New Year's Intentions for Your Relationships

The start of the new year is a great time to think about areas you would like to focus on over the next 12 months, both individually and in your relationships. Rather than setting New Year's resolutions that often leave us feeling like we didn't meet our goals when December comes around again, setting intentions of positive ideas or themes you would like to incorporate into your everyday life over the next year can often be more useful. When thinking about the relationships in your life, whether it be with your partner/spouse, friends, family, etc., below are a few intentions that may be helpful for you to set for the new year to help your relationships grow and evolve.


Authenticity

Embracing our true, authentic selves and showing this self to others in our life can have many positive benefits for both ourselves and our relationships. As you go into the new year, think about what your authentic self looks like and who you can be more of that person with. If you find that you don't show your authentic self very often or even at all, think about what would need to happen to feel safer to show more of that part of yourself with others.


Presence

Now days it is often the case that even when we are spending quality time with our partner, friend, etc., we are still distracted by outside things, such as our phones. This keeps us from fully focusing on the time spent with the other person and being present with them. In the upcoming year, try to set firmer boundaries for yourself around keeping distractions, including devices, from interfering in your quality time with the people in your life. One way to do this might be to have scheduled time where you turn your phone off or leave it in the other room if possible so that there is not the temptation to look at it and you can enjoy uninterrupted time with others.


Compassion

Compassion with others can take various forms, but essentially it is the state of having sympathy or concern for another’s pain or struggles. When we have compassion for someone, we consider how their circumstances are impacting their life and functioning. We may also find ways to offer help and understanding, and we honor that they are doing the best they can (emotionally, physically, etc.) with what they have to give at the time. When we approach our relationships from a place of compassion, we are more likely to take time to understand the other person's perspective and learn more about them, rather than making assumptions about what we think their experience is. In the new year, aim to learn more about the stories of the people in your life and how these may be impacting them.


Joy

How often would you say you experience the emotion of joy with others? A piece of joy is doing things that fill your soul - those activities that leave you feeling inspired and empowered. Pay attention to what activities bring you these feelings, and with whom you do these activities, and aim to engage in these as often as you can as a way to bring more moments of joy into your life. Experiencing joy with another person can be an experience that can lead to growth and closeness in your relationship.


If you would like help in setting your intentions for the new year, therapy can be a great place to start this new chapter. A therapist can help you lay out what you would like to see change, as well as help you learn the skills and gain the confidence to carry out these changes in the relationships in your life.