It’s Time to COMMIT to Improving Your Relationship

Last week I wrote about the role motivation plays in maintaining your habits. Specifically, I gave ideas about how to change your attitude as a way to improve your relationship. I’ve been thinking more about how impactful our emotions and choices are in having a happy life and successful relationships.

I recently discovered a video that outlines ONE THING you need to do to make sure your habits are successful:

Make a Commitment

When you truly commit to something, it means you are going to do it, no matter what. You no longer give yourself a choice – it’s just going to happen.

The problem most of us have when developing new habits is usually related to follow-through. It’s not that we don’t want to change. After all, you wouldn’t even be considering new behaviors if you didn’t want something different. But to really change you need to make a commitment.

When you are motivated and excited it’s easy to feel fully committed. You may have committed yourself to your partner, but are you truly prepared to do what you need to do to have a happy, healthy, and close relationship? Many times it’s much harder than we think!

Take a look at this video by Mitch Manley to understand why commitment to change can be so difficult:

I like this video because it points out something almost all of us can relate to – we are motivated to change, but then the reality of life gets in the way. He suggests that commitment is the solution to this problem, and focuses on learning what commitment really means for you in your life.

In other words, you have to think through what is going to get in your way of following through with the changes you want to make.

I’ve run into commitment problems with trying out new relationship habits. Remember a few weeks back I told you about developing the habit of regularly expressing gratitude with my family? Well, this initially didn’t go so well.

I started off almost trying to FORCE this change, doing things like:

  1. Telling everyone the positive things I thought we should be discussing but not bringing my family on board
  2. Letting my kids know I didn’t like their negativity while pointing out different ways they could improve
  3. Not engaging when conversation veered toward complaints

Not very productive, right? Even worse, I’m pretty sure I just made everybody feel badly…

I was excited about improving my relationships with my wife and kids and committed myself to doing something about it. However, I made a critical mistake by neglecting the reality of my circumstances. I wanted everyone to instantly be more grateful, but didn’t recognize this was a big shift that couldn’t just happen overnight.

I had to adjust and find a way to implement expressing gratitude that worked for everyone, not just me.

Figure out what commitment means for YOU

It’s easy to get excited about starting a new habit and tell yourself, “I’m committed to change!” But if you don’t think through what commitment REALLY LOOKS LIKE for your life, you are likely to fail.

Have you run into a commitment problem when instituting new relationship habits? Things went great for a few days, but then fizzled out? The new habit didn’t work out as well as you hoped? Felt like your partner wasn’t on board so you lost motivation?

This is all normal!

Take some time to revisit your the relationship changes you are trying to make and figure out what went wrong. Do you have a commitment issue you aren’t aware of?

Reply to this email and tell me how things are going in your attempts to improve your relationship. I’d love to hear about it!