Imagine you’re trying to row a boat with your spouse and you’re both blindfolded, gagged, and have ear plugs in your ears. Your spouse pulls one way, you pull another, you’re disoriented and you don’t know what direction you’re going in. Even worse, you don’t know what direction you’re trying to go in.
Would you be frustrated? Would you get angry with your spouse?
This is how many couples live their lives. Pulling in opposite directions and aiming nowhere.
I have noticed that my husband and I seem to row in the same direction more of the time than many couples. I believe that the life planning process that we engage in twice a year is the main reason for our ability to keep our oars aligned. We do get off course and out of rhythm from time to time, but we sense it and correct our course.
I believe the Life Planning Process can create a more harmonious and stable marriage (or domestic partnership) for any couple. When you have set a life path together and have agreed to the allocation of your resources (e.g., money, time, love, energy, support, influence, etc.) you eliminate the main causes of conflict in the union.
My husband and I spend at least 8 hours twice per year in our life planning process. We review or modify our life vision, mission, and roles, and review our progress toward our goals. We then create new goals and action plans.
We plan twice a year because the circumstances of our lives change constantly and we need to modify our course to accommodate these changes. In the interim, we make shifts as necessary.
Because we’ve already had in-depth discussions on what is important to us, we are able to shift more agilely and there are less surprises and decisions to make on a day to day basis.
I recommend that all couples undergo this process. It’s a small investment to make in an important relationship that shapes everything else in your life.
This is a process that you can implement on your own, but if you would like support, I coach couples in Life Planning.
As another resource to support your planning process, I have written a workbook titled : Life Planning which is available for $22 plus tax and shipping. To order the book, contact me, Donna Schilder, at: (562)434-7822 or DSchilder@aol.com.
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