New Year, New Focus: Strengthening Relationships


The relatives have come and gone for the holidays, probably leaving a few messes in their wake. The holiday decorations are needing to be stored for another year, and a new year is in front of you. While most New Year’s resolutions focus on taking care of one’s body, focus on strengthening the relationships you have with your partner and, if you have them, your children.

Learn Love Languages

Do you know your love language? Do you know your partner’s love language? How about your kids’? Discovering what love language you speak — quality time, gifts, acts of service, personal touches, or words of affirmation — and those of your loved ones can go very far for you all. For example, if your love language is words of affirmation, you appreciate it when you’re told the words, “I love you.” If your partner has a love language of acts of service, he hears those same words when you help him out with tasks around the yard. It’s a deeper level of understanding your loved ones and what speaks best to them that can bring your relationships closer than ever.

Reconnect During Everyday Activities

You don’t always need to set a date on a calendar to get closer to those you love. Everyone always has some dishes that need to be done, so why not do them together and find some ways to make it enjoyable? Start singing your favorite or funny song while cleaning, and perhaps adding an extra dance move in to mix it up.

For children, quietly watch what they’re doing to see if you can join in somehow. Showing an interest in their activities, even if it’s all Greek to you, at times when they think you’re just busy doing your day-to-day activities, can mean a great deal to them. It may also teach you something new that you didn’t know about them!

Re-institute Game Night

In this age of gaming technology, board games still have their place in family fun nights! Dust those boxes off and drag them out for a couple of hours of non-technology fun. Make sure the game is highly interactive instead of just rolling the dice and moving a board piece. Games such as Apples to Apples (which is much like today’s version of Mad Libs), Pictionary, and any other party game not only bring you together for a fun activity, but it opens up doors to gaining insight to each person playing the game. Laughs and memories can be made easily this way, which automatically bring people closer.

No matter what you choose to do, keep the focus on the relationship and finding ways to reconnect on new and exciting levels. It doesn’t always take a great deal to accomplish this goal; determination, willingness and a desire to enrich the things that mean most to you is all it takes for you to see the greatest success from this resolution.

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