Creating Routines: Love and Marriage

Crafting my Life Creating RoutinesBefore I decided to close Crafting my Life, I was running a monthly series on the site that was all about creating positive routines. I was enjoying it quite a lot, so I decided to move it over here and re-jig it a little. Each month I’m setting one goal towards creating a more purpose-filled life. If you’d like to join in and take some steps to create better rhythms and routines in your own life, I’d love to hear how you’re doing it.

Last Month’s Recap

In February, I committed to stop texting and walking. In the first place, I don’t relish the idea of walking into a mall fountain. In the second place, I was hoping to cultivate more presence and mindfulness. I would say that I succeeded. As the month wore on, I found myself reaching for my phone less and less while I was on foot. My Instagram postings decreased, which provides independent verification that I succeeded. I spent more time talking to my kids on the way to and from school, and less time saying, “Just a second,” while I tapped out a tweet.

creating routines positive change love marriage relationships

Creating a Routine for March

For March, I’m focusing on my marriage. It’s not in trouble – on the contrary, I think things are generally pretty good between Jon and me. However, relationships take work, even good ones. I’ve been asking myself what I can do to make mine better. I’ve decided that the answer is to cultivate appreciation. I don’t just mean telling my partner I appreciate him. I mean reinforcing in my own mind what I appreciate about this man I married.

To that end, I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet, because I do adore Excel, with a deep and abiding passion. Every day, I open that spreadsheet and list five things I love and appreciate about my husband. It takes only a minute or two every day, and when I’m done I feel all warm and fuzzy and happy. I’m not sharing the spreadsheet with my husband, although I am using it as fodder for telling him what I appreciate about him. Really, though, it’s for me. In fact, if he’s reading this post, he’s only just learning about its existence now. Sometimes love, and blogging, is weird like that.

Start With Small Changes

One thing I’ve learned on my journey towards a more purpose-driven life is that change happens best in small, bite-sized pieces. That’s why I’m once again choosing something small as my change in routine this month. I invite you to do the same thing. Is there something small you could do to improve your daily rhythm or overall mood? If so, what’s holding you back? Create a new routine, and leave a comment so that we can cheer each other on!

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  1. Love this idea of a purpose-driven life. Not everything is within our control but things like appreciation certainly are! And with marriages imploding all around us, marriage really should be a top priority even if it means pulling out the excel sheet. LOL.

    I’m gearing up for a 1/2 marathon and daily 10-minute meditations. But I think I’m going to practice appreciation as well!
    Harriet’s last post … GratitudeMy Profile

  2. Rob recently read a study where researchers found that the common ingredient in couples who stay together for a lifetime is a deep sense of gratitude for one’s partner. I think speaking kindly and being grateful are the two best things a person can do for a marriage.
    I’m super tired due to baby, so I’m going to say for me this month the focus needs to be on not expecting too much of myself, and forgiving myself for all the things I am not doing right now.

  3. I love that you’re collecting your ideas on an Excel spreadsheet. LOVE IT. When I think “Excel,” I just don’t think “romance.” The paradoxical combination is delightful!
    Rachael’s last post … On My Mind: 03.11.13My Profile

  4. Hi,
    I am doing something like this related to my one little word, Learn. In January I focused on using a DSLR and take photos in AV mode instead of full auto.
    In February, I focused on learning to say sorry as I am not good at owning up to my mistakes, I prefer to pretend they never happened.
    I am not sure what my goal in March. I know I need to focus on being more active and I would like to learn to run again. But the truth is I like the idea of running the best when I am sitting on the couch and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.
    I love your spreadsheet idea for what you love and appreciate about your husband. A great idea. I would like to try that.
    Lisa’s last post … One Little Word: Saying SorryMy Profile

    • I swore I was going to keep up running after we did Run for the Cure, and I totally didn’t. So, I hear you. I love the idea of running, but on any given day Sitting on the couch sounds more appealing.

  5. In January, I started keeping a gratitude journal where I write down 3 new things I’m grateful for each day. I watched Shawn Achor’s TED talk last year and was inspired to do so when he said that after 21 days of this people found they had a better, more positive outlook on life because they were in the habit of always scanning their day for things to be grateful for. I have found that to be true. I definitely feel better, and now I do my gratitude journal every day because I WANT to, not because I have to.

    I’m sure that a month of spreadsheeting what you love about Jon will have the same effect, in that even if you were to stop writing them down, you would be in the habit of noticing, which certainly is the important part of maintaining a longterm union.
    Alison @ Bluebirdmama’s last post … 8 Ideas to Nurture Your Self Through MotherhoodMy Profile

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  1. […] March, I committed to taking time every day to list five things I love about my husband. And, I’m sad to say, I didn’t even come close to doing it every day. Between a trip to […]

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