With many people trying to stick to New Year's Resolutions, when it comes to your relationship you can help or hinder your partner to reach their goal. Celebrity Life Coach Sloan Sheridan-Williams (www.sloansw.com) is here to tell you how not to scupper your loved one's chances of achieving.
Believe in him
Breaking old habits and replacing them with new healthy ones can be challenging so it's important to show your partner that you believe he has it in him to make lasting change in the New Year. Avoid making cynical comments even as a joke and instead encourage him to stay on track telling him how proud you are of him for committing to this new way of being.
Work behind the scenes
While it may feel good to support your partner overtly, it will make him feel even better if you support him in ways that are not immediately obvious. Supporting him out in the open may even increase his stress levels if he feels guilty or indebted to you. Therefore it is useful to support him subtly such as surprising him with his favourite meal one evening or not insisting he watch the latest chick flick with you.
Use positive language
We move towards that which we focus on so it is crucial that the language and vocabulary you use when discussing your partner's goals is motivational and positive. Concentrate on what he is doing well and reframe his weaker areas using future-driven statements ending with the word "yet", such as "You haven't been successful YET". That extra word makes all the difference to him.
Do not reward bad behaviour
It is human nature to stumble off course when approaching something new that doesn't fit in with old comfortable habits. However it is vital that you do not reward such behaviour when your partner slips up. The best encouragement you can give is to ignore such hiccups as paying attention to them will make them more important shifting interest away from the positive.
Keep moving forward
Progression forward is the key to helping your partner achieve their goals and maintaining a healthy fulfilling relationship. Just as you would not drive a car by only looking in the rear view mirror, it makes sense to not to bring the past into your future. Make sure that both you and your partner leave the past behind and focus on what he can do today to keep moving forward.
Lead by example
Your partner is much more likely to stick to his goals if he sees you sticking to yours so be an inspiration to him by honouring your word and leading by example. Show him that you keep your promises and want to grow and develop just as much as he does in the New Year.
Work as a team
Your partner has to see that you are working with him and not against him if he is to feel that you support and encourage his ambitions. One way to do this is to balance his needs with your needs so that you are working as a team. This may require compromise or sacrifice on your part but your relationship will be stronger for it in the long term.
Being there for your partner includes listening to what he has to say and making yourself available to support him when he needs you. Allow yourself time to connect with your partner and give him the attention he deserves to celebrate his successes or boost his confidence to stay on track. Increase connection with him by asking about his day or how he feels things are going remembering to use open questions to encourage a supportive discussion.
Give him a hug
Studies have shown that physical contact with a loved one such as touching their hand or giving them a hug releases the hormone oxytocin which increases intimacy and attachment in couples. This physical contact will help you both bond with each other and build trust in the relationship. Oxytocin has also been shown to increase self-esteem and optimistic feelings which will help your partner reach his goals quicker.
Don't make it about you
Emotions tend to get frayed during times of change and your partner may become more moody or irritable as he tries to get more out of life tackling his New Year goals. Avoid taking this personally and don't turn the situation around to make it all about you. A better way to deal with high emotions is to empathise as much as you can whilst remaining assertive so that you are not drawn into an argument or give in to attention seeking behaviour.