HOW TO PRIORITIZE TIME FOR YOUR MARRIAGE By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

 

One of the biggest misbeliefs of time is that you can “find” it. We talk about time as if it’s hidden in the rubble of our attic, or high up on a shelf waiting to be dusted off. Truth is, we will never find time, but we can certainly make it.

We can make time when we decide what matters to us most is a priority. Saying something is a priority and actually making it a priority are two very different things. You may say that your marriage comes first, but that doesn’t matter if you devote your time to something lower on your list.

Today, we want to share some tips on how to get your marriage back on course and to the top of your priority list; by making more time.

DO THE RIGHT THING

Consider what’s right for your relationship. What are specific activities you enjoy doing together? Does your marriage suffer when you don’t make time to do these things? For us, it’s having date nights. But let’s face it, getting all the stars to align for the “right” thing can be tough.

Date nights can be complicated for couples; babysitters, budget, schedules. You may have lots of reasons to neglect what’s right for your relationship. The important thing to remember is it doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if that means getting out the door for only an hour or two. Focus on doing the right thing, then you can work on doing things right as time moves on.

MAKE A LIST

We all have to-do lists a mile long. Even if we have a clone, those to-do lists would rarely get done. We need to accept this fact, and prioritize things. The same goes for our marriage as well. Here’s a tip: make a to-do list for your marriage. What matters most today in the time you have with your spouse? Prioritize it.

Start with “If I do nothing else today for my marriage, I will….” Then complete it. Here are some ideas. If I do nothing else today for my marriage, I will take a walk with my spouse…make my partner a nice dinner…sit and have a productive conversation. You get the idea. Make your marriage a priority, and complete the item(s) you want to get done the most.

WHAT TO LEAVE UNDONE

If you want to make more time to spend together, then you have to decide what to leave undone. What eats up time during your day? Can you cut back on any activities? Perhaps cutting back on golf once a week, or saying no to the birthday party of an acquaintance. Make a list of time consuming activities that you can give up so you have more time for your marriage. Say no tactfully but firmly to the things that can rob you of your time together. Knowing what to leave undone might just be the best move you’ve ever made.

MARGIN IN THE UNEXPECTED

When you are booked solid with activities, there’s no room for the unexpected. And if there’s one thing we can always expect, it’s the unexpected. Traffic jams, a misunderstanding, or a miscalculation of time, can be major culprits. Allow for extra time that will keep you from feeling frazzled. If you need to get up by 7:00, then get up by 6:30. If you need the babysitter to arrive by 5:30, schedule them for 5:00. These simple margins will help reduce the mayhem, and make more time for your marriage.

The key in a marriage is to make it a top priority, and this means making the time for it. Remember, what we say and what we do are two different things. Make your marriage the best you can by carving out the time it deserves.

Check out Your Time Starved Marriage to learn more.

Do you have any tips you can share on making time for a marriage? We’d love to hear what works for you!

FIVE HAZARDS TO AVOID THAT AFFECT HAPPINESS: By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Just like a skilled golfer who surveys their course for bunkers and hazards, we need to survey our future. Relationships with your spouse, family, and friends will be much smoother if you examine your journey ahead and take note of potential hazards to your happiness.

Planning for your future goes far beyond finances and basic means. It should also include a plan for your happiness that avoids any unnecessary bumps in the road. Today, we are exposing five hurdles that can steal your happiness; but only if you let them.

1. COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS

The reason comparing ourselves to others sabotages our happiness is simple – we immediately become ungrateful. Jealousy overrides gratitude. So how can you turn this kind of negative comparison around? Stop focusing on negative comparisons and substitute them with a positive one. In other words, consider people who don’t have it as well as you do. The instant you realize how blessed you are is the moment your gratitude will increase, and your dissatisfaction will dissipate.

2. HOLDING ON TO PRIDE

Pride is a saboteur of happiness. It has a way of seeping into our conversations even when we are consciously inclined to avoid it. Research shows that when pride sets in, a partner will continue an argument 24 percent of the time even if they know they are wrong. And a full 74 percent will fight on even if they feel it’s a loss.

How can you avoid pride? By allowing humility to take its place. Humility isn’t for cowards, it’s risky. Humility makes us vulnerable, but it also makes possible everything we truly want to be. Without humility, it’s nearly impossible to engender kindness and warmth with our spouse and others. Humility will help you find happiness in your marriage.

3. OBSESSING OVER THE PAST

Your present is inextricably linked to your past. When you are weighed down by regret, pain or guilt over things that happened two decades ago, two weeks ago and even two hours ago, you will not be able to live fully in the present. Any attention you give to your past can’t help but distract you from your current relationships.

How do you overcome this? By healing your hurts. Focus where it hurts and get over any past jealousy, irritation, hurt, or trust issues that are lingering. It’s a process of self-exploration that can sometimes be lengthy, but is well worth it. When you can avoid obsessing over the past, you can fully enjoy the present.

4. FIXATING ON THE FUTURE

Planning for the future is a good thing, but putting your current life on hold because you are so fixated on “what will be” is not. Never allow your happiness to wait for you in the future. If you have the “once I complete this goal, then I will be happy” mentality you are missing out on the current happiness you can have now.

Life is here and now – not there and then. It’s good to have goals, but focus on making yourself happy while you work on obtaining them. Don’t spend your life preparing to live. Do your best to live in the present. Happiness need not be put on hold.

5. GIVING IN TO THE SILVER MEDAL SYNDROME

Not all medals are created equal. Research reveals that gold medal winners are happiest. But the next results were surprising; the bronze medalists were happier than the silver. Silver medalist think “I came so close to winning gold” while bronze medalists think “I almost didn’t get a medal and am grateful to be on the podium.” One reflects on what they have and the other reflects on what they don’t have.

This is the silver medal syndrome. It’s tempting to want more rather than be grateful for what we have. And when you focus on what you don’t have, happiness wanes. Don’t give in to the silver medal syndrome. Focus on what you have and be grateful for it.

As you move forward in life, keep an eye out for these five hazards – and stay focused on the happiness you have in the present. If you’d like to explore more on this topic, check out our book Making Happy.

Which of the five hazards do you get stuck on most often? How can you avoid this in the future? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

FIND THE PARROT’S BLOG HERE.

Previous Older Entries

© You Are Not The Only One Ministries & Consulting Services Inc.,  All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise cited Written devotionals and posts on this page are the property of this ministry. You-Tube Videos are not the property of this ministry.

%d bloggers like this: