Yesterday I wrote about Lifestyle Design and Marriage. Several months ago I wrote about a four step Relationship Review process that my wife and I go through each Sunday that has helped our marriage immensely. Funnily enough, the Relationship Review works well for guys and girls. Guys like it because it requires concrete, step by step action (you can even set a time limit, if you want), and girls like it because they get to talk and spend time with you focusing on what’s important to most girls: relationships.
Over the next four posts, I want to explain the Relationship Review and how it relates to Lifestyle Design in greater detail.
Step 1: Weekly Planning
We whip out our calendars and (quickly) go over what we have planned for the week, one at a time. We skip repetitive things like work or classes and instead focus on what we’re doing during the evenings and weekends that will interfere with our time together or that we might need the other’s help or presence for. Specific items might include: dinner parties, things we need the car for, going out with friends so I can’t see you then, study groups, or a myriad of other things.
In the beginning, this might seem like it would take a long time, and in truth when we first started doing it, we spent nearly an hour on planning our week. After some practice, it only takes us about 15 minutes now. We let each other know:
When we’re going to be gone more than normal work/school hours. It’s nice to know when you’re going to be able to see your partner. Most of us live busy lives and knowing each other’s schedules allows for fitting time for each other in.
We plan our weekend date & other events. We have a goal of two planned dates per month as part of our ongoing courtship. Knowing that you plan dates will increase your wife’s feelings of respect and admiration. Planning other events that you’ll be attending together gives her the opportunity to plan what to wear, plan to find a sitter, and makes her feel like she’s an important part of your life.
We also plan when we’re going to have alone time. When you are prioritizing your life, it’s important to make sure that you make time for yourself. Sharpening the saw, priming the pump, whatever you want to call it. Having a little bit of alone time each week is important for most men.
Do any of you do anything like this? What kind of success have you had with weekly planning? What have your challenges been?