Plenty of relationship advice tells us how to maintain a happy and healthy partnership with our loved one, but do many people actually put that good advice into action? Relying on a relationship to work without making a real effort is a recipe for heartache. Too many couples watch a good relationship go bad because they won’t try to identify and work on negative trends. Just listening to advice isn’t enough but follow-through can be daunting. Here are tips you can practice to make sound counsel work for you.
Make sure you follow up on taking action by setting up a structure that holds you accountable. One approach could be starting your day by writing down 10 goals in your journal as if you’ve already done them. “This morning I helped my partner with the breakfast dishes to show my affection.” “I called from the grocery to see if he wanted anything special.” “I slipped a note into his lunch to say I hope his team wins this afternoon.”
Choose goals that focus your energy on the values you want for your relationship. Writing them out helps you start your morning intending to take action. The structure will help you remember your goals throughout the day.
Set up a weekly date with your partner to discuss the positive strides you’ve made toward improving your relationship. The conversation can celebrate your successes and also serve to strengthen areas that need work. Ask them what you did to make them feel loved during the past week or ask what they need more of from you in the next few days.
Set up mental cues.
Most of us simply forget to put our new resolutions into action. Help yourself remember with mental triggers to cue your brain. You set schedules and deadlines for other important tasks in your life, so why not set a reminder to take care of your relationship? Try putting notifications on your calendar throughout the day to pay special attention to your partner. Setting up a reminder takes less than a minute and pays off big time in establishing new relationship habits.
Wanting better doesn’t admit failure.
Recognizing a need to put relationship advice to work is an admission that you are vulnerable. You may feel you are failing your partner. Your relationship is not in the best place, and you sense you are not connecting with your loved one. You believe you could be kinder or more understanding and supportive. When you reach that point, you may feel guilty.
Understand that working for a better relationship is not a failure but a strong and positive action. You’ll be reaching for happiness for both you and your partner.
Doing nothing is an action.
Switch up the way you think about motivating yourself to make the relationship better. Instead of waiting for motivation to strike you, take action first. You’ll find taking a first step will inspire motivation. When you make a move in the right direction, you’ll feel so good you’ll want to take more action.
If you feel as though you simply can’t come up with anything that would help, think of inaction itself as a form of action. Doing nothing lets bad habits fester and further damages your relationship. You can either weaken your relationship with inaction or make it stronger.