Toni Munoz-Hunt’s stylish relationship advice column continues today, with a new look at New Year’s Resolutions. Have a question for Toni to tackle in the future? Visit our Contact Page and tell us all about it.
With the new year beginning, I’m contemplating whether or not I should commit myself to another round of overly optimistic resolutions. For the past ten years, my husband and I have taken time out of our busy schedules to help each other write down our individual resolutions, and though this is a treasured tradition of ours, they never seem to stick. Is there a better way to hold each other accountable and keep our family tradition going?
Now that the 2012 phenomenon is behind us, we look ahead to a year of new beginnings. What better way to start 2013 than by revamping your personal resolutions to include your better half?
I’m not encouraging you to lose your own identity, but there is strength in numbers. Rather than just recording your individual resolutions together, I suggest selecting goals with both partners in mind.
With that said, below are my Top 10 Relationship Resolutions. Best of luck with your new and improved tradition!
10. Find Fun Ways To Support Each Other’s Work
The average person spends a little over one fifth of their year working. That’s pretty significant, when you consider that another third is spent sleeping. For this reason, it’s important to show your partner some support in your time off. One suggestion would be to surprise your husband at work with a homemade sack lunch and a small love note in tow.
9. Take A Class Together
Ever think about learning another language? How about the language of love? Enroll in a French course, or maybe register for that fly fishing seminar he always wanted to take. It’s a great way to explore each other’s interests. After your class ends, treat yourselves to an anniversary trip somewhere that the two of you can put your newfound talent to good use.
8. Tell Each Other Something Nice Before Bed
After several years of marriage, it’s easy to get in the kiss-and-roll-over habit. Try telling each other something nice before going to bed every night. You’ve heard the saying, “Never go to bed angry.” Why not take it a step further and always go to bed happy?
7. Cook Together At Least One Night A Week
It’s easy to get caught up in your own life and importance, slowly minimizing the time spent with your partner. Some label this behavior as contentment, but I see its line-crossing potential into irreconcilable differences. Break away from the mundane, and turn a nightly task into a way to reconnect.
6. Focus On Fitness
There’s no better way to start your morning than getting a little physical. Set your alarm an hour earlier, and embark on a three-mile run from your house. It’s the perfect way to get your metabolism going, while opening the lines of communication with your spouse before the workday begins. Try complementing your run with a yoga session three nights a week, to keep those muscles long and loose.
5. Take A Road Trip Somewhere New
A road trip is a great way to reconnect, as well as exercise team-working skills. Some couples prefer to just hop in their car and let the journey unfold, while others like to do plenty of research beforehand. No matter which category is more your speed, fill up that gas tank and go.
4. Start A Couple’s Dinner Series
When you’re married, and the majority of your friends are also married, often all you do together are the same old married things. Shake up the routine by gathering a diverse group of friends, and be the first to host a Couple’s Dinner Series at your house.
3. Sign Up For Some Hands-On Volunteering
I often hear couples complaining about the little things in their relationship: dirty clothes on the floor, in-law drama, etc. In the grand scheme of life, these things aren’t so important. A great way to put it all into perspective is to volunteer your time as a couple. Hands-on activities garner the best results, both for the giver and the recipient. Try joining Habitat for Humanity or scheduling a meal preparation at Austin Street Center.
2. Juice Your Way To Better Health
It’s proven that juicing is one of the best ways to get the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet. I started doing this for my husband and myself about a year ago, and it’s been the perfect breakfast meal replacement for our on-the-go lifestyle. Take turns washing, prepping, and cutting the fruits and vegetables the night before, and alternate choosing new recipes.
1. Create An Online Calendar
Finally, in my experience, what perplexes married women the most is figuring out how to live up to the clichéd standard of the superwoman. Rather than giving this unattainable ideal another thought, let’s focus on our multitasking skills as a whole family. The best way to get everyone organized, and therefore accomplish all they need to accomplish each day, is by plugging every family member into an online calendar. In addition to an assigned color for each individual, be sure and select a color to represent you and your husband as a couple. Dinners together or special dates will be easy to spot (and look forward to), in a tone all their own.
CTW, I hope these suggestions help. I wish you and your husband a wonderful 2013.
Luck and love,
Photo features real-life couple Chris and Nereyda. Photography by David Dobson; Hair and makeup by Joanna Hathcock; Styling by Kathryn Knox.