How One Small Change to Our Week Improved Our Marriage

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WeeklyReviewMarriageImage

Do you ever wish you could improve the overall “flow” of your household’s hectic schedule? My husband and I recently incorporated “weekly review” meetings to our routine. It’s been a game changer in reigning in our chaotic calendar and keeps us working toward our big-picture goals for our family. Here’s why you should consider adding one to your routine.

But first, a little background… 

Remember how last month I shared my experience doing the Whole 30 dietary challenge? I explained how the discipline from doing that particular challenge permeated other areas of my life, but didn’t really go into specifics.

You see, after having my third daughter this past August, I’ve felt like life was just pummeling by me. (Literally and figuratively.) My days were directing me, instead of the other way around and I just couldn’t seem to get in front of the constant wave of things and people crashing over me.

Responsibilities, big and small, were slipping through the cracks. More often than not, I felt edgy and short with the people I care about the most – namely, my husband and kiddos.

I was desperate to change the course we were on…to steer our ship toward a more harmonious port, so to speak. I was so done using the, “I-have-a-new-baby-and-three-young-kids” excuse to others and myself.

I really wanted change and in order to make it happen I needed to break things down into manageable, doable steps…

Step One: Clean up my diet by doing Whole 30.

Step Two: Take an online organizing course to quickly learn how to task manage my life and household. (I selected this course because the videos were presented in short 2-15 minute snippets (perfect to watch while breastfeeding), the price was reasonable and it used two simple, Cloud-based applications so I could synch my computer, phone and iPad.)

There were many parts of this course that helped me get my life more organized, but one thing that stuck out were these review checklists (daily, weekly, monthly, annually). The point of the daily and weekly lists is to help you stay on track to work toward your big-picture goals.

Something we were not doing well…

In the past, my husband and I have done goal setting at the beginning of each New Year, plus quarterly meet-ups to go over our budget and what not. Now, with three young children, these little dates weren’t enough.

This New Year’s Eve we pulled out our goals from last year and, sadly, had forgotten most of them. This was the first year that had happened to us in over 10 years. (Bear in mind, a number of our goals are totally doable, like spend more alone time with each kid and be more creative with our date nights, etc.) Right then, we resolved that we needed a way to stay more in touch with them.

So what did we do about it?

First, we knew we needed to post the goals somewhere visible so we could be reminded of them rather than tuck them away in a drawer for safe keeping. Next, I came up with the idea of incorporating the weekly meetings suggested from my organizing class into our routine.

For just over a month now, we get together every Sunday evening after the kids have gone to sleep. We meet out by our backyard fire pit with our goals and calendars in hand. I have a generic checklist that I got from the class to keep us on task (go over our calendars, projects, goals, needs, wants).

Why has this improved our marriage? 

  1. We have more compassion for each other. Hearing my husband’s schedule for the upcoming week more closely makes me empathize with how much he really has on his plate.
  2. We’re more in tune with one another. Staying in touch weekly gives us a far better understanding of what each of us has coming up.
  3. We’re able to keep each other accountable.
  4. I’ve found that I tend to nag less (hopefully he feels this way, too) because I’ll save items until we meet.
  5. We’re able to cheer each other on for the small victories that tend to get forgotten.

I can’t wait to see how the end of this New Year will look for us now that we’re collaborating at the beginning of each week…

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