Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

12 New Year’s Resolutions Married Couples NEED To Make

“And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

We’re at the threshold of a new year, which also translates into a new start for many of us. As you probably know, it is customary to create resolutions or goals for the New Year, hoping to achieve them in the next 12 months. Losing weight seem to top everyone’s lists, closely followed by financial goals. Many single people also resolve to find love in the New Year, and committed couples start thinking about marriage. But what about married couples? They are the ones surrounded by troubles pertaining to mortgages, kids and careers, and these often end up taking center stage. As a result, we often end up neglecting the most significant other in our lives! But the New Year is a new chance to fix things, which includes setting New Year’s resolutions for married couples.  


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Making New Year’s resolutions is all good, but they’re only successful if you stick to them! Statistics show that only about 45% Americans set resolutions, while a meager 8% follow through with them. On the other hand, those who set specific goals and write them down are much more likely to see them succeed. So rather than making a generic resolution like, ‘I’m going to improve my marriage,’ identifying the exact areas of improvement will help focus your efforts. Yes, we said ‘efforts’ – marriage needs work, and you need to do it! And since its New Year’s and all, we’ve decided to be nice and have listed them all out for you right here – one for each month of the year!

Suggested read: 10 awesome New Year’s resolutions for single girls

12 New Year’s resolutions for married couples

1. Focus on health together

couple running

Image source: Flickr

Please don’t start rolling your eyes at this seemingly clichéd New Year’s resolution! You see that we’ve used the operative word ‘together.’ Yes, the two of you need to focus on your health and fitness together. Research shows that couples who try to lead a healthier lifestyle together are three times more likely to succeed at it than couples who go the individual route. You can work out together, like going running or doing couple yoga, and since you live together, eating healthier is also easier when it’s a joint affair. Eat out less, cook together, grocery shop together, and make bulk meals and freeze. And if all those MasterChef episodes are resulting in an expanding waistline, change channels and watch Game of Thrones instead!

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff

nagging girlfriend_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

In the initial days of a marriage, both spouses have their rose-tinted glasses firmly on and see only the lovely parts of each other. Several months later, the glasses have been tossed and as the ugly reality of life comes into view, the dynamics of the relationship begin to change. Soon you find them squabbling over wet towels on the bed, toilet seats left up, lights left on, toilet paper missing – you know the list! While these may seem really silly when you read them here, these often escalate into full blown battles and you end up wondering how a dirty sock led to such a war! Of course, if these are an indication of underlying issues, then the root cause needs to be addressed. Otherwise, resolve to hold back that snappy comment or eye roll, and just let it go. Your marriage is so much more than dirty laundry!

3. Spend quality time together

couple talking

Image source: Flickr

The date night concept has been mentioned in so many places that it’s become quite a cliché! Yet, it’s true that married couples, more than anyone else, need date nights to forget about other stresses and to focus on each other. It’s essential to remind each other of the person they fell in love with and got married to, and this also helps the couple reconnect. But setting aside a night a week at a fancy restaurant may not prove to be the most practical solution, so resolve instead on making quality time truly ‘high quality.’ Turn off your gadgets (including the TV), and just sit, talk, and listen. It could be during your morning coffee, after your run together, or before bed. It might not seem like a lot, but do it every day, and watch your marriage get deeper and more meaningful.

Suggested read: Marriage advice – The comprehensive guide

4. Say something nice once a day

couple talking

Image source: Flickr

‘Familiarity breeds contempt,’ the saying goes, and it’s true especially of married couples. After a few years of marriage, couples begin to take each other for granted and drop all the niceties from their daily conversations. This New Year, make it a point to say something nice at least once a day. It can be a compliment (“That dress looks great on you!”) or something appreciative (“Thanks for taking Mom to the doctor.”). Now, if you haven’t given your spouse a compliment in a long while, this can sound a little weird in the beginning, but stick to it and you’ll soon find more than one nice thing to say every day! One warning: while you may have to make a conscious effort initially, don’t overdo it; you’ll come across as fake and insincere.

5. Do at least one good deed a day

washing car

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Okay, we’ve got the complimenting thing down, now we’ve got one more for your daily to-do list – a good deed! ‘But doesn’t a compliment count as a good deed,’ you ask. Well, it does, but the one we’re talking about here is the non-verbal kind. Let this be something besides your usual chores – that’s a common responsibility that the two of you are expected to share. Don’t stress yourself about it – it could be as simple as a hug or washing her car. It could also be a little more complex like having dinner ready and the kids bathed by the time she gets home, so she can just relax for the rest of the evening.

6. Leave the past in the past

couple arguing

Image source: Flickr

Married couples (especially the women) have this knack of remembering the slightest of past hurts and bringing it up whenever the clouds gather overhead. And we all know where the past belongs – yes, in the past! Digging up ancient history just to prove a point is never a good idea and offers nothing to solve the current problem. If both of you have a tendency to do this every time you fight, you’ll have to work doubly hard at controlling it. Think of something to do whenever you get the urge to bring up the past – like counting to ten, closing your eyes or taking a deep breath. We know, it isn’t easy letting go of negative patterns like these, but with consistent effort, it is possible.

7. Have a hobby

cooking couple

Image source: Flickr

There’s a quote that goes, “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” We’d like to add one more to this list – one to do with your partner. You may have your own individual hobbies and that’s fine, but find one that both of you enjoy and make a big deal out of it. If it’s food, cook or bake together; if it’s travel, take frequent weekend getaways to new places; if it’s movies, discuss actors or directors and try out new genres together. Whatever it is, when it’s something both of you enjoy, it requires less effort to stay committed and interested, and you’re more likely to stick to it. With a common hobby, you have quality time and date night all rolled together!

8. Step up your intimacy quotient

couple in bed

Image source: Shutterstock

The honeymoon phase probably had you guys going at it like bunnies, but as life and kids get in the way, intimacy becomes the lowest on the priority list. Even if it exists, it may be rather lacklustre and monotonous. So let one of your New Year’s resolutions be to spice up your sex life, either in quantity or quality – because we believe both work! Spend a weekend away without the kids, finish up your nightly chores earlier, order sexy lingerie or get information about trying out something new in bed. Trust us; even a small step can make a big difference!

Suggested read: 10 dos and don’ts of a successful marriage

9. Draw up a yearly budget

couple planning

Image source: Flickr

This is probably one of those things that you know you should do but keep putting off! Studies show that finances are one of the main reasons for couple troubles, so it’s wise to get this sorted right away. Sit down when you’re both in a good mood and think about the expenses coming up in the year – insurance, mortgage, education, travel, taxes, etc., If you have plans for something new (house, car, baby), do estimate costs for that as well. Consider how much you’ll need to spend, save and also splurge – after all, life is for living and money is for spending! Based on this, create a monthly budget for your home, and also decide how payments are going to be made for each – cash, check or bank transfer. If it sounds too much, get the help of a professional. When you have all this sorted and written down, you’ll both feel so much at ease and it’ll take out a lot of stress from your daily lives.

10. Record the good times

couple taking a selfie_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

Sometimes you have really horrid, bad days, when all you want to do is hibernate. Marriage is like that, which is why they’ve included the ‘for worse’ clause in marriage vows! At such times, it helps to remember the good parts of your marriage, and for this it’s good to keep a record. Modern technology has made it a lot easier to click photos whenever you feel like it, so make the most of your devices. Click selfies of the two of you together, on both your phones. Another great idea is journaling and scrapbooking, both of which have gotten a lot of focus in recent times. They have proven to have several benefits to well-being, and writing and collating about the good things about your spouse can help your brain have a more positive outlook about your marriage and spouse.

11. Look at the funny side

couple laughing_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

‘Why so serious?’ Before we go all Joker on you, think about it – do you really need to be so serious all the time? Life is hard, but it is also short, and you don’t really want to spend the limited time you have sulking or frowning. If you really look, you’ll find that most frustrating situations have a humorous angle to them, and that’s what you need to find to make a bad situation better. Even if you don’t find a solution to your problem right away, lightening the atmosphere will help you release the associated negativity and make your mind clearer. You might not be as humorless as you think; just watch ‘Modern Family’ for tips!

12. Throw out unrealistic expectations

couple talking

Image source: Flickr

Okay, now you’ve made your resolutions and you’re all excited for the New Year to start so that you can begin executing them. But we’d like to remind you of an important point that’ll save your good intentions from going to Resolution Hell – keep it practical. Any expectation of your spouse turning into Mr/Ms. Perfect overnight is, well, impossible to say the least! Realize that you need consistent efforts over a period of time to see any results; these aren’t quick fix solutions! The good news is that the changes you do see eventually will be long-lasting and completely worth the effort.

Suggested read: The ultimate list of tips on what makes a good marriage

New Year’s resolutions are notorious for getting discarded by the time February rolls around, so you’ll need to find a way to consciously avoid that happening. Have a calendar or planner handy to mark an ‘X’ on the days you carry out your resolution. Yes, it can feel odd to mark the day you give your wife a hug, but don’t worry, once it becomes a habit, you won’t need calendars for it! Take it easy, enjoy your New Year’s Eve and believe that 2016 will be your year. As Oprah said, “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” Happy New Year!

Featured image source: Flickr

Article Name
12 New Year's Resolutions For Married Couples
This New Year, resolve to work on improving your marriage! Here are 12 New Year's Resolutions for married couples to make their relationship even better!
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []