(CNN)Heading into the new year, I find myself working with so many couples that are burned out, fed up, and feeling that their relationship isn't as good as it could be. They don't like their partners as much as they used to, they've lost the thread of the relationship with so much else going on, and some wonder if they should still even be together. No wonder the current movie "Marriage Story," about a couple embarking upon divorce, has struck such a cultural nerve.
New Year's resolutions, for couples
In his book and TED talk, "The Element," Sir Ken Robinson explores when people feel most themselves and most inspired to achieve at their highest levels. He draws on stories from a wide range of people, from former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons," and many others who figured out how to get in their "element" -- the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.
Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in our element and those that stifle that possibility. While Robinson is talking about personal and professional success, there's something to be said for getting into your "relationship element."
I've been thinking and, talking to some of my colleagues about, good relationship resolutions for the new year to get you to your relationship element.
There's no right number for how often couples should have sex, but I always encourage them to aim for once a week. Studies have shown that couples who maintain their sexual connection once a week are more satisfied overall in their relationships than couples who do not.
Sex produces a positive "after-glow" that lasts for up to two days, which is linked with relationship quality over the long term.
It's easy to have a good time at the beginning of a relationship, when things are new and exciting. "When we get comfortable in our relationships and all of life's stresses come in to play, that tends to fade," said sex therapist Rachel Needle. "Continuing to play around with and have fun with your partner will keep you happier and more satisfied."
Needle also recommended doing meaningful things together, like volunteering. "Spending time giving back can create a deeper connection and can strengthen your bond with your partner," she explained.