My wife and I got married this past summer. As we approach six months of marriage, we can’t believe how fast our first year is going. Didn’t we just get back from our honeymoon?

I’m a big believer in living with intention, so we recently made a list of things we want to do in our first year of marriage. There’s nothing special about our list, but we recognize that the early years of marriage are setting rhythms in our relationship that will continue throughout our lives.

Every healthy couple should chase after different goals (financial goals, experience goals, learning goals, growth goals, etc.). Here are 10 things we are going to do in our first year. What would you add to your list?

1. Read A Book Aloud To Each Other

Pick a book or two that will be especially good to read together. After each time you read, talk about what is happening in the book. Learn to process together. If you don’t like to read aloud, consider listening to audiobooks. Oh, and no cell phones within reach during these times.

2. Ask Each Other Good Questions

My wife found a book for newly married couples with a question for each day. We each answer the questions and she writes downs our answers. There is space to answer the same questions in years to come and look back at our first-year answers. These questions have often sparked meaningful conversations.

3. Learn To Make A New Recipe You Both Enjoy

My wife and I love learning to make meals that are both nutritious and delicious. We have discovered several recipes that we look forward to that won’t break the bank or our waistlines. Make it a goal to learn to make your next favorite meal.

4. Discover A New Shared Hobby

There is a regrettable decline in hobby-building these days. People seem to stumble upon their hobbies or don’t have them at all. Be intentional about establishing a hobby together.

5. Plan Fun Dates

Guys, this one is important. Do not stop dating your wife, and don’t let a tight new marriage budget keep you from saving for some special nights out on the town. Keep surprising your wife with new restaurants and new experiences.

6. Laugh Together

What do you love to laugh at? Build that into your first year. Find reasons to laugh together.

7. Dream About The Future

Take some time to dream about your future together. Talk about where you want to live, what you hope your kids are like, vacations you want to save for and experiences you want to share. Don’t let your present limitations keep you from dreaming big.

8. Create Traditions

As your first holiday season as a married couple approaches, think about some special traditions you want to establish. It could be something your families have always done, but think about some new things, too. What will be something you and your family will look forward to year after year?

9. Learn To Rest Together

The busier your life is, the more important it will be to learn how to rest together. You’ll find some things in life will be energizing and some will be draining. During busy seasons of life, learn how you like to rest together. Maybe you take more naps and sleep longer, or maybe you catch up on your favorite show. How do you like to rest and recharge so you are ready to handle the busy times ahead?

10. Express Gratitude

In the first year of marriage (and every year following) tell each other what you are thankful for in each other. Remind your spouse of all the things they do that you appreciate. Never let “I already told them once” keep you from telling them again and again. Everyone loves to hear they are appreciated.

What will be on your to-do list for your first year of marriage? Starting your marriage off on the right foot helps pave the way for a better future together.

You may also be interested in The Top 5 Pieces Of Advice From Happily Married Couples

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