As soon as the holiday festivities end and the new year rolls around, many of us start wondering which new goals we should set our sights on. Should we make it our New Year's resolution to spend only 15 minutes a day on social media? Or maybe we’ll promise ourselves to hit the gym five times a week. Or we’ll get our spouse involved and make a goal of having a date night every single week.
There are always new resolutions to make, especially when it comes to self-improvement or our romantic relationship. More often than not, however, that’s where we stop – we don’t go beyond ourselves and our husband/boyfriend when considering the new rhythms we can implement and the positive changes we can make. But are these really the only things we should be paying attention to?
Why not set resolutions for all of our relationships – including our family members, friends, and coworkers? While it requires more forethought and planning right now, our future self will be glad we took the time to create a vision of what we want each of our relationships to look like in 2023.
Here are 12 non-romantic relationship resolutions to make this year.
For Your Familial Relationships
Whether we’re all particularly close or have some distance between our family and us, the reality is that it’s in our best interest to cultivate as best a relationship as we can with each member, as long as it’s healthy. Our family will ideally be there for us, through thick and thin, no matter our season of life. Here are four resolutions you can make for your familial relationships this year.
Call your mom/dad/siblings once a week. We all lead busy lives; whether we’re working, traveling, studying, or raising a family of our own, most of us have a lot on our plate at any given moment. This is what makes checking in with our family, the people we’ll naturally see less than our significant other or our friends, all the more meaningful and important to do. Set a goal of calling each member once every week so as to stay an active part of their lives.
Focus less on your differences. The reality is that we might not agree with our family members on everything, from faith to politics to philosophy. But focusing closely on our differences with them will make it far more difficult to get along – so try to steer clear of subjects that have caused drama in the past, and instead, think about all that you do have in common.
Start a family text thread. Include your immediate family, and even some extended family members if you’re close to them. A family text thread is a great way to ensure that no one feels left out and keep the family banter alive and well on days that aren’t holidays. Plus, it’s a great way to share cute baby or puppy pictures with everyone.
Remember what’s happening in everyone’s life. Unless you see your family regularly, it’s easy to forget if your brother is applying for a new job, or your sister and her husband have thought about having another child, or if your little sister ever got that promotion she mentioned. Make a point this year of remembering what’s going on in everyone’s life.
For Your Friendships
Similarly to our romantic relationships, our friendships are relationships that we choose. This means that it’s essential that we remain intentional and engaged in our friendships because deep, lasting friendships don’t just happen. They require time, energy, and attention from us. Here are four resolutions you can set for your friendships this year.
Set aside time for them regularly. It’s far too easy, especially as adults, to get wrapped up in our own busyness, whether it’s with work, a new boyfriend, or family drama, and find our friendship relegated to texting rather than quality time. Make it a point this year to prioritize friendships that are important, life-giving, and valuable to you by setting aside regular time for your girls. If you’re long-distance, schedule a weekly uninterrupted FaceTime; if you live near each other, have her over for dinner or a sleepover on Fridays.
Don’t be afraid to have standards. Our friends should bring out the best in us. They should call us out when they see us making a mistake, challenge us to become wiser, and inspire us through their own behavior. This means that when it comes to friendships, just like with the guys you date, you have to have standards. If you haven’t already, think about what you want and need in a friend, and consider whether or not you have one like that in your life.
Show interest in their lives. It’s natural to be interested in our own problems, think our stories are the most intriguing, and enjoy sharing about our life with our friends, but if we want to foster deep, mutually beneficial friendships (because the truth is that we all want friendships that are beneficial for us), we should show interest in our friend’s lives too. This year, make it your goal to focus more on them and less on yourself during catch-ups.
Celebrate their wins with them. Some of us struggle with seeing others accomplish something or be given something we want, especially if we’ve been feeling like nothing ever works out for us or we've been waiting for the same thing to happen to us. But good friends cheer for each other’s wins, even if it’s hard. So whether your friend gets engaged, gets a huge job opportunity, gets pregnant, or is able to buy a house, celebrate her victory.
For Your Workplace Relationships
Most of us don’t get to choose who we work with, making it a bit of a coin toss as to whether or not we get along with our coworkers. But this doesn’t mean that being more intentional and setting resolutions for these relationships won't be beneficial for us. Here are four goals you can set for your workplace relationships.
Stay away from gossip. Yes, it’s tempting to gossip about that one coworker who doesn’t talk to anyone or the other coworker who obviously has a crush on the boss. But it’s typically best to steer clear of participating in toxic workplace gossip with coworkers, lest you become known as the office gossip – go home and tell your husband about the workplace weirdos instead, and just keep it at that.
Set boundaries and stick to them. This is both for you and your coworkers. Setting boundaries is healthy for any relationship, but when it comes to work, it’s absolutely necessary. This could look like not answering emails after you’re clocked out (no matter how much your boss just wants a quick response) or kindly reminding your superior that a certain task isn’t part of your job. It’s not about being combative or difficult, but instead, ensuring you don’t end up resenting your coworkers by allowing them to cross your boundaries.
Show gratitude. Don’t we all work a little bit better when we know it’s appreciated? It might seem small, but taking the extra moment to say “Thank you,” or “That was really fast – you’re amazing,” will make all the difference in how our coworkers interact with us. Showing gratitude will never not be received well.
Be reliable. One of the best qualities a coworker can have? Reliability. We all want a coworker who follows through on what they say they’ll do, who will always reply quickly and kindly whenever we shoot them a question over email, and who we can count on to be steady and professional. This year, make it a goal to be that reliable coworker.
New Year's resolutions aren’t just for fitness goals, reading goals, or even relationship goals. They’re also a helpful tool to reassess our non-romantic relationships, be they familial, platonic, or professional, so we can become a better daughter, friend, sister, and coworker this year.
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