Facing Those Resolutions, A Few Weeks Later

Facing Those Resolutions A Few Weeks Later

By Jerry Sander, LCSW

Most anyone who has tried to make New Year’s changes-of-significance in their bodies, minds or relationships has probably already realized that “falling off the wagon” is pretty easy.

The air can seep out of our psychological tires, making it possible for our resolutions to fade slowly into the near-distance before finally being forgotten.

And anyone who has taken one of our Essential Relational Skills Boot Camps has learned two things:
1) The skills we taught work; and
2) They (annoyingly) have to be recreated and practiced every week. That means this week, then next week, then the week after, etc. They can become more second-nature over time. But any meaningful resolution to change has to have (built-in) enough flex room to account for human frailties, errors and laziness. There is a strong pull to go back to what is familiar, easy and ultimately unsatisfying.

You may have taken the Boot Camp months or – now – even years ago. Key parts of it may have faded from memory. (If you were lucky enough to take it with a partner, s/he may remember more of the content and recommended remedies than you do; ask!) But if you are drawing a bunch of blanks, review the written materials and take a simple step in the direction of your partner by transforming any complaints you have into simple requests (the Feedback Wheel).

Start using more “I” statements, identifying your partner’s love language again and tailoring your acts of gratitude towards wave-lengths you know will resonate positively with your partner.

It is true that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. The good news is you already took that step when you attended the Boot Camp. You can take the second step now, even if you found your relational energies lagging in the time that has passed. It could be as simple as asking your partner, over a cup of coffee, “Hey, remember that Boot Camp we went to? What was your strongest take-away?” And – if your partner is even more tired than you – guess what? YOU are the one who is going to restore the best of your relationship, by reminding the two of you that the best is yet to come.