Joan Nosal at YourTango presents us with 8 things to do together as a couple.
Use this list as a template for deepening your connection in 2020.
We often get stuck living a life in which we go through one mundane day followed by one mundane evening after another.
And while many of us begin the new year by setting resolutions, by Summer, practically none of our lofty goals have taken shape. In fact, statistics show that by the second week in February, 80 percent of those who've made resolutions will have given them up, and only 8 percent of the people who've set resolutions eventually make good on them.
That said, there are certainly things you can do together as a couple in the new year that will strengthen your relationship overall.
Working together on sustaining the health of your relationship is crucial for all couples.
Here are eight things to do together as a couple in the new year to keep your relationship fresh and deepen your emotional intimacy.
1. Schedule a time for weekly review of each other's calendars.
Sync your calendars and check in with each other on a specific day, like Sunday evening or Monday morning, to review the coming weeks schedule.
Do either of you have late night meetings planned? Is there a day you can have dinner out together? Is there a night when you can plan to have a quiet dinner in?
2. Go on a weekend retreat.
Take a weekend away from all distractions during which you can evaluate and plan the year ahead quarter by quarter.
Is there somewhere you both want to travel to in the near future? How do you each want to spend your holiday time?
Brainstorm ideas and find dates on which you can schedule activities you both want to try together. Which brings us to . . .
3. Try something new out together.
Make your life together an adventure.
Take fly fishing lessons in the spring. Go for a nature walk in the Summer and paint what you see. Find a new hiking spot. If you have a dog, take it to a training program together.
4. Start a couple's journal in which you share your hopes and dreams.
Sharing from the heart increases the probability that dreams will become a reality.
Keeping a shared journal with an explicit agreement not to judge one another's hopes can deepen intimacy by allowing for difficult discussions without impulsive emotional reactions or interruptions getting in the way.
5. Entertain other couples by hosting a game night once each quarter.
Group laughter with friends warms the heart. Keep it small by inviting no more than four to six couples, and mix it up.
It's common to get into the rut of inviting the same people over and over, but including couples that have never met before keeps things more interesting.
6. Be of service together.
Giving back by volunteering often brings couples closer together as you use your combined resources of time, energy and compassion to serve people in need.
You don't have to limit yourself to standard ideas like serving lunch at a soup kitchen, but that may be a good place to begin.
7. Read a book together.
Each of you can pick a topic and book that is of interest and then you can either read it out loud to each other, or you can each read the book you picked for yourselves and then switch and read the other person's book.
Discuss your observations and what you learned from the book. Why did the topic interest you? How did the book impact you?
8. Choose a home improvement project to take on as a team.
Is there a room in your house that needs a revamp? Is there a closet that needs to be cleared out? What is old and in disrepair or in need of updating?
When you do a task together it can be accomplished more quickly. Be careful, however. Renovations can also cause tension in relationships, so be ready to work as a team.
Over the course of your weekend retreat, use this list as a guide for prioritising which of the ideas above interest you most and which interest you least.
Then you can begin to brainstorm and flesh out each item further until you both feel comfortable implementing them.
Above all, have fun and communicate your wishes respectfully in order to create the greatest opportunity for success.