3 Simple Habits to Build into Your Day to Grow Your Relationship
Lately I’ve been on a major habits kick. I’ve been reading any book I can get my hands on about developing good habits, and I’m learning that you can apply habits and systems to literally everything.
Experts say that 40-45% of what we do each day is habit, which means nearly half of your day is made up of unconscious actions that you think are decisions. How crazy is that? If that is true, then our habits are really what determines how successful we will be in any given area.
We spend so much time and energy trying to develop healthy habits like drinking water or exercising, but we rarely realize that we can build habits around the other areas of our lives, like our relationships! Below are three simple habits you can build into your day to grow your relationship:
Have coffee together
After months of trying to perfect our morning routine, I think we’ve finally found a rhythm that we enjoy and that sets our day up for success. The key is starting the day with something you actually look forward to, which for us is drinking coffee. Unless you have superhuman self-control, you aren’t going to be able to drag yourself out of bed at 5am unless you can convince yourself that what’s next is just as enjoyable as your cozy bed.
Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t both burst out of bed ready to have a pleasant conversation over our morning brew. When our alarm goes off, we (often wordlessly) walk into the kitchen and pour a cup of coffee, and take a few sips as we read our Bibles or devotionals until we are awake enough to have a conversation.
So often our energy is all used up by the end of the day…by making time for each other in the morning we can make sure we aren’t always just giving our relationship what’s left over. Regardless of how the rest of the day goes, we’ve spent at least a few minutes of quality time together.
Greet each other when you get home from work
Working from home, I am especially guilty of launching into an endless stream of talking the second Jake walks in the door...which is understandable as most days this is the first chance I have to actually talk to someone other than my computer since he left in the morning. If you’ve never worked from home before, the fact that I just admitted I talk to an inanimate object may seem weird, but trust me, it’s a thing.
It’s taken a lot of practice to get into the habit of greeting Jake with a hug and a “How was your day?” before overwhelming him with conversation. But, I’ve realized the importance of letting him unwind from his day before recanting my own. Also, since I tend the more talkative of the two of us, I can make sure I get to hear his stories by asking about his day first!
Put your phone in a drawer
This year for Lent, rather than give something up we decided to put our phones in a drawer every night after dinner. At first it was really challenging, I felt like I was missing things by not checking social media or neglecting my business by not watching for urgent emails.
Once we broke the habit of mindlessly scrolling our phones in the evening, it got much easier and actually felt freeing. Adopting the routine of putting our phones away allowed us to actually rest from a busy day full of screens and gave us the opportunity to connect more as a couple. We had so many conversations that we wouldn’t have had if we were buried in our phones. Even though Lent has been over for awhile, we have found our evenings are so much more enjoyable not tied to our phones that we’re planning on continuing this habit as often as possible!