The moment the last bit of Christmas gift wrap flutters to the ground, the glitter and shine of the holiday season become claustrophobic to me. I itch to clean the house, to strip it of the fuss of the holidays. I want to organize our new toys, all while running around the park to undo the feelings of pre-diabetes that my holiday indulgences bring. These urges always lead me straight to the cliché of all clichés, the ill-fated New Year's resolutions.
"This will be the year," I think, "the year where my holiday recovery is going to land me directly into a year with better habits. This is the year I'm going to be the best me I can be."
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Sometimes it works, but we all know sometimes it doesn't. Work and family schedules interfere, as do the tidal pull of the habits we hope to break in the first place. But when you're in a serious relationship, there's a whole other element to consider when trying to make a lifestyle change. These are choices that will affect your partner. Will your husband stubbornly stock the pantry with two packs of cookies for every bag of apples you buy? Will your efforts at bettering yourself cause tension in your relationship, as you suggest turning off the football game in order to talk more? Or will your partner be your biggest cheerleader, setting the alarm to hit the gym with you before work?
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Studies show that a relationship can either hinder or enhance your success at hitting your 2012 goals, but those goals also have the same shot at enhancing your relationship—or causing a rift. How can you approach this year in a way that will bring positive change for you and your relationship? For tips, we talked to a YourTango relationship expert, Judith Joyce, a Certified Conscious Relationship and Body-Mind Vibrance Coach.
1. Hold a planning session. You and your significant other need to have a talk about your hopes for changes—both for yourself and as a couple—in the New Year. And don't have this conversation when you're both trying to get out the door to work, either. Set a time to talk, and come to the table prepared with your ideas, Joyce advises.