Right now, we’re in full swing getting ready for Christmas next week. (If you’re still looking for gifts for your spouse, click to this post that will give you some ideas.) I hope you have a great time celebrating the birth of Christ with your family and friends! 

With the end of the year approaching, it’s a great opportunity for us to pause and reflect on 2018 with our spouse and to look forward into the year ahead.  

A great tool you can use to drive your conversation is a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Many businesses use this tool when they’re considering a new venture, collaboration or goal, but it’s also a great tool for marriages. 

Schedule some time with your spouse within the first two weeks of the year to do your analysis. I’ve compiled a list of ten areas you may want to analyze with your spouse:  

  • Communication
  • Sex
  • Date Nights/Regular Time Together
  • Finances
  • Parenting
  • In-Laws and Extended Family Relationships
  • Health
  • Spiritual Growth and Development
  • Recreation
  • Holidays and Celebrations 

You can take time separately to write out your SWOT answers for each area and then come together to discuss. Or you can work on them together from the get-go. The choice is yours.  

Either way you decide, this exercise will help you: learn from your spouse’s perspective, voice your opinion on how things are going, and devise solutions on how to overcome areas of concern. Often in the day-to-day of life, it’s not easy to bring up hard topics and how to improve areas of your marriage. This SWOT analysis provides a natural way to talk about these things.  

In addition to your initial SWOT conversation, schedule follow-up conversations each quarter to talk about how things are going. Put a date on your calendar or schedule a reminder so it’s automated and you won’t forget. 

We’re praying many blessings over you and your spouse now and into the new year!