You make new year's resolutions every year for yourself. But now that you're in a twosome, it's time to tackle this year's to-do together. "Making resolutions as a couple bonds you," explains relationship expert April Masini. And, bonus, making relationship resolutions with a partner holds you accountable to them, says Rachel Needle, Psy.D, clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist.
But where to begin? Here are six new year's relationship resolutions our experts say you should take on together.
1. Schedule a set time to connect each day.
Life sometimes gets in the way of connecting with our partners. This year, promise to set aside a specific time each day that you and your significant other will spend quality time together, suggests Needle. "Many couples touch base throughout the day but spend that time only reviewing the mundane details," she says. With your resolution, decide the time you set aside is time you'll really connect. "You can catch up on the day," she says, "but also discuss feelings about the day or try asking your partner questions that help you to continue to get to know them more intimately."
2. Get financially fit.
Make this the year you hit your financial goals. "Whether it's a financial bucket list, a debt reduction plan, a vacation savings plan, or deciding what to do with a gift, financial goal-setting as a couple is a wonderful way to start off the new year," says Masini. "It lets you feel you're taking charge of your money, together. That's not just a good feeling, it's a relief of stress over financial issues that you've not dealt with."
3. Plan more time to be sexual together.
Sex is a key component of a healthy relationship. So if your sex life could use a boost, set a resolution to no longer put sex on the back burner. "Make a commitment to prioritize being sexual together and plan it," says Needle. "Having one of your new year's resolutions devoted to this shows that you understand the importance of continued physical intimacy in your relationship and makes it more likely it will happen." Needle also suggests planning new things to try this year in bed — or out.
4. Create your wills.
Making a will or an estate plan is a no-fun thing we all avoid doing. "Many people let this slide, and don't understand the possible implications of doing so," warns Masini. So this year, make a commitment to get this must-do thing done, together. After all, "there's nothing more romantic than taking care of your future so that you're each taken care of if the other one isn't there," says Masini. "Don't shy away from this responsibility. You'll feel relieved and at peace for having done so."
5. Turn off your tech at bedtime.
"Technology has become such a big part of our lives and interactions," says Needle. And while our smartphones, iPads, and everything in between make our lives easier, they also "have us disconnecting and not being present with our partners," she says. This year, "decide on a time, and put away your devices at a certain time each night to focus on each other and being present," Needle suggests. " Disconnecting at some point so that you can connect with yourself and your partner is important."
6. Decide to make this the year of fitness.
Chances are you and your partner have fitness goals. So tackle them together to make achieving them even easier. "Decide to join a gym together or decide to take up a new sport together, or decide to hike every Saturday morning," suggests Masini. "This easy but structured fitness resolution will give you a great goal together and as individuals. And when you're healthy, you're going to reap the benefits in other parts of your relationship."