Experts say it takes at least 30 days to develop a new habit. In my experience, it takes longer. Change is not easy. What is easy are acting out habits that no longer serve us, but at least we don't have to think about them, they are automatic. Most relationships are on auto-pilot. They have lost a great deal of conscious choice. They creep along doing the same things that don't work, until the relationship no longer works.
This is not what people say they want. They say they want something better, a way of relating and connecting that feels good, interesting and not stagnant. And yet, they keep doing those things, behaving in those ways that do not bring hope and feelings of connection, but instead, only serve to push two people further away from one another. So why does this happen?
It happens because healthy, happy relationships not only require commitment, patience, dedication, and internal fortitude, they require a great desire to care for their relationship as if it was a living, growing thing, which is the root of it all. It requires that we change. It requires that we grow. It requires that we are conscious.
THE CHANGE PROCESS
Changes take time. Change takes focus. Change takes planning. In short, change takes real and concerted effort. Many people do not like change because it frightens them, primarily because they are not sure of the steps to take toward growth. I have laid out the changes and growth people need in order to experience the healthy, rich love they desire in my couple's program, Relationship Help At Home.
I realized that their is higher education for everything, except for the two things people need most, parenting and relationship insight and skills. The Relationship Help at Home program requires that you take only five minutes a day to inspire, educate and develop skills and insight that will transform your life and relationships. It consists of weekly emails with daily exercises, and video training of easy to implement practices that are guaranteed to strengthen and enhance your relationships, both personally and professionally.
But to begin the process, let's consider some basic steps that are critically important if you want to change and grow in any area of your life.
Envision exactly what you want. Dream the biggest dream you can dream, especially when you are dreaming of the relationship you most want. If it does not cause you to question if it is possible, it might not be a big enough dream. They are your dreams, so allow yourself to dream wonderful dreams.
You must commit to doing what you have to do in order to have the kind of relationship you greatly desire. Nothing great is ever accomplished without commitment, and commitment is absolutely necessary in order for a relationship to have the rich soil for it to grow strong.
You put a plan in place to set the goals necessary to accomplish your dream. Success happens when your dreams put on work clothes, sit down and create the plan and then get to work. This is where I have done the major work for you. I have created your step-by-step daily plan so that all you have to do it take five minutes for the exercise every day.
You take action. You do what you must do to accomplish your goals and work your plan. Dreams and plans are nothing without action. This is your major obligation, simply to do the work that is laid out for you. I can put together the best education, inspiration and insight programs, but they can't work, unless you actually DO them.
EXAMINE and LEARN
First learn. Then implement what you are learning. Next, stop and take the time to examine what is working and what is not working. It is only then that you can make necessary adjustments and recalibrate the direction you need to take to get where you want to go.
REMEMBER the DREAM
You also must take time to remember why you are doing the work. You need to remind yourself of your purpose, plans and beliefs, and why they are important to you. It is in remembering that you refuel your passion.
DEVELOP NEW HABITS
Having a plan to follow and implement assures that you develop new habits. New relational habits change your behavior in consistent and powerful ways that cause you to be more insightful, understanding, focused and loving.
You must celebrate your successes along the way. Life is a journey, not a destination so stop and celebrate how far you have come and refuel the power of your relational dream in your heart.
Dawn L. Billings, author of the 26 week couple's course, The ABCs of Great Relationships and creator of the online relationship workshop Relationship Help at Home brings the information you need to enhance and heal your relationships from the comfort of your living room.
Dawn is the Executive Director of the healing resort, Relationship Help Resort, the architect of Primary Colors Personality Insight Tools, and author of over 20 books and hundreds of articles on communication and relationships. Dawn is also the director of www.Personality-Experts.com
In 2008, Dawn was selected by Oprah Magazine and The White House Project as one of the nation's emerging women leaders.