I’ve had a New Year’s Eve ritual for many years. It started when my children were small and I found myself with a cupboard filled with crayons, markers, glitter glue, and construction paper. One year, I decided to engage my children in an activity. We drew our vision for the following year. We didn’t look back on what was—what we did or did not accomplish or experience the year prior. We simply imagined and created a vision for the following year—a vision that was represented in colors, shapes, abstract images, or real life drawings. We have enjoyed this tradition. I plan on creating my 2012 drawing again this New Year’s Eve. Our ritual is nothing out of the ordinary, but we like it nonetheless.
I’m sure many of you have your own way of saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming in the new. This year, I wanted to offer you something new to consider. How about creating a 2012 vision for your relationship? It doesn’t matter which relationship or how many. It only matters that you do this together with the person you have in mind. It can be your spouse, partner, colleague, child, parent, sibling or friend. We’re pretty good a creating visions or goals on our own for ourselves. When it comes to creating visions for our relationships, we’re less experienced. Most of you have never approached New Years and your relationships in this manner, at least not with intentionality and formality. So if you’re game, let me tell you how this works.
Here are the six steps to creating a New Year’s Relationship Resolution.
1. Imagine that your relationship is a living breathing being. Some people find it easier to do this by actually putting a pillow on a chair and using the pillow as a concrete representation of their relationship.
2. Look at your relationship and describe the qualities, traits, and values you want it to have in the coming year. Examples of this could include, kind, patient, adventurous, giving, funny, intelligent, and so on.
3. What does your relationship want to accomplish in the coming year? What are its goals? What legacy does it want to leave at the end of the year?
4. How do you see your relationship growing and developing over the next year?
5. What does your relationship need in order to achieve its goals and desires? What does it need from you and your significant other? From the community? The environment? And others?
6. Make a commitment to serve the needs of your relationship’s vision throughout the year. Check and see if your decisions and actions are in alignment with the needs of your relationship.
I encourage you to be as creative as you want. You can create this vision with words, images, photos, objects, music, and art. I promise you that simply going through this exercise will transform your relationship. This activity is at the core of phase four: relational transformation in The Pathway to Love. You don’t have to wait for New Year’s to do this but establishing the tradition ensures that you carve out the time and space for attending to the people and relationships that you value.
Let us know how it goes. Please feel free to share your visions with us. Send in pictures of what you created.