The iconic Australian songwriter Paul Kelly wrote,
“Little decisions are the kind I can make, Big resolutions are so easy to break”.
The waters are yet to calm on the COVID 19 landscape; certainty and predictability still remain fragile commodities. As we enter 2022, it is the little decisions we can make that can provide more stability and direction for our future.
As you know the John Gottman mantra of ‘small things often’ is more important than ever as we contend with looking after our relationships, families, work and ourselves. Did you know that if the navigation calculations and trajectory were out by only .1 degree for the Apollo mission to the moon, the spacecraft would have missed the moon by 6709 km. Over time, little things become significant. Importantly this is true for both positive and negative acts.
So here are 5 practical ways to create small change across time in your relationship.
1. At the beginning of the day find out one thing your partner will doing during that day, remember it and ask how they went with it at the end of the day. Couples that stay connected with each other’s worlds simply remain more connected, reducing the real risk of creating parallel lives and worlds.
2. At the end of the day greet your partner with a hug and kiss let them know that it is great to see them, make each feel wanted, needed, loved.
3. Step out of trying to win an argument with your partner and step into simply listening with understanding and empathy. Raise issues in a gentle way that will land for your partner, without blame and criticism allowing your partner the possibility to listen non-defensively.
4. Talk to each other about building romance, passion, and sex in your relationship. Those relationships that report satisfying sex lives also report there is a heightened value in the relationship of caring for their friendship. Knowing what your partner likes and dislikes sexually and creating a current map of what turns your partner on and off is an important ingredient in maintaining and growing a satisfying and connected sex life.
5. Create a ritual conversation for one hour a week to talk about how you are both travelling in the relationship. Include what is going well, give each other a few concrete appreciations, explore what you both like to focus on for the upcoming week and finally repair any missteps that may have occurred in the past week.
To support these five practical steps download the free Gottman Card Deck app from the APP STORE and / or purchase the book 365 Simple Ideas to Improve your Relationship.
And to supercharge your 2022 relationship - take a look at the LIVE via ZOOM Relationship Retreat being offered in March. Details below or click here for more information.
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