Make a 2024 New Year’s Resolution With Your Spouse!
New year, new me…what about new year, new us? Culture places ample pressure on individuals as the year ends to get together your list of New Year’s resolutions. Some love them; some hate them. We’d like to offer a different perspective—what if you and your spouse commit to a resolution in 2024 together?
Think of it as a New Year resolution for your marriage and family—something you support one another in, so you’ll show up healthier for each other. We’ve got 12 resolutions below—are there a few that stand out to you? We hope you’ll see this as an opportunity to strengthen your marriage, so by the end of 2024, you reflect on your relationship in admiration of the way you grew together.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
This is the year to let go of how your spouse loads the dishwasher. We know…we’re asking a lot! Jokes aside, it’s the small stuff that has the capacity to escalate. If you struggle with letting go of “things that don’t matter,” take on this resolution in the new year. Whenever your blood begins to boil and you feel the frustration come on, take a few seconds to ask yourself or challenge one another—is this conflict worth our energy, or is this something we can let go?
2. Prioritize sex.
Dare we say to schedule it on the calendar. Research indicates that having sex at least once a week is a good goal for couples, but this is not a golden rule. Most importantly, you and your spouse should continue growing in your intimacy with each other, especially physical intimacy. It’s imperative that even during busy seasons you prioritize sex. If this is a struggle for you, then make it a New Year’s resolution—have more sex! Authentic Intimacy is a great resource for couples. Specifically, check out this blog, “Help! How Much Sex is ‘Normal’ for Married Couples?”
3. Grow in prayer.
Check out this evidence for increased marital satisfaction when couples move from “praying sometimes” to “praying a lot.” Start where you are; don’t start where you think you should be. If you never pray aloud for each other, don’t start there. Start by holding hands and praying silently for one another. Then, transition to praying aloud. Eventually you can move from five minutes to ten. This resolution is all about growing in spiritual intimacy with your spouse and the Lord, not fulfilling a religious ritual at the end of the day.
4. Take ten.
If you and your spouse haven’t implemented a daily time to connect, now’s the time. Create time for more open-ended communication, so your daily conversation isn’t reduced to just simple exchanges. Set aside 10-20 minutes of face-to-face contact with your spouse asking them, “How was your day?”; “Is there anything you’re struggling with that I can support you on?”; “Have you had anything exciting happen recently you want to share?”; “How can I pray for you?”
5. Learn a new skill.
Will 2024 be the year you and your spouse become pickleball enthusiasts? Maybe, this is the year you hone your cooking skills. Or perhaps, you commit to training for a 5k together. Learning something new increases intimacy with your spouse. It sparks new conversation, new connection, laughter, and accomplishment. Take on a challenge together in the new year.
6. Make new friends.
It can be difficult to make new friends as adults, but having a community of people to surround you during busy and even difficult seasons is extremely rewarding. If you and your spouse desire to expand your community, take intentional steps to do so in the new year. Join a small group in your church, attend family events in your community where you can meet other couples or parents in your season of life, or volunteer together.
7. Travel somewhere new.
What road trip or plane flight will you take in 2024? It’s time to dust off your suitcases, if it’s been a minute, and add a new stamp to your passports. Make 2024 the year you visit a new beach, mountain, city, or country with your spouse. Taste new food, experience new cultures, and meet new people on a 2024 adventure! And when you board your flight or load up the car for a road trip, take our travel themed conversation starters with you.
8. Participate in each other’s hobbies.
If your spouse loves to lift weights, paint, bake, or play basketball, show some interest in their hobby. You don’t have to become an expert in the subject matter. Consider trying a workout class with them or helping them in the kitchen one afternoon. Maybe you’ll stumble upon an interest in the hobby yourself, but at the very least, you’ll connect with your spouse over something that brings them joy.
9. Commit to regular date nights.
Great news—you don’t have to do any thinking for this resolution. Just commit to more regular date nights with your spouse, and use our expansive lists of date night ideas to find something fun you’ll enjoy doing together—winter date ideas, spring date ideas, summer date ideas, and fall date ideas.
10. Put your phones down.
Emails, texts, social media notifications, and more easily distract all of us from looking our friends or family members in the eye during meals or even while hanging out on the couch. If you’re easily distracted by your phone, start utilizing the “Do Not Disturb” mode or make a family rule, “Phones go on the kitchen table after 8 p.m.” Use the time, phone free, to reconnect with one another.
11. Criticize less. Appreciate more.
It seems counterintuitive, but at times, it can be much easier to nitpick and criticize your spouse than to express thankfulness toward them. Opt for more gratitude in the new year, creating a culture of appreciation in your family. What’s a culture of appreciation? Check out this reel to learn more.
12. Go play.
Playtime is not just for kids. How can you and your spouse play more in the new year? When you play together, you release feel-good chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, reduce stress levels, and improve your brain’s plasticity. Check out this post to learn more about the scientific benefits of playing together in your marriage!
So what will you tackle with your spouse in 2024? Pick a New Year’s resolution you feel good about accomplishing and work to support each other this coming year, so you can grow closer to one another, strengthening your bond.