Written by Writer’s Corps member Alyce Hayes
When it comes to relationships, we’re not all perfect, in fact, nobody is. What matters is your commitment to practicing healthier relationship habits every day.
One great way to start your journey to #lovebetter is to try setting intentions in your relationship. Take an honest look at some of your own habits. Maybe you’re the type that doesn’t take criticism well or has a tendency to talk negatively to yourself. Perhaps you have a tendency to blurt out your thoughts without any regard for your partner, or you are constantly in fear of them leaving you, despite their constant reassurance. Whatever the case…today is a new day and tis the season for new beginnings!
You are More than your bad habits. I promise.
Let’s take one of your bad relationship habits (with yourself or another) and set an intention to change it into something great! Grab a notepad, you’ll need it.
Related: 4 Daily Practices to Strengthen Your Relationship
4 Steps to Intentionally Loving Better:
1. Remove All Doubt
Yes, dear reader, you CAN change your habits and shut that nagging inner voice down. Many times, we get stuck in our unhealthy habits because we begin to blame it on something outside of ourselves. We point out that if only we had more money, more time, or better parents, then we wouldn’t be where we are. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand how outside factors can affect our behaviors. But at a certain point, we have to take responsibility for who we are and who we will become. Knowing that you have the capability to change yourself is the FIRST step to setting new intentions.
2. Identify The Habit You’d Like to Change
What bothers you most right now when it comes to relationships or self-love? You only need to pick one. For couples, if nothing is coming to either of you immediately, then discuss one thing that you notice about your partner that may make you uncomfortable (here are some tips for navigating tricky conversations). You might say that you’ve noticed your partner becomes really down on themselves sometimes and they may agree. After discussing and agreeing on what you’d like to improve, create a plan for how you intend to change the habit. Saying that you won’t do something isn’t always enough. You should attempt to replace it with something positive. For instance, if you chose “Using negative self-talk”, then your plan may look something like:
- Start every morning looking in the mirror and pointing out something good about myself. NOT the same thing every day (no cheating)!
2. Begin a gratitude journal. Write in it daily.
3. If I start saying something negative about myself, I have to immediately start singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” (whatever works, right?)
Related: 5 Steps to “Spring Clean” Your Relationships
3. Visualize or Write down your Goal
Imagine in great detail what it looks like when you’ve reached your goal. You might visualize through meditation, or write out a detailed scene. You may be more into vision boards, or just speaking it aloud. I leave the method up to you. The key is to get a clear view of you enjoying yourself and nixing that habit. Describe the senses as well. What can you see, hear, feel? For instance, that negative self-talker may visualize themselves feeling confident while walking onstage or into a stressful situation, boosting someone else’s self-esteem, and looking at themselves in the mirror with a smile on their face, saying, “You will SLAY today!” If you do get your detailed scenario on paper, keep it safe and be sure to look at it whenever you need it as a reminder of the promise you made to yourself.
4. Release your Bad Habit
This is for my fellow pyros: Write the bad habit(s) you intend to change on a piece of paper, and burn it! Imagine the bad habit burning away with the paper, releasing its hold on you. If you’re not into fire, dispose of it in some other way. The point is that you symbolically remove a negative part of yourself to make way for something better.
That’s it. Now go be awesome. In those 4 steps you’ve spent so much time thinking about what you want to change, you must have earned like, a snack or something. Enjoy it, knowing that you’ve just set in motion your plan to #lovebetter. Be aware that this isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” method of intention setting. These steps just make for a strong start to you making better choices. You will be more aware when you catch yourself slipping into your old ways. Remember: Each day is an opportunity for you to be better than the day before. Embrace the change!
Related: 19 Ways To Show Your S.O. You Love Them Without Saying a Word
Keep the Momentum! Check out more tips on loving yourself and how to #LoveBetter in your relationship!