To some January 1st is just the day after a long night of celebration signaling the end of holiday season, but to others (myself included) it marks the ringing in of a different kind of season. This season is filled with dreams, change, and most of all: HOPE! Hope that with our cute new wall calendars and quickly-filled day planners also comes a renewed sense of intention and purpose with the direction our lives are going. While goals surrounding our fitness, eating habits, and organizational efforts are all important and hold meaning in our lives, let us not neglect the opportunity we have to refocus and renew our relationships in this new year! If in 2019 you want to put more of an emphasis on your relationships, here are a few tips and things that have helped me achieve this!

P R I O R I T I Z E!

Often times the things that get in the way of our relationships being a priority aren’t mindless or negative, rather they are actually important responsibilities we cannot neglect (kids, health, career, etc). But just as you might take time at the beginning of each week to schedule out time for working out or grocery shopping, be just as calculated about the time you give to your significant other, friends/family, and yourself! Although spontaneity sometimes kicks in or some unexpected free time falls into my lap, more often than not I sit down at the start of each month and plan my weeks accordingly so that not only are they structured to keep my life running smoothly, they’re also conducive to building connection with my husband, my family, and my friends.

G E T  S P E C I F I C!

I don’t know about you, but time tends to get away from me, and if I’m not careful half the year is gone and with not much for me to show for it. This is why I need things to be very simplified and broken down into steps that keep me on the path to where I want to be this year! It has made the biggest difference for me when instead of writing “more date nights”, I write “Every 3rd Thursday of the month is set aside for a planned date night”. To Parsa and I, this means that this date has more intention and thought put into it than say a night that we just don’t want to cook so we end up at a restaurant. There is beauty and connection to be found in times like that, but this night is one that we know will revolve around our relationship and enhancing that vs. talking about work or money. For many reasons it may not be possible to have a date night every third Thursday, BUT I did start to think twice before scheduling things on that certain day/night.  Life gets in the way and things come up, but taking the extra step can be a constant reminder that that goal is important and deserves time dedicated to it!

T R I A L & E R R O R!

Don’t get discouraged if the original goals you set need some tweaking along the way. In a perfect world both partners (or friends or family members or yourself) would be satisfied with the new changes and nothing would stand in the way of those relationship goals being met…but let’s be real…we don’t live in a perfect world and you aren’t the only one who exists in it! I have had perfectly laid plans for time dedicated to others that never makes it to the action stage because schedules change, kids get sick, money gets tight…THAT’S OKAY! Finding what works for you can take longer than you may like, but once you find it, I promise it’ll be worth it. Give yourself some grace and acknowledge the fact that although things didn’t work out a certain way, you are doing the best you can to chase after your goals!


A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y!

For the longest time I kept my goals to myself out of embarrassment for what the things I wanted or fear of judgement that I hadn’t already perfected something in my life. When I stopped worrying so much about what others would think, it allowed me to let others into the parts of me that I wanted to improve which gave me something I had been lacking: accountability! Whether this means telling your best friend of your hopes for this year or (for the brave ones) posting your list straight to social media, this can help you on those days you just don’t feel like working towards your stuff. Not only does my husband know of the goals we have set together, but one of my closest friends and I set up a plan to revisit our goals every month this year. The motivation behind this isn’t so much to force you to complete things, but to remind you to utilize the community around you that also wants to see you succeed and to do the same for others!

My hope for myself and for you is that in 2019 we refocus on what is important and constantly strive to dig deeper, lets others in, and grow from the things that life throws our way! I would love for you to share some of the goals you’ve set that center around relationships and let us all in on the ways you’re planning for success!

H A P P Y N E W Y E A R!


  1. 😭 WOW! Those are powerful words!!! LOVE “Those who let me know that finding my worth comes from within, not…

Whitney Shariati, TLMFT

Whitney Shariati, TLMFT

I'm a person-centered psychotherapist and owner of a private practice based in Brentwood, TN. I'm committed to embracing the beauty of the full, human experience (yes, even the messy parts) and helping you feel empowered to do the same!