I may be a little chubby on the hips and I may have made one too many promises to myself, like the one where I’m giving up chocolate and carbs altogether along with dropping the Netflix binge-watching. I may also have mentally committed to working out regularly, five times a week. Maybe I’ve even gone to the point of promising myself to keep the family gatherings (hint: mother-in-law visits) civil. And maybe, but just maybe – I’ve failed to do all of these altogether.
The thing with decisions (i.e. promises) is that you need to make them realistic before you commit; if you love your candy more than you love looking fit, that’s fine! Drop the obsession with going to the gym and go for a power-walk instead. If you know you’ve done everything to organize a stress-free family lunch but it’s just not working times and times again, it’s not your battle anymore.
However, when it comes to things of substance, those crucial, life-altering things – that’s where you show up and make your promises count. A promise to love yourself more than you ever thought possible. A promise to work on your relationship even if it feels hopeless at times. A promise to forgive yourself when you’ve erred. A promise to be the best version of yourself – for yourself, your partner, your family.
If, like me, you are on a mission to fill your 2018 with a little less failure and a lot more love, here’s what may be the perfect recipe for that to happen:
1. Get to know yourself.
Remember that quote: “So many years of education yet nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves and why it’s so important?” That. That, right there is what’s been making things difficult and occasionally too hard to handle. In the relationship with your partner. In your everyday interactions. In virtually everything you do.
In the upcoming year, make a commitment to get to know yourself and fall in love with yourself all over again. Be graceful in your mistakes and kind to your victories. Have honest talks with yourself and see what’s underneath. Only in loving ourselves truly will we be able to love another, and – ultimately, stay happy.
2. Be (rightfully) selfish.
Feeling stressed for not giving yourself enough attention will eventually permeate your relationship and end in chaos. This is why having some “me time” is crucial. Nurture your needs so you can be a better person for yourself and your partner.
Most couples fall into an unrealistic pattern of thinking they ought to be spending all the time in this world together when, in fact, that’s the fastest way to ruin a relationship. Every healthy relationship is based on a mutual understanding that the two of you are two people in a relationship – not an entire relationship in itself. Each one of you has their own needs that need to be tended to. Have an honest conversation with your partner on the importance of little “selfish” acts in the relationship and encourage them to be selfish, too… then see what happens (hint: your relationship will blossom).
3. Focus on the positive, but acknowledge the negative.
If you’re wondering how to be a good partner to your S.O., here’s how: drop the Negative Nancy attitude and focus on the positives. Naturally, ignoring the negatives is an unhealthy approach to anything in life, let alone a relationship, but forcing the negatives over the positives will kill the relationship altogether.
Nurture the good in yourself and your partner and look to encourage them and support them. Give yourself a compliment from time to time for doing something right. Look forward; think about the good that could come out of your relationship instead of what could go wrong.
4. Schedule time together.
It’s crazy that we’ve come to a point where we need to pen down days and dates we’ll be spending with our loved ones, particularly our partner. But, the sooner we adjust, the more we’ll have them around.
With the new year, you’ll be getting a new planner, right? Probably. Well, make sure the first thing you write in there are the dates you’ll be spending with your partner. Set aside an evening a week, a day at the weekend, an activity you’ll do together (dance lessons, yoga classes, etc), and stick to it. The point is to spend this time together – talking, laughing, bonding, being intimate, hugging… doing anything and everything that feels right at that moment. If you’ve got kids, leave them with the grandparents or your nanny for a few hours; put your office phone on silent; don’t schedule anyone else over this “lovers’ appointment”. Invest. Your love-life will thank you for it.
Tell Us: How are you planning on focusing on love in 2018?
Isabel is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.
Featured image via Unsplash