NB: There will be no audio for this lesson, as visuals are more relevant to use
Aim #2 – To communicate better with my partner and create a harmonious, loving relationship.
Step One – Setting yourself up for success
Again, if you haven’t already created your daily affirmations to say to yourself in the mirror, go back to Week Seven/Day Seven – Exercise Day: Creating all of your aims to learn how to do this so that you can add them into your action plan.
Here are a few affirmations that would suit this relationship aim:
- I am a calm, compassionate and loving partner
- I speak to myself and others with respect
- I have a harmonious relationship that I treasure
- I love ‘John’ with all my heart
Remember, as you begin to learn and repeat these affirmations, this is where your attention starts to go and you begin to find evidence of these beliefs being true. As these affirmations start to become habit, you begin to remind yourself of how you need to behave in order to help them come to fruition, which can stop any usual reactive behaviour.
Create reminder notes around the house: Create yourself some notes with little reminders that will keep you on track with your goals. This may be notes that remind you of the affirmations you are creating in your mirror affirmation exercise, or it may just be little notes that help you to remember the way towards getting what you want. For example, in regards to your relationship goal, you might right some notes for yourself that say:
- Just like me ‘John’ is seeking love in his life
- Just like me ‘John is seeking happiness for his life
- I am committed to creating a harmonious and loving relationship with ‘John’
- There is no right and wrong, only a difference in beliefs. What is the compromise?
Step Two – Prioritise your list of options
From the previous step of the TRACK process: Choices, here is the list of options that we had decided would be worth trying and that aligned with the case study’s bigger picture goals. I have taken this list and put it in order of priority (that is, what needs to come first). Your priorities may be different to what I list below. Remember, this is just an example to show you how to do these steps:
- Write out what I want in our relationship.
- Find out what ‘John’ wants and where he thinks our relationship needs to change.
- Read books and resources on how to create a harmonious relationship, how to understand men.
- Learn and apply better communication skills.
- Plan a date night
- Plan a weekend away with just ‘John’ and me.
- Couples Counselling.
Step Three – Create a Timeline for your prioritise.
- Write out what I want in our relationship. (straight away)
- Find out what ‘John’ wants and where he thinks our relationship needs to change. (straight away)
- Read books and resources on how to create a harmonious relationship, how to understand men. (Daily – read something that helps everyday to teach me how I can start making changes)
- Learn and apply better communication skills. (Daily – practice what I’m learning)
- Plan a date night (Weekly – time for just ‘John’ and me is really important, even if it’s just at home with the TV off when the kids go to bed.)
- Plan a weekend away with just ‘John’ and me. (Bi-monthly)
- Couples Counselling. (if all else fails to improve things)
Step Four – The Set up Phase
Questions to ask yourself: What do I need in order to use these options? What preparations do I need to make before I can use it?
- Plan some time for me to sit down and reflect on what I want for the relationship and how I’d like it to change.
- Plan with ‘John’ for a chat on his thoughts about our relationship.
- Go to shops, go online, or go to library and get those books that are going to teach me about how to create a harmonious relationship and communicate better.
- Book in a convenient date night with ‘John’
- Book in a convenient weekend or night away with ‘John’
- Book babysitters for date night (if needed) and weekend away.
Step Five – Creating your plan
Below is our revised plan that now includes the action plan for Aim #1 (our breastfeeding aim) and now, the relationship plan – Aim #2. For the purposes of this example and to show you how to use step Five of the TRACK process, I will be putting all three Aims and the action steps to achieving them, all on one plan.
However, it is advisable for more complex aims (like relationships, money, etc) for you to create separate action plans for each aim, because there will probably be plenty of affirmations to encourage you, daily, weekly and monthly tasks to be done, as well as specific steps that you may learn to help you along the way. Also, as you get more and more information, you may need to revise your action plan. Having one plan for each aim means that you aren’t having to change the entire plan for all of your aims.
The steps towards meeting this aim of communicating better with your partner and having a harmonious, loving relationship can be complex and you might like to create an action plan of it’s own. This plan will probably be revised quite often as you learn more and progress through the different stages and challenges that will come with changing the dynamics of your relationship.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of encouraging affirmations to practice and place lots of reminders in appropriate places so that you can remind yourself not to fall back into old habits.
When talking about relationships, it can be easy to fall back into the victim, woe is me attitude or play the blame game. Someone has to stop this cycle and the more you bring love, compassion and understanding into the relationship and stop this dynamic from occuring, the more your relationship will have a chance at success.
If you are unsuccessful at learning to communicate better and improve your relationship through reading and learning yourself, then perhaps it is time to see a counselor. If your partner refuses to see a counsellor, then perhaps you might be able to go by yourself initially and see if there is anything more you can do yourself.
Relationships are complex and there are usually a lot of different games, beliefs and dynamics to deal with. That’s why in the monthly topics after this 12 week program is complete, I have dedicated the 2nd month to teaching you how to use this Mind TRACK to Happiness process specifically to working on your relationship. You will get four weeks of information to work through specifically related to changing and improving your relationship.
This week’s lessons are to show you how to use Step Five of the TRACK process – Know your plan and action it, so that you can begin to become solution focused about what’s currently going on in your life.
The example I have given you here of creating a plan for a relationship aim is only a basic plan to get your started and to show you how you could create your own plan. It is by no means conclusive. But it does get you started and working towards changing some things in your relationship where you can be guided from there.
In tomorrow’s lesson I will show you how you can create a rough plan for our example aim #3: To enjoy being home with my children.