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How to have your best relationships ever this 2016

Have your own relationship goal

By Aileen Santos

 

Have you ever heard of the phrase “Relationship Goals?” If you’re online and on social media at least three hours per week (and I know you’re online much, much longer than that), then it’s likely you have.

A picture of an old couple holding hands while staring at the sunset? That’s a “Relationship Goal.” A photo of a 30ish couple quietly reading next to each other in a park? That could also be a “Relationship Goal.” A 20ish couple attending a movie premiere—both of them in costume?  That could be someone’s “Relationship Goal,” too.

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There are memes and posts about them; maybe you’ve also “liked,” shared, or re-tweeted them.

But think about this: If they’re truly relationship “goals,” then don’t we deserve to actually make them happen in our own lives?

And just like with all other goals in other aspects of our lives (i.e., health, business, career, school), they need a solid plan of action.

After all, no one asks to hold their bank account or Ferrari on their deathbed. Instead we hope to see our loved ones, and hope that we’d lived our lives in a way that made them feel loved.

 

THE THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK

The most useful thoughts come from good questions, the kind that leads you to think about solutions. These three questions help you do exactly that:

 

1. WHAT RELATIONSHIP ACCOMPLISHMENTS WERE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN 2015?

Maybe you spent more quality time with your mother this past year. Or maybe you stuck to your resolution of not fighting with your brother as often.

These relationship accomplishments may not seem like much yet, but doing them consistently (especially when they work) means you’re in a better place now than you were before, and that’s always a cause for celebration.

 

2. WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST RELATIONSHIP MISTAKES THIS PAST YEAR?

Maybe you still found yourself reacting too quickly (and too often) in anger, particularly toward certain people in your life. Maybe you dated the same type of girl you’ve had crash-and-burn flings with before: You always feel intensely attracted at the beginning, but it doesn’t really lead to anything long term because they’re really not a match for the important parts of who you are.

The biggest takeway you need to get from these mistakes, of course, are the lessons.

Joe Vitale, one of the gurus in The Secret, says it plainly: “When you have learned the lesson, you no longer need the experience.”

Go ahead and make amends, of course, but you don’t need to wallow in guilt, or think that “love doesn’t work.”

Love has always worked… As long as we put in the needed effort in the right direction.

Finally, ask yourself:

 

3. HOW HAVE I HELD MYSELF BACK LAST YEAR IN THE AREA OF MY RELATIONSHIPS?

If part of your life goals is to get married and have a family—and you’re currently single—then review what you’ve been doing to actually meet more people and cultivate connections with potentials.

If it’s always been important for you to maintain friendships, then consider how much time you actually set for coffee dates, or simply reaching out to old friends via social media.

Our actions show our priorities; so if something is important to you, ask yourself what actions you haven’t been doing yet to truly make them our priorities.

 

RELATIONSHIP ACTION STEPS

Take everything you learned from the three questions above, and start writing down plans of action/resolutions—in your planner, phone, or journal—to create even better relationships in your life this 2016.

While it may be true that “a dream is a wish your heart makes,” a goal is something better, but needs to be backed up solid action steps.

All of us have “relationship goals.” Now is the perfect time for us to plant the seeds for making them happen.

Because if not now… when?

Aileen Santos is a relationship coach. www.aileensantos.com