It’s Jan 2020 and many of us are returning from the holidays into the rhythm of daily life. Some of us might be dreading the thought and some of us can’t wait to get back into it. Whether you’re coming back to a life you love, or one you dread the truth is that no one else can change your life but you.
For many, this time of year is filled with new year’s resolutions that don’t even last till the end of January, but the most successful people use this time of year as an opportunity to begin again afresh and leave past baggage behind.
Maybe you’ve been stuck in a rut? Maybe there is a point of tension in your marriage that you’ve been faced with over and over again and it seems like something you’ll never get past. Maybe the hurt from past disappointment is stopping you from leaning into your marriage to strengthen the connection. Why not intentionally create the marriage of your dreams?
What belief is holding you back from starting fresh, beginning again, or hitting the “reset button” on your marriage?
Some people struggle to get out of situations because of the belief that some things never change. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by a problem that instead of searching for a solution we fail to do anything and rather continue working on the things we know how to deal with already. We put the act of strengthening our connection in the “too hard” box and go on living in a mediocre relationship until one day all the bottled up tension explodes; causing an ugly mess for everyone involved.
Myth: Some things never change.
Truth: Change isn’t always easy, but it happens the moment you decide on a better way and start acting accordingly.
We don’t have to wait for things to reach blow out point. We can make small changes today that can set in motion progress towards a strong, healthy, and happy marriage.
Here are some practical steps you can follow to begin again in your marriage.
Identify something that has been a point of tension for you in your marriage.
Without spending too much time thinking about past hurt, write it down and then think about what you’d rather want to experience.
Let go of the pain.
What you’ve written down might be something small and easy to overcome, but for most people the small things that consistently gnaw at their relationship can be the cause of a lot of pain. Allow yourself to let go of the pain that’s been caused in the past by this issue and open yourself up to the idea that your past does not have to determine your future.
Take 3 minutes of focused thinking to close your eyes and repeat the words:
“[Insert your point of tension]… has caused me a lot of pain, but I choose to let it go. I will not allow my past disappointment and hurt to dictate the temperature of the rest of my life and marriage moving forward. I choose to look at [insert point of tension] from a fresh perspective.
Repeat this thought at least 3 times. Perhaps you’ll need to write it down and repeat it daily for a few weeks to help you process the pain.
Envision what the future could look like.
Write down what you would rather want the interaction to look like. Intentionally create the marriage of your dreams
Make it better.
You don’t have to come up with the perfect plan. Simply write down one thing you could change today that will make your marriage at least 1% better. Remember you cannot change your spouse, but if you change your reaction towards them it may just influence the change you want to see. Like Gandhi famously said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”
What if 2020 were the best year of your life and marriage to date? What if you did one thing this month that will positively impact your marriage forever. What if you kept improving your marriage every year, every month, every week, every day?
You can! It starts with intention and one small step in the right direction.
FIRST THINGS FIRST is a resource developed by Andy and Nikki Bray that guides a couple through planning out their year and intentionally work together towards building the life and marriage they’ve always envisioned.
Order First Things First before the end of January and begin again today.