually as fiscally responsible as she pretends to be. If saving money is on your mind, then tell her.
4. Meet new people as a couple.
If your goal is to make new friends, considering joining a club, volunteering with a group, or participating on a team together. You could make new friends as a couple, which could expand the life that you already share—as opposed to having “dinner with ‘your friends’ on Friday, then dinner with ‘hers’ on Saturday.” By the time summer rolls around, you could have a whole new set of friends, and your calendar could include sharing a “couples weekend” at the beach.
Communicating your resolutions and, more important, sticking to your goals help make you a better person within your relationship. If you decide to divide and conquer your goals individually, then communicate them anyway. We always say that when you share experiences together, your relationship grows. When you achieve even the smallest goals, you feel better about yourself. Plus, when communication is open, there’s less stress, which leads to a strong, healthy relationship.