Incredibly, we are more than three months into 2021! Have you stuck with your resolutions? Have you lost some momentum? Did your resolutions include healthy relationships goals? Goals like extra time spent nurturing friendships, cultivating good family ties, or growing in love with your significant other? If your resolutions did not include goals like these, it’s not too late!
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to make the most of each new day. And perhaps this new day includes a new goal. We’ve identified some ways you can foster healthy relationships in your life. Our suggestions require discipline to achieve. They include:
COMMITMENT. A defining factor in healthy relationships involves a commitment by both parties to extend unconditional love to one another and to honor each other by prioritizing the value of integrity. This means, when you make the choice to be in a relationship with someone, you also make a commitment to love even in times of disagreement, fatigue, and stress. And you commit to being honest and doing right by one another even when you’re not being held accountable; that is, you choose to make good decisions no matter if your significant other is aware or not of a situation.
COMMUNICATION. Good communication skills are foundational to positive relationships, and one of those skills involves thinking before you speak. Yes, THINK. Is the message or words you are about to communicate True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary or Kind? In general, is what you are communicating to others life-giving and loving? To add these questions to your mental routine, imagine each of your five fingers on one hand representing the letters of the word THINK. Draw each finger into the palm of your hand as you make a mental checklist of what you are about to say. If your hand remains open because you are about to say something that is not life-giving, challenge yourself to be open to changing your mind about what you will say (or do).
RESPECT. Agree to disagree. Have you heard the phrase? But what does that mean? What does that look like? And are you really able to achieve the idea of respecting someone despite a disagreement? Truly respecting someone’s ideas, values, and beliefs means you must learn how to be a good listener. If you find yourself forming thoughts to argue a point instead of listening to how your actions impact the one you love, practice pausing and reflecting before you speak. This practice of pausing and the idea of THINKing first, may save you from misspeaking words you cannot take back and showing disrespect to someone you love.
Truly, life is meaningful because of our relationships. So, to protect and foster positive relationships, we encourage you to embrace our challenge of committing to the practice of loving unconditionally, embracing healthy communication patterns, and placing high value on respecting others. This is not a day-to-day challenge we are suggesting; it’s a moment-to-moment mental exercise. With practice, you will become the light you wish to see in the world. Make today bright!