Think about anything you want to improve in your life.
Do you want to improve an existing relationship? Maybe your marriage?
Do you want to be a better listener? A better manager? A better leader?
Do you want to simply be happier?
Instead of looking for the monumental breakthroughs you need to make a change, why not focus on the small everyday things? Why not focus on the habits that will support that desired improvement?
Do You Want to Improve Your Marriage?
Do you ever wonder why some people seem to really excel in their marriage and others struggle?
Did they find their “soul-mate?” Did they find the right person at the right time? Are they meant to be together? Maybe.
We usually think about marriage as love and emotions. And it is. But maybe a helpful way to think about your marriage might be – which of my habits could more positively impact my marriage?
I dare you to compare some healthy and dysfunctional marriages of people you know (including your own). You may find some habits or a lack of habits that explain the differences.
- If you set aside time to talk with your spouse every night before bed, could that contribute to a stronger marriage?
- If you intentionally eat meals together more often, could that contribute to a better marriage?
- If you share a hobby together, could that contribute to an improved marriage?
John Gottman, a marriage researcher and author, did an experiment where he filmed 15-minute conversations of 700 newlyweds. He then reviewed the footage and predicted, with an astonishing 94% accuracy rate, who would get divorced and who would not. One simple thing he focused on was the tone couples used to talk to each other. The tone, that simple. It was less about what they said and more about how they said it to each other. It was about a habit.
What tone do you use when you talk to the people most important to you? Do you even notice that you use a different tone with different people? Could your marriage, or any relationship, actually improve if you notice and change your tone?
I say, it can. I say, your habits are imperative for any sustainable change or improvement.
How Happy Are You?
What determines your happiness? Is it the circumstances around you? What happens to you in life? Maybe your DNA? Your parents? (It’s always on them.)
But what if happier people simply do happier things? What if they have “happier” habits?
- If you were to think happy thoughts or express gratitude more often and more consistently, how might that affect how “happy” you feel?
- If you intentionally surround yourself with other “happy” people, do you think that could rub off on you?
Studies show happier people express gratitude more to others. Maybe you assume they express gratitude because they were happy in the first place. But what if the opposite is true? What if you started a gratitude habit – could that help you feel happier?
If you decided to express gratitude about something…anything…to just one person, just for today, do you think that would make you a happier person in general? Probably not.
But what if, from now on, you implemented a habit where you expressed gratitude out loud to two people in your life every single day…for the next ten years? What impact might that have on your level of happiness?