Monday, January 2, 2012
Monday Marriage Matters: New Year's Resolutions
I'm surprisingly big on New Year's resolutions for somebody that makes fun of New Year's Resolutions. I don't believe in the big, "this year, I'm going to lose 200 pounds, work less, spend less, and take up curling" resolutions. I don't believe in saying, "I will not eat any sugar in 2012." But four years ago, my New Year's resolution was to start running, and this year, I'm running my first marathon.
I like to start the year by looking at where I am in my life, and where I want my life to be. My resolution for 2011 was to get a job. I looked at where I was, considered what it would take to get a job, and more importantly, the kind of job that I wanted, and I made it happen. Not totally, but enough to the point where I have a job that I like. It may not be the last job I ever have, but
My resolution for 2012 is to be less cluttered and less lazy about housework. While the instinct is to go buy a ton of organizers at Ikea and the Container Store, I think I am better off using the egg timer that my in-laws got me to make sure I'm getting in my 10 minutes a day of cleaning, and to try to actually adhere to doing weekend chores, which are so easy to let go when all I want to do with my weekends is sleep and run and see my family and friends.
I think it's also important for couples to make resolutions together. In the past, we have set a goal to budget our finances better and make sure that we are being smart about money. This year, we are both trying to be better about making sure chores get done, but in terms of making a general resolution, and since the world might end and all that, I suggested we resolve to live 2012 with no regrets.
Not "no regrets" in the "seize the day! fly to Tahiti on a whim!" kind of way. But no regrets in the making-sure-we-get-things-done-and-still-have-fun way. No regrets means not getting to the end of a weekend and saying, "gee, I wish we'd gotten more done" or "gee, I need a weekend to recover from my weekend." No regrets means saying yes when you might have said no. No regrets means taking chances and making smart choices for ourselves and our relationship. It means not acting selfish or taking our partnership for granted. It means making sure that we are balancing work and play in a way that works for both of us. It means making sure that we are saving money, but also spending money in ways that matters to us and is helpful to us. It means trying new things, together or separately.
My latest issue of Self tells me that telling others about your resolution increases accountability. So feel free to share yours!