It’s that time of year again! Time to reflect on where your life has taken you over the past 12 months, and where you want it to take you over the next 12. Many people take this time to come up with New Year’s Resolutions that will help them change the course of their life for next year. Many times, the resolutions are exercise more, eat unhealthy food less, and try to lose weight. Other resolutions include spending more time with family, going on better outings, or getting out of debt. Perhaps your resolution is to quit smoking, or drinking, or caffeine. Whatever it is, it will help if you and your spouse work together on your resolutions.
The important thing here is not to have the *same* resolutions per se, but to make sure that you have a plan to work together on each other’s resolutions. For example, if your wife’s resolution is to lose weight by working out more and eating better food, you can help her by coming up with a schedule that lets you watch the kids while she goes to the gym, or avoid buying cookies and ice cream to keep in the house. I realize that many times, when the wife goes on a diet, the whole family goes on a diet; but I think a good compromise is to eat better while you are together, and eat what you would like when you are not around her. Eating a pint of ice cream and a handful of cookies may be your nighttime routine, but eating that in front of her is not fair to either one of you, since she’ll probably make sure that you never enjoy cookies and ice cream ever again.
Most importantly, try to be as supportive as possible, especially if she starts to ‘fall off the wagon’. You may want to have a pre-set plan of whether or not you are ‘allowed’ to remind her of her resolution, or if you should just let her do what she wants. (She may secretly blame you for allowing her to fail at her resolutions if you don’t get this cleared up early.) Make sure that you work out *how* you are supposed to remind her of the resolutions… rather than accidentally finding a way that puts her on the defensive and starts an argument.
Also, talk about how she can help you with your resolutions. Do you want to help the household become debt free? What can she do to help you and your family reach that goal? Can she stop you from buying a new surround sound system with the credit card? Can she start buying generic brands at the grocery store? Without taking too much away from the ‘Happy Expenses‘, see what you can do together to make your resolutions work too!
Resolutions are tricky. They are hard. Sometimes, they help people grow and change for the better. If you and your spouse want to have the best outcome from your resolutions, make sure you work together to keep you both on track.
About the Author: Abby Dryer's goal in life is to bridge the communication gap between men and women. She finds herself giving lots of marital advice to her guy friends whose wives don’t want to have to explain *everything* to their husbands. “Women are hard to understand. I’m a woman, and *I* don’t even get us sometimes! Goodhusbanding is a great guide to help men understand their women, and hopefully communicate with a little more confidence, because that’s what works… communication!”