Relationship Fresh Start

      At the beginning of every year we resolve to do things differently in our personal lives. Sometimes we succeed, and most often we fail. But what about your committed relationship? What if you had a yearly ritual of looking back on your relationship successes and looking ahead at your shared goals and dreams? What if you visualized together and supported one another to have a dream relationship in 2014? This sort of annual tradition makes your relationship, helps you to "relate on purpose".

      Certified Imago Therpaist Norene Gonesiewski shared her easy steps to a better relationship.

      Step One: Each of you makes a list of Relationship Wins.
      Examining what went well is a crucial first step. Yes, you may have had many problems, conflicts, and disappointments. But you must have succeeded at something, after all you are still together!

      Sit together and share your lists. Take turns and do not interrupt. Also, no disagreeing and no making any negative comments. Your partner's opinions of how things went are as valid as your own!

      Step Two: Each of you makes a list of your goals for your relationship in 2014

      What would you like to see take shape in your marriage in 2014? Keep it realistic, but also dream big. Do you want to save money, live within your means, travel, work out together? Make your list and then sit down and share your lists following the above-mentioned rules.

      Step Three: Agree upon a list of about 10 goals for your relationship in 2014

      Norene shared "Each year my husband and I create a list of shared goals for our marriage. As much as life will allow we do this on New Year's Day. The goals are usually along the lines of what we want to accomplish, "We have an organized basement and attic", or instituting regular and enjoyable activities, "We have a weekly date". "

      An average list couple's create is something like the following:
      We travel to New York City
      We save 10% of our income
      We go camping 4 times
      We attend a relationship retreat
      We reduce our debt by half
      We work together to improve our parenting

      Make sure you write your statements:
      ? Present tense
      ? Positive
      ? Start each one with WE

      Step Four: Write and Decorate Your Relationship Vision for 2014

      Get artistic, have fun, go for it. Again Norene shared "My husband and I make a collage each year that we hang on the wall of our walk-in closet." Make it fun, make it pretty but most of all, make it visible to you both so that you can work hard to keep your relationship "on purpose". Take time once a month to use those rules above and check-in on your progress. No shame, blame or criticism, just honest evaluation. Look at your own contribution to the success or your own shortcomings, not your partner's. Then recalibrate and get back on track!