Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.” This is one of the big reasons most New Year’s Resolutions fail. But, when you know the critical factors necessary to attain a goal, and you embrace a new mindset, success is possible.
So, if your marriage isn’t where you want it to be – and your goal is to dramatically improve your relationship this year – you have come to the right place. Because “happily ever after” doesn’t just have to just be for fairy tales. The good news is that you don’t have to settle for anything less than a great marriage.
If you’ve tried, and failed, to improve your relationship before, here are some suggestions for creating the changes you desire.
- Be very specific about what you want to change. It should be something that you can measure so you will have clear evidence of positive movement. It’s too vague to want to “feel closer” or “argue less”. Don’t get me wrong. These are wonderful desires. They are even great starting points. But your resolution must involve specific actions that can be easily observed.
- Be clear about why this change is desired. It’s not enough for your partner to want the change, with you agreeing to try because you want to make them happy. If you don’t see the value of this change, you won’t be able to sustain the behaviors necessary to make it happen. It has to be something you want, too.
- Be prepared to go all in. It is necessary to fully commit to the process because real change is hard. The perceived benefit that will come from the change must outweigh the cost of making it. Decide how important making the change is. This must rank at least a 7 out of 10 to keep you going when the going gets tough.
- Make it manageable. Make sure the change is achievable. You didn’t get here over night and it will take a while to turn things around. If it is a big goal, break it down into smaller chunks so it doesn’t seem overwhelming. Recognizable progress, even if it is incremental, provides a sense of accomplishment and confidence to keep going. It also helps to celebrate each step in the process.
- Have an explicit plan for success. The difference between a dream and a goal is having a plan. Leaving behavior change to chance allows for inertia and habit to sabotage your resolution. The more specific you can be about the actions you will take on a daily or weekly basis, the greater the chance for success. Having an accountability partner can keep you on track. It’s also important to have a plan for when you get off track because that will happen. Allowing for imperfect action will keep you from giving up.
Imagine what your life would be like a year from now if you kept your resolution? How would you feel about your marriage? About yourself?
Hopefully, what I’ve given you will get you off to a great start. For a year full of resolutions to help you improve your marriage, check out Resolve to Make Your Marriage Great this Year.
If you would like some personal help in improving your marriage, I would love to talk with you about how I can help. Click here to schedule your complimentary Marriage Breakthrough Session.