I delight in this Sunday Valentine’s Day because it was on a Sunday, February 14th back in 2016 that my husband and I met for the first time. It’s amazing to look back at those milestone moments and see just how much has changed. I hope you are finding a way to celebrate those that you love today (and that you feel celebrated by those that you love today!)
Today on this Valentine’s Day, I want to offer an exercise that will help you set goals around family and relationships. I think many of us are used to having personal goals for our health or at work, but it’s less common to set distinct goals for how we can be a better partner, sister, friend, uncle, etc.
I do this exercise with all of my clients so they can mindfully approach all aspects of their lives, including their relationships.
Set aside 15-20 minutes and journal on the following:
- What qualities do I most value in relationships?
- What do I want people to feel or experience in their relationship with me?
- What words or phrases most capture my highest ideals and identity in relationship? (For example: “number one dad”, “A safe harbor”, “Honest, Open, Available”)
This exercise invites us to get clear on our priorities in our relationships. It helps us acknowledge our strengths and our weaknesses, and then to cultivate a concrete identity that acts as a signifier of those priorities.
Simply writing out and remembering these priorities and your ideal identity each day can make a huge change in how you see yourself and how you approach relationships. But to truly take action and embody your ideals, ask yourself the following questions every day:
- What is the number *one* thing I can do today to live up to my ideal relationship identity?
- What is the number *one* thing I should NOT do today to live up to my ideal relationship identity?
I know it is hard, but choose ONE thing. It can be big or small, super concrete or more thematic. But this one thing to do (and to not do) will make such a difference and bring you closer to embodying your ideal.
Our relationships are some of the most precious resources that we have. This exercise is an invitation to treat those relationships with care and attention. My clients have reported back that this exercise can be one of the most impactful parts of our work together.
As with anything, to get the benefits you have to use it! So set aside your journaling time and get started. Once you’ve done that journaling exercise, all it takes is 1-2 minutes each day to remind yourself of your values, your ideals, and your number one thing to do and not do.
Sending much love to you and yours <3
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,