I  LOVE rituals and traditions and documenting the passage of time (which explains why I keep no fewer than 3 forms of daily journaling). It’s just in my bones…which is why, as I was thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve, I had the brilliant idea of a new, meaningful, and productive tradition that Bobby and I could start: asking and answering State of Our Union questions (over champagne, obviously).

We already do our best to ask each other a weekly set of questions (a topic for another post) but those questions are primarily positive in nature and forward thinking. They don’t dwell on the little things that made you mad that week or focus on ways your spouse may have hurt you. And honestly, I think that’s a GREAT thing. If the questions did bring up those topics, I don’t think we’d be nearly as eager to have the conversation every week.

BUT for our new State of Our Union tradition, I wanted something a little broader than our weekly questions, potentially more difficult, but budding with potential for positive growth in the coming year. Awhile ago, my parents clipped an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that talked about a couple who did a yearly review of one another – and also did this with all of their close friends and family.

I’ve been thinking about it ever since and finally decided to start. This will basically be like an annual job review with a boss, just way more fun because it’s with the person I love the most AND it’s over champagne.

Tonight, we will not be sipping on Veuve Clicquot but rather some $11 Yellow Tail…someday we’ll work our way up to that iconic champagne.

(Important: I did run this idea by Bobby over a week ago and he said he thought it was a good idea. So this is not another dreaded Christmas card scenario, which I think is worth noting.) Over the past few days, I compiled some questions. I want us to celebrate the year while also looking at what our hangups are and where we can be better for each other as we move forward.

I realize those are difficult to read, all fancy schmancy like that – so here they are, typed out:

1) What are our superpowers as a couple?
2) How can I support you better?
3) What do I do that makes you feel most cared for?
4) What do I do that makes you feel uncared for?
5) What’s our big goal for growing together more this upcoming year? (One area we really want to work on.)
6) How do we want to remember this upcoming year when we look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
7) Any pet peeves I should work on?
8) Weekly habits/rituals we want to recommit to or start?

As we talk, I’m going to jot down our answers because, at least for me, it will be good to glance at these every now and then to make sure that I truly am supporting Bobby in the way that he would like and actively working towards whatever big goal we dream up.

Feel free to use these questions with your spouse or significant other – whether on New Year’s or at another time!

We already got the day off to a good start by jumping in the hot tub this morning and asking/answering some of some of these reflection questions with each other.

My shoe was holding the papers down just in case a wind came up…

Those questions are mostly from an individual perspective, so they were the perfect way to start off this last day of 2014 and we’re both looking forward to more couple-oriented questions tonight.

Here’s to new traditions, marriage strengthening, and the fresh starts found in a new year! Happy (almost) new year, friends!