Getting better at anything in life takes an investment in time, effort, and resources. This is especially true of marriages.
Going into 2015, my wife and I pledged to keep up our positive momentum in our marriage. Things haven’t always been on the upswing with us, and we’ve teetered on the edge of divorce during one particular trench in our union. The trenches are guaranteed, and you want to be with someone you can swim to the surface with instead of carrying dead weight underwater against the tide.
The past few years, we have attempted to be more intentional about our communication and expectations, and while it was a step in the right direction, one thing became very clear – we still had a long way to go.
Although it’s only been a few weeks into the new year, adding this one simple thing to our routines has really made an impact for the better.
A Life Calendar
A calendar we put together to ensure our family’s and individual priorities were scheduled its due time. Because if you’re not putting time into something, it has no opportunity to grow or improve. We agreed to list our goals, come up with a plan to reach the ones important to us in 2015, and plot regular dates and times these action items would need attention. From business to date nights to sex to sleep-in days and unscheduled time days, if it was important to us, it was on the Life Calendar.
Now we have to trust our commitment to the schedule, and that’s the challenge – as is the challenge in becoming great at anything – consistency.
We decided to only do two months at a time and review the process again at that time to see what adjustments we needed.
For some people, this is too conditioned, too routine, not spontaneous enough, etc. And that’s fine if that’s what you’re after in your partnership. Life will put you in a pattern of service anyway. After some exciting but tumultuous years of serving our need for instant gratification, we are now learning to serve our vision instead. A vision of a lifestyle that could be ours to share. And that’s damn exciting in its own right.
Another place our calendar really helps make our marriage better is by setting clear expectations of ourselves and one another. It cuts out so much miscommunication it’s ridiculous. We know exactly when to expect squeezing in two episodes of Game of Thrones or if it’s really going down, with the TV turned all the way off that night. There’s no confusion – and you genuinely start looking forward to more days more often. And isn’t that the foundation of any marriage?
Finally, the calendar helped trim the fat from our time; and sorted out our interests from our focus growth areas. It helped set our priorities and make them even more clear. It gives us both a source of confidence in the direction we want to grow in.
BMWK, would you consider doing a life calendar for your marriage?