The American Medical Association says it’s important to have an annual medical checkup. Well, your emotional health and the well-being of your personal relationships are just as important. In an interview with USA Today, psychologist James Cordova reported that 12 million couples experience distress in their relationships. According to Cordova, taking the time for a relationship checkup will help you catch and resolve problems early on.
The right steps for a relationship checkup:
The first step in a healthy relationship checkup is for each person to reflect over themselves personally. Career coach Michael Melcher suggests making a list of the most significant events that happened to you in the past year (whether it’s the raise you finally got or the trip you took with old friends). After making a detailed list, reflect over how they affected you. Psychology Today suggests that you list what you are looking to achieve in the next year and what you may want to change about yourself.
After a personal assessment, come together as a couple to discuss how you hope your relationship will grow in the new year. Take an afternoon or evening to be alone and honest with each other.
Stress expert, Dr. Kathleen Hall, suggests writing down your thoughts and responses in the relationship checkup list below:
- Sum up top three lessons learned about each other in the past year.
- Discuss the biggest triumphs achieved together in the past year.
- Outline some goals to achieve or overcome in the new year.
- Write out a few positive and constructive reminders and encouragement for each other.
- Create one theme for the new year and stick to it (i.e. participate in one another’s favorite hobbies).