You Can: Pull Off Your Best Intentions + Make Your Relationships Awesome.

If you’re like me, you wake up everyday with the most amazing intentions for the relationships in your life. Maybe it’s the crisp morning air, or the birds singing in the tree, but every morning I think to myself, ‘I will be very patient with my husband today’. As I head out for my morning walk before the kids stir, I smile contentedly to myself and think how precious they are and how I’ll give them all the quality time they deserve. I say to myself, ‘I might even collaborate on an art project with the girls today’. 

By the time I have returned from cloud ‘walk’ and chased the last born around in a bid to get her dressed in the morning, convinced the middle child {in the midst of her loud heart-wrenching sobs} that she looks pretty in shorts {because I keep forgetting to buy her skirts}, and reminded the first child for the 5th time to put her library pouch in her school bag, all my resolve has gone down the kitchen drain with the leftover milk from the last born’s cereal bowl. 

Sound familiar? Do you ask yourself, ‘How do I redeem myself and live out the person that I plan to be every morning?’ ‘How can I make good on the new year resolution to call my sister more often and to be a better friend?’ 

Below I will share a few steps that I am taking. If you commit to these, you can be sure that your awesome morning self makes it to bed time. 

Firstly, find time when you are alone and able to settle down with a cup of tea or coffee. Grab a journal and list the relationships that you cherish. For me this list looks like this: 

  • Husband
  • Kids
  • Parents & Mother-in-law
  • Siblings & in-laws
  • Friends
  • New acquaintances
  • Colleagues

When you have your list, the second thing to do is to imagine what each relationship would look/feel like if you had all the time, patience, money, self discipline, etc to invest  into each one of them. Write these down beside each item on your list. 

Thirdly, think about 3 things you can do for each relationship that will result in real progress from where you are now towards the ideals you listed in step two. 

The fourth step is very important because it shows a commitment  to make your relationships awesome. Pick 1 item from the 3 things from the previous step, determine how frequent you need to do them, and schedule them in your calendar. Why? 

Because: 

Finally, schedule a time for you to review your progress and to include some of the other actions into your calendar. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Diarise {I had to use this word at lease once} the following actions.  

  1. Spend one-on-one time with each child (if you have children) as often as possible each week if they are still living with you. At the moment, I have 15 mins for one child in my calendar and then 15 mins for another child the next day. We do age appropriate things like go for a small walk, play a game, read a story book, or teach them words in my second language.
  2. Send affirmative messages to your partner every day. Check out Matthew L Jacobson’s 103 affirmative words that every man wants to hear and 102 words of affirmation a woman needs to hear. Some times you might feel silly doing this, but practice makes perfect. I remember sending my husband a text with the words, ‘your secret is safe with me’. That made for a few chuckles, but hey, we were laughing and laughter is good for the relationship.  
  3. Send an email or hand written letter to an old friend overseas.
  4. Send Christmas Cards. I am bad at this but this time around, I’m all set to be awesome in time for Christmas. I refuse to be the one feeling guilty again this year by only being a recipient.   
  5. Regular Skype & phone calls to Parents & Siblings. 
  6. Make a list of birthdays and special anniversaries + put alerts well in advance to remind you to prepare and send a small present or make a call on the date. 
  7. Night out with your partner. If you need to call in a nanny, planning even a couple of months in advance is always worth the effort. 
  8. Catch up with your friends over coffee or an evening out while your partner (who,by now would be so in love with you after weeks of receiving daily affirmative words) will be only too happy to watch the kids. 
  9. Regular quick call to friends to know how they are going. I find it’s easy to lose contact with the friends I live in the same city with and I want to change this. Thinking, ‘Well why don’t they call me’ is not the best way to go about our relationships. Let’s be the change. Let people know that they can depend on you to check in with them. You might be surprised at how it inspires them to action.

How about you? What other ideas do you have that will make your relationships awesome? 

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