Taking Stock

I wanted to share with you a great habit that I was taught to carry out at the turn of the year, and which has served me well .. which is reflecting on what happened in the past year and how I handled it.

I love the quiet time in between Christmas and New Year and I made a commitment to myself a while ago to take this time for myself, for quiet enjoyment of the season, the weather, and taking a look back over the past twelve months.

Life has a habit of throwing the unexpected in our way, however well we plot and plan our lives, and often I’ll be surprised at the things that happened that I could never have predicted the year before. Sometimes these are wonderful and sometimes less so: in examining how I responded I find clues to who I am and how I’m showing up in my life and others’

So maybe you’d like to join me. Carve out a little space for yourself in the next few days to ask these questions:

What happened in this past year that I could never have predicted?

How did I respond? Was that helpful to me and those around me?

Who was important to me in the past year?

What one thing would I have liked to be different?

What would I like to do differently in this coming year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts .. do you have any other questions you’ve found useful?

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 17 . Share Something New

After a while together it’s easy to assume your honey knows everything about you, but stop a minute and think about that .. in reality you go out and learn new stuff about yourself every day, you’re constantly changing and growing and there’s no way your partner could keep up with all those new bits of you ..

So share something your honey doesn’t know about you today .. a new favourite food, or maybe somewhere you’d REALLY like to be kissed (behind your ears, between the sheets or maybe in public?) 😉

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 16 . High 5 Your Sweetie

Sometimes it’s tempting to take the good things for granted and only focus on the things your honey does wrong .. they know you love them right??

Wrong .. research shows that to feel positive in their relationship couples need an average ratio of five positive for every one negative interaction .. that means in order for your relationship to thrive you need to get working on those positives .. so notice your partner’s successes, and those of the two of you, and take time to celebrate them today ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 14 . Fix it!

Healthy couple relationships don’t happen by accident, they’re the result of both partners putting time and attention into what feeds the relationship each day, like making small deposits into a bank account that we can draw on when we need it.

Today I invite you to pay into your relationship bank account by finding something to fix around the home. Especially things that would make a difference to your loved ones.

Maybe you could hang a picture that’s been leaning up against the wall for a year; sew those pesky trouser hems up; back up your spouse’s computer; oil that squeaky door or check your honey’s car is all ready for the cold weather, with de-icer, screenwash, a shovel, snacks, water and an extra warm blanket in case of getting stuck in a traffic jam.

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 13 . Write it Out

Nothing is more meaningful than when we take the time to write something out .. so today write your sweetie exactly how you feel and put it somewhere they’ll find it later .. in the fridge, stuck to their toothbrush or maybe on the remote!

Get creative, and spread the love ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 12 . Share a 6 Second Kiss

A six second kiss every day is a proven way to maintain a loving relationship.

Take just six seconds today to share a kiss or a hug with your sweetie today .. and consider doing this every day .. the 6 seconds that will bring you closer and help to grow your love are highlighted by the Gottman Institute as something that can increase closeness and make you more mindful of your honey

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 9 . Write it down

Words mean a lot to some people and less to others.

If words are important to your love why not write your sweetie a note to let them know how you feel .. or if you have writer’s block pop into a card shop and find the perfect message

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 7 . Surprise Surprise

It’s good to be shifted out of our routines .. when you first met you’ll have talked and laughed and tried new things together, but once the relationship matures it’s easy to do the same things day to day. Research shows doing new things together stimulates us to feel affection and encourages us to communicate more.

So surprise your sweetie today .. with breakfast in bed, do a chore for them, a surprise gift, a special night out/in ..

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 6 . Tell All

The number one thing couples ask for when I meet them for the first time is improved communication. What they often mean is how to disagree in a more graceful way, but also when a relationship goes wrong what is missing is a sense of appreciation for each other.

Research shows that 5 positive interactions to every 1 more difficult interaction serve to strengthen our bond and make disagreements easier to manage.

So get into good habits .. Tell your beloved what they did to make you happy today.

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 4 . Get texting

Maybe you text your sweetie all the time, but how many of those messages are about your relationship, especially if you’re managing a family together. Using all the opportunities to communicate our love and appreciation is vital in order to stay connected in the face of multiple responsibilities.

Text your sweetie you miss them today, even if it’s just from the shed!

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