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I don’t particularly like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions — mostly because they have a bad reputation.

On the other hand, I do like the idea of intentionally trying to become the best version of yourself. And if the new year only serves as a reminder that you can begin — and begin again, over and over, then I guess I’ll take it.

As a Catholic, we have more opportunities than just New Year’s Eve to serve as reminders that we can begin again.

Take, for instance, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Each time we go to confession, we can begin again. We get the chance to examine our conscience, our actions, words, thoughts and faults. We confess those sins, and we begin again. We make reparations. We try harder next time. I absolutely love that.

Going to daily mass, or even just mass every Sunday, serves as a good reminder, too, to begin again.

“Every sinner has a past, every saint a future,” after all.

So as we look forward to the new year ahead of us, I’m certainly thinking about the things I can intentionally work on to be a better version of myself, especially as it relates to my vocation of being a wife.

Here are some ideas I’ve thought of…

+ Seeing my husband through the eyes of God

+ Forgiving AND forgetting

+ Making my husband feel like a priority, not an after-thought

+ Praying together, daily, more often

+ Communicating my gratefulness, appreciation & respect

+ Finding my joy in God, and bringing that joy into my marriage

I’ve read a few other lists of New Year’s Resolutions for marriages, and here’s one point I really appreciated and couldn’t recommend more:

Take good care of yourself.

“The absolute best thing a woman can resolve to do for herself or for her spouse is to take good care of her body. Her mind. Her soul. Her self. I want to emphasize that taking good care of yourself is not selfish. At least, it’s not necessarily selfish. It is, however, necessary. It’s simply the best way to bring the most honesty and integrity to your relationships. As a therapist, I have the most hope for couples where both partners know themselves and are living fully as differentiated human beings. So if you’re going to make a resolution to your partner, resolve to take good care… of yourself.”

You can read more here.

I’ve read this sentiment before, and it’s something I completely agree with: the best gift you can give to your husband is the commitment to work on yourself; on your spiritual life, on your mental and emotional health, and physical well-being.

This will truly bring some of the biggest benefit into your marriage — and I think it’s one of the biggest secrets, too, to improving your relationship.

All too often, we can easily look at our spouse and think they’re the problem — that they need to change, and that things would work out better if only they were to make an effort. But a more honest approach, a more efficient one, to bettering our relationships and our marriages is to look at ourselves, to work on ourselves, and to make the effort, ourselves. We can’t change our spouses, but we can change ourselves – and that transformation can improve our relationships.

changeme