If you want to profoundly change your relationship, there are remarkably simple things you can do every day that will add up over time. One with enormous impact is a daily gratitude journal. It also happens to double as the most amazing anniversary or birthday gift any person can give to another.
Every day, write down one thing that you are grateful for, thankful for, appreciative of or otherwise delighted about in your partner. It could be something about their mental and physical characteristics, their actions and behaviors. It might be about the way that they contribute to your world, socialize with friends, exercise their skills, or just generally their personality. It can be general–I like your how your eyes light up when you look at me–or specific–I appreciate how you helped me clean up after dinner. Try to vary the things you write as time goes on.
Don’t tell your partner that you’re doing this, and don’t show it to them… yet. You want the things you appreciate to be as personal and intuitive as possible, which will be hard to achieve if you believe they’re going to be looking over your shoulder!
Check in with yourself to see how your feelings about them have changed after one week, one month, six months, etc. You will quickly start to notice subtle shifts in your interactions. By taking more care to notice the nuanced ways you appreciate them, you will naturally start to treat your partner differently, which they will reciprocate. This creates an upward cycle of kindness and gratitude and over time your relationship with your partner will improve massively without a ton of effort.
After you’ve kept the journal for so long that noticing your appreciation of your partner becomes automatic (between 6 months and a year) feel free to share it with them. Your gratitude journal could be once-in-a-lifetime birthday or anniversary gift. Imagine how powerful it will be when your partner learns you’ve been thinking about them positively every day! They will appreciate you for it, and they might learn things about themselves that they had no idea you loved.
Below is an example that I drew up about my own partner. Try now to jump start you own list: Find a piece of paper or start a note on your phone Be sure to set a reminder on your calendar to add to the list every day. and I mean it! Every. Single. Day. If you find this excruciating or hard to do, your relationship might be in need of deeper work than this journal can provide. Either way, try it out and see how it feels! Then contact me and let me know how it’s changed your relationship!
1) the way you wake up with perfect hair
2) how you kiss me goodbye even when you’re in a rush
3) that you always try to make me laugh (and usually succeed)
4) how you receive feedback and are always willing to compromise
5) that you bought groceries
6) how you celebrate my achievements with me
7) your pearly white teeth!
8) your sense of style
9) how you help me with the computer
10) how you saved me from getting a parking ticket
11) how you treat my mom with kindness
12) your focus and dedication to your business
I hope these examples inspire you to get started! As you can see, they can be specific or general, about their looks, actions, or their personality. They can be big or small. What you write doesn’t matter as much as the fact you’re writing it. In the end it will all add up and you’ll start noticing things that you’re grateful for without even trying, which will improve your relationship with your partner and inspire you to feel more joy throughout your day.
Start now! Don’t wait a single day more before you start improving your relationship.