People have all kinds of relationship goals. Some want a spouse, kids, a dog and a house with a picket fence, some want a significant other to travel and go on adventures with, and others aren’t interested in lifelong commitment.
Whatever your goals, I want to help you take personal responsibility for your relationships so you can get your life together
We, as humans, have many amazing superpowers. One of my clear favorites is our ability to create the future we desire. It’s truly amazing if you think about it. When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours. And that’s what I want to help you do. To clarify and crystallize what you want your future to look like.
I like having a framework for doing things. A formula or recipe for success. I want to know that if I follow certain steps, I’ll get this result.
That’s what I’ve created for you to help you get where you want to go with your relationships.
You and I have enough time to do everything we want, but not enough time to waste. So let’s get started.
Overview of what we’ll cover:
- Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around relationships
- Decide how you’d like to feel and think about your relationships
- Clarifying your relationship goals and the life you want
- Decide on your course of action and create your plan
- Making it real and sustainable in your life
- Removing blocks/impediments
- A learning framework for making it happen
- Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around relationships
What’s really holding you back from having the relationships and life you want?
We all have core beliefs, whether we’re aware of them or not. Much like your phone has an operating system that’s always running in the background, our core beliefs are always guiding our decision making.
Some of them were given to us at birth, many were installed when we were very little, and some have been downloaded along the way.
When you start thinking about yours, you’ll begin to recognize what your current version is. If you’re happy with them, excellent. If you’re not, I’ve got good news- you can change them. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
Beliefs about relationships
Here is a list of prompts about relationships. As you read through them, write down the first thing that comes to mind; don’t overthink it.
- Relationships are
- Relationships make people
- I’d have a better relationship if
- My parent’s relationship was
- In my family, relationships were
- Relationships equal
- If I had a great relationship I’d
- People are
- Relationships are the reason for
- Relationships lead to
- Being in a relationship is
- In order to have good relationships, I’d need to
- When I’m in a relationship I usually
- I think relationships
- People think relationships
Now that you’ve written your initial thoughts on each of these, go back through and think more deeply about the ones that we’re the most triggering.
For example, if you wrote “my parent’s relationship was bad” spend time thinking about why you think that way. Did your parents argue? Did they fight in front of you? Did they stay together or split up?
For me, my folks divorced when I was five and that had a profoundly negative impact on most of my relationships up until my late 20s. .
I was fiercely independent, distrusting and in perpetual fear of being abandoned; even though I didn’t realize it.
It wasn’t until I recognized my negative and limiting beliefs around relationships that I was able to make positive changes.
The more you can dig into your past and examine it, the better the chances of changing your beliefs from negative to positive.
To help you in this process, you can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Decide how you’d like to feel and think about relationships
Once I get that new job, then I’ll be happy. Once I get that car, then I’ll be happy. Once I
I’m married and have a family, then I’ll be happy. Does any of that sound familiar?
We have an odd relationship with goals and happiness, and too often, we think about them
the wrong way. So, instead of thinking “once I’m in a relationship, then I’ll be happy,” decide how you want to feel, then think deeply about why you want what you want.
Once you’ve done that, then you’ll set your goals.
I’ve found word association helps me to get clear on how I truly want to feel.
For example, when I hear Good Parent, I feel present, I feel fully engaged, I feel locked-in and focused, I feel satisfaction. I have really good and strong feelings around being a good parent. This is a clear priority for me.
Let’s go through some relationship word association. For each, write down your initial feelings.
- Healthy relationship
- A good partner/significant other
- Open and honest communication
- Emotionally available
- A good listener
The idea is to figure out how you want to feel. Once you’ve gone through each one, go back through them again and dig deeper. You can certainly add more as well.
To help you in this process, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Clarifying your relationship goals and the life you want
I talked about how our ability to create the future we desire is a superpower.
When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours.
It’s time to create the future you desire.
For each prompt, write down what you want (Feel free to add/subtract/substitute anything you’d like).
- What is your relationship status?
- How much time do you spend with your significant other?
- How open are you with one another?
- Do you share finances?
- How supportive are you with one another’s goals and aspirations?
- What does your family look like?
- What do you like to do together?
- What do you like to do on your own?
- Where do you like to go together?
- How frequently do you communicate during the day?
Be honest with yourself. Don’t judge yourself. What you want is what you want, and it’s great (whatever it is). These are your goals, this is your life, and you’ve got one shot at it. Plan for the life you want to live.
Again, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Decide on your course of action and create your plan
You’ve examined your existing beliefs. You’ve decided how you want to feel. You’ve clarified your goals. Now it’s time to chart your course of action and create your plan.
For each area, determine the desired result, cost and time horizon for making it happen. As you continue along, you’ll refine your plan and get more specific.
Example 1: My desired result is to get married. I’m currently in a committed relationship. I will talk about my desires within the next 30 days.
Example 2: My desired result is to have a family. I’m currently single. I will get clear on my values and goals, and begin dating using technology as well as personal connections and community involvement over the next 45 days.
Example 3: My desired result is to find a partner to have fun with. I’m very active socially and professionally successful. I will be more specific in the characteristics of the partner I am looking for and will proactively begin asking for introductions from my personal network within the next 60 days.
Complete this structure for each of your goals.
Making it real and sustainable in your life
It’s not enough to know. It’s not enough to know how. You also have to make change real and sustainable.
You need to recognize this is a lot. There are important interpersonal communication skills which are required to have a successful relationship. Being able to connect with the right amount of people in a safe and comfortable way is also challenging.
Then there’s recognizing any emotional connections that exist. And then it’s integrating it all together.
You need to figure out how to maximize your resources of time, attention and money. And, you’ll need to take into consideration your desire and interest; do you want to spend time on this?
There has to be someone whose job it is to bring all of this together.
The good news is, there are a lot of resources out there. There are online resources, courses and coaches who can help.
But it comes down to choice. Will you choose to dedicate the resources to doing this? Will you accept the personal responsibility?
And that’s the most fundamental truth of all. The ultimate responsibility for your success is YOURS.
Removing blocks/impediments- internal, external
Whenever we’re trying to make real and lasting change, we’re going to run into blocks and impediments. These blocks can be both internal and external, so it’s important to be aware of them.
Fundamental blocks keeping us from relationship success:
- Interpersonal communication skills
- Feelings of unworthiness and other limiting beliefs
- Work-life balance
- Ability and willingness to be open and honest
- Lack of autonomy
- Different values
- Different goals
- Lack of intimacy
- Lack of boundaries
- Feelings of inequality
When we become aware of them, we need to take proper action to overcome them.
For example, if you lack interpersonal communication skills, you could read blog posts and listen to podcasts, read a book or take a course, or work with a coach.
For example, if you have toxic relationships in your life, you’ll need to figure out how to fix the problems, or move on from that person or people.
For example, if you have trust issues, you can work through them via personal research or by engaging with a coach or a therapist.
To overcome what’s holding you back may require resources.
Where can you get the new knowledge you need? Knowing where you can go for information and knowledge is extremely important.
Do you want to spend time on this? Some people really enjoy these things, while others would prefer to not spend much time on it. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Again, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
Will you spearhead this effort, or will you find partners?
A Learning Framework for Making it Happen
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Whatever you’re trying to get better at, if it’s personal finance, relationships or your leadership skills, there are three models for doing it.
- DIY Model. Information and raw data is everywhere. I’ve certainly combed through it all to learn new skills. You can listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and read blogs on literally every topic and relationships are no different.
- Invest Model. Tapping into the knowledge and teachings of others can greatly enhance the learning process. I’ve paid for and benefitted from many courses from college to online learning. There are a lot of courses for improving your relationships.
- Partner Model. Wisdom is more valuable today than ever. Getting the support and expertise in the form of coaching, advising or a mastermind can get you where you want to go a lot faster. Working with a therapist or coach, or joining a mastermind can help you get where you want to go a lot faster.
Obviously, the more you can interact with an expert, the better. But if you have the time and attention, you can most certainly piece everything together on your own.
Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
I think self-discipline is an incredible thing and I greatly value mine. It helps me to do things even when I don’t feel like doing them. Like getting out of bed in the morning to exercise, and managing our household budget.
I also don’t think it’s a genetic thing; I think you can cultivate and strengthen self-discipline.
Do you know who David Goggins is? He’s possibly the most self-disciplined and intense human on the planet. He transformed himself from unhealthy and out-of-shape to a world-class athlete and he inspires millions of people.
I bring him up because it took David Goggins a while to get where he is today, and it may take you a while to get where you want to go with your relationship. You can’t get out of debt in a week any more than you can lose 100 pounds in a month.
Structure first. Then self-discipline.
As you work up to your Goggin’s level of self-discipline, putting structure in place will help you get everything that needs to get done. That’s where your SOP comes in.
Your SOP (Standard operating procedure)
A standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help their people get what needs to get done, completed.
If it’s for an organization, why would an individual have one?
If you have a simple, straightforward and uncomplicated life, you probably don’t need one. Odds are, you have a complex life with a lot of moving parts. The more you can systematize and put structure around the things that need to get done, the better.
When it comes to relationshps, I’ve already talked about how complex it can be. Keeping on top of everything that needs to happen on a monthly basis is important.
- Checklists. One day, perhaps many of the things you need to be successful will be second nature. Until that day, make a checklist for everything that needs doing. For example, executing the plan you’ve developed for meeting enough new people will require many things; creating a daily checklist will ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
- Calendar. What gets scheduled, gets done. If you don’t put all of your important activities into your calendar, they’ll get bumped by some other “emergency.” For example, schedule times during the week for meeting potential partners or for cultivating your existing relationship.
- Automate. The more we can take our hands off the wheel, the better. For example, setting up online profiles and screening potential partner candidates can free up time.
- Delegate. Get a therapist, coach, or join a mastermind. If there’s an area you lack in, find someone or something that can support you in your change.
I don’t want this to seem as though I’m doing a commercial for outsourcing, I’m not. You’re perfectly capable of doing this yourself. Again, be honest with yourself about whether or not you want to spend the time and attention it will take to get where you want to go.
If you find you need additional help, then look at outsourcing.
You have choice.
You can choose to get the resources you need to break through. To tap into your superpower and to create the future you desire.
Will you accept personal responsibility?
What’s your first step?
We’re here to help. Check out the LifeBlood podcast wherever you listen to podcasts; we’ve spent a lot of time talking about relationships
Relationship success is available to you, get started!
You can access our Goals Course at no-cost.
You can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Connect with one our Certified Coaches.
Invest in one of our Courses.
Here are some applicable episodes of the LifeBlood podcast that talk about making change. We also have a lot of content around personal finance as well.
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