Couples: 5 Surprisingly Simple Steps to Creating a 2016 Digital Vision Board for Your Marriage

BY: - 11 Dec '15 | Marriage

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Vision boards may seem corny, but they’re probably more necessary today than ever before. The age of the Internet and smart phones are cultivating an era of distraction. This is not by accident.

The more you’re focused on just getting by or surviving your daily routine, the less you’re focused on steering the direction of you and your family. Don’t get it twisted.

Every single person reading these words has something profound and potentially life altering in front of them or someone they hold close. It’s the struggle of humanity.

So, this provides a strong incentive for your marriage to be bound together by something more than lust, opportunity, regret, obligation. spitefulness, fear, or embarrassment.

Bind it with Vision!

  • Bind it with vision – a view of the future.
  • Bind it with vision – a view of what’s possible in a lifetime and beyond.
  • Bind it with vision – a vision of how two people working together can create so much for themselves and the people they care about the most.

Vision realized is woven into the very fabric of time.

The vision you share with your spouse will ripple through the generations anyway because our decisions will always impact more than just us – they impact everyone close to us and beyond.

Here are 5 steps you can take to build a digital vision board that you and your spouse can use to keep you focused on the long term as you’re navigating the day to day plan.

Step 1. Speak on it

Be intentional. Speak with your spouse about why you want to create a vision for your marriage and your family. Do a a little research – or better yet, simply complete this list and show it to them.

Take initiative in your relationship. There are only two of you. If it’s important to you, you take the reigns. Every relationship lives and dies on its expectations, and someone is going to need to speak up to set the vision first.

If you’re not at least a little scared about it, then you’re not truly pushing yourself. It’s okay. If you’re relationship isn’t worth getting uncomfortable over, then what is?

Step 2. Get a Pinterest Account

Yeah, I know – another social media account? Yes, and if you don’t know why, I really don’t have the time nor energy to go into the full value of Pinterest, just trust me on this one.

Just remember this. If you’re 30+ you are the last generation of people who will ever be able to recall a time before the internet. You’re already a dinosaur in history’s eyes.

Get with the times and don’t let fear of something new keep you in the dark ages. There’s a reason the whole world moves toward one thing and away from another.

Step 3. Surf the web

Between Google and Facebook, these two companies have the placed as much of the galaxy at humankind’s fingertips for those fortunate enough to experience access-at-will to the Internet. Use it.

Find the good in the sea of bad, muck, filth, and trolls. There’s beauty, writing, architecture, prose, art, music, cars, debates, films, space, opinions, and so much more. If you had all the time in the world to with as you saw fit, what would spend it on? What would you learn? Where would you go? Find it. It’s out there.

Step 4. Pin all of the things

Now that you’ve joined the modern world with Pinterest, start pinning all those good things you just found to a newly created board on Pinterest. You can drag and drop, add a ‘Pin It’ button to your toolbar, or simply follow the directions on Pinterest, but you’ll figure it out.

The point is to have a place that visually represents all the good things, hopes, interests, and whatever else you want to fill your future with. Make it uniquely yours, and as long as you complete one, it will be uniquely your own. My wife and I named ours, “Marriage Vision Pin Board.” We’re unique like that.

Step 5. Invite your spouse to weave in their own vision

So Pinterest allows multiple people to edit the same board. Share yours with your spouse, and ask them to dedicate the time to add the best things they can see of their own future. Once again, if it’s important to you, you’ll figure it out.

It’s made to be user friendly. If you need extra help, there are plenty of free tutorials available as well. In the spirit of transparency, if your spouse is 100% anti-social media everything, you may be forced to set up an account for them (see above – take initiative).

Once they add their voice to the tapestry, you both can lay eyes on something both of you have woven together. No ambiguities. No misconceptions. Instead, a bold statement about the possibilities and expectations of the future if you both remain focused.

The whole concept of carving out a tangible and intentional future for you and your family can be hard to swallow for many. To really do so, you would need to first believe it was possible. This acknowledgement of possibility creates hope.

Hopes can be crushed, and so many people are so afraid to be hopeful that they become complacent instead. If you have no hope, you have no future. This is true for every single one of us. It’s another part of the human struggle.

The vision board is a start. It’s also a statement that the two of you can still hope for a better tomorrow. Every day that goes by in your relationship, you’re building something anyway. You might as well build the same village together rather than two separate skyscrapers never destined to meet in the sky.

Check our our board here. It’s only an example, not the model. It’s simple and it grows as we grow. It’s ours. Let’s start yours.

BMWK, Are you ready to start your 2016 digital vision board?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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Don’t Look the Other Way: 4 Easy Ways to Help Your Friends Save Their Marriages

BY: - 14 Dec '15 | Marriage

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My heart breaks whenever I hear of a marriage ending. I always wonder a few things like:

  • Did both partners do everything possible to keep that marriage alive?
  • Or, did that couple seek counseling when they felt like they were in trouble?
  • And lastly, did they have family and friends in their life to support them?

The last one is huge for me for several reasons. Our marriages won’t benefit by having people in our lives who only tell us what we want to hear. We need the truth. As difficult as it may be to hear, we need to know when we are messing up.

Related: 3 Truths He Wants to Tell You but May Not Know How

Marriages require effort, and it’s important to have family and friends who support your relationship and will let you know when you don’t seem to be putting forth the effort. While it may hurt to hear, you need that truth.

If it were left solely up to us, many of our marriages would be in trouble. We sometimes need an honest, outside of the marriage perspective, to challenge us to be better spouses.

Family and friends want to see us happy. So friends shouldn’t let friends ruin a marriage. It truly does take a village, not just for raising children, but also in keeping marriages alive and well. Here are a few ways friends can stop friends from ruining their marriage:

Do a check-in

I’m not talking about being nosy and getting all up in folks’ business, but just asking “How are you? Are things good?” is enough. Sometimes, couples who are in trouble are waiting for someone who cares about them to ask that question.

If they say things are fine, respect that, but do pay attention to the energy and body language when they say it. It’s also okay to remind them that you’re always there for them.

Don’t be afraid to push back and challenge

When your married friend does come to you with a challenge he/she is having in their relationship, don’t be afraid to ask them what role they played.

Related: How to Make Things Right When You Are Wrong

While they may be taken aback by the question, they will appreciate your asking. It will shift their approach to the challenge and cause them to think what they could’ve done better.

Don’t encourage or support their infidelity

Occasionally our friends can get caught up in that grass is greener mentality, and it’s okay and necessary for us to reel them right back in. Just reminding them of what they have at home and how infidelity ruins families should do the trick.

Do listen and encourage them to fight for their marriage

Couples don’t need friends who are quick in encouraging them to leave their marriage. If the relationship is worth saving we must be quick to tell them just that.

Marriage has it’s ups and downs. It’s even harder when a couple doesn’t have support surrounding them. We need people who are going to love us enough to help us be the best spouse possible. Will you be that friend?

BMWK, how else do you think friends can help support your marriage?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 630 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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