Coaching for Performance
By: John Whitmore
If you are a life coach then I’m sure you’ve heard about GROW. If you haven’t heard about the GROW model then I suggest you get this book and do some learning. The GROW model stands for Goals, Reality, Options, Will. This book will really help your Life Coaching skills and transform your coaching so you can stand out against the rest.
This book will help you do advanced work with your clients. To be a good life coach you must be versatile in all areas. This book gives you models for psychosynthesis, spiritual intelligence, emotional intelligence and boundaries for coaching. This book talks about how to create awareness and responsibility for your clients. Having awareness is the only way the GROW sequence can be put into full action.
If you are a Life Coach wanting to expand from single clients to team coaching then this is one book you want in your back pocket. The last half of this book gives such good detailed information on coaching teams and creating a leadership situation. The GROW sequence can be used for a team as well. A lot of companies today are looking for life coaches/team coaches to come in and help transform their team. A business will never be successful without a good team behind it.
Overall if you are a Life Coach I would highly recommend this book. It has helped me in so many ways with my clients. It has also helped me in my parenting skills as well. I was able to take some of the models and apply them to my family. I have 8 kids so we regularly have to function on a team level to maintain the peace.
I have no clue what’s happening on Facebook, and it is liberating. I’m not living some kind of ancient existence I still have Instagram. Instagrams platform is less drama. But honestly, being off Facebook has helped me regulate my phone use so that it’s no longer eating up my day. Not to mention my phone battery last days instead of hours now.
I really only have good things to say about being off Facebook. You don’t really realize how much time you waste on Facebook until you quit. And once you’ve been off it for a while, you start to see how much you don’t miss it. I’ve been off Facebook for 3 months now and will never open an account again.
Did you know there was a study done on Facebook users and 5 out of 10 people envy the experiences of others posted on Facebook. 1 out of 3 people envy how happy other people seem on Facebook and 4 out of 10 people envy the success of others on Facebook. Pretty sad huh?
Facebook literally makes us evaluate our lives against others, which in turn affects us psychologically. There will always be someone more successful, having more travel experiences or even someone more beautiful than us out there and that’s ok. But when you are constantly scrolling to fill your time it will eat at you, no matter who you are.
I gave up Facebook because it just got old. One thing I loved about Facebook when I first made a profile was reading good articles from certain pages I followed. Slowly but surely those got old as well. My news feed was just full of negativity, over posting lonely people trying to claim their lives are so busy and happy, and news which you never know if it’s fake or real trying to put fear into you. Oh and let’s not forget political this and political that! Same shit different day.
Facebook is like a drug and until your clean and sober from it you don’t realize how much you were addicted. The average person checks their news feed once every 20-40 minutes. The average teenager spends up to 9 hours a day on social media with most of that time being on Facebook. There is so much we could be doing with that wasted time.
What I learned from having Facebook and then giving it up was what really matters in life. One of those things is privacy. I realized I could care less to post pictures of my happy moments for everyone to see and comment on. I definitely didn’t need to “check into” places so people would know where I was all the time. I realized I like the good old days where you’d run into someone you hadn’t seen in a long time and were able to ask how they’ve been. I like not knowing what they post because the run in becomes more meaningful.
Along with Facebook I gave up reading or watching the news. Now…you can’t totally break away from news but I have made it a huge point not to go searching for it. What news I need to know will fall into my lap. My Facebook feed was filled with news between sites I followed and people sharing it. I realized how much reading or watching news would affect me. Sometimes the stories were so bad I would go into an anxious state of mind. I got sick of it. There’s a lot of bad in the world and it’s constantly in our faces because fear drives our current society.
The world and life itself are beautiful things. Now that I’m not focusing on who, what, when and why of the Facebook world I am focusing on my life and how grateful I am for all that I have and worked hard for. I am happy for all the people who are more successful than me and look to them as role models instead of being envious. Not having Facebook lifted this dark cloud I didn’t even know I was under.
Thank you for reading and please like, comment or share! If you’ve given up Facebook I’d love to hear how it affected you.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Let’s be really honest right off the bat, being a foster parent isn’t popular by ANY means.
Foster care and foster parents do not exactly have a great reputation in our culture. How many times have you turned on the television only to hear about a horrific crime revolving around a horrifying orphanage experience or crazy foster parents?
Parenting children who’ve gone into foster care is often resented. Sometimes it’s so bad you don’t even want to tell people you are a foster parent because of all the backlash that comes with it. I’ve heard every judgmental comment possible about why I do foster care or how horrible foster children are in my 7 plus years of doing this.
Yes…bad things happen in foster care, there is no denying that. But you know what?…Bad things happen in biological homes all the time, which is why there is a foster care system to begin with. But do we assume all biological families are horrible? Bad things happen in all occupations…but not all employees are judged because their co-worker made bad choices. Tell me this…how many times have you turned on the t.v. only to hear about another child being molested by a church hierarchy? Do we judge all the church goers because their pastor/priest made bad decisions? No… we don’t because that really isn’t fair.
So why are all of us foster parents judged off of another foster parents horrible choices? Why are the children who are in the foster care system judged so harshly? They are in the system not by their choice, but yet they take a lot of judgment from the world. Most people automatically assume that if a child, especially over the age of 5 is in the foster care system that they are a troubled child. Yes…there are troubled children in the system, but not all of them are.
So, why even consider being a foster parent? What is being a foster parent like? Most people don’t even know the answers to these questions because they can’t get past their stereotypes and judge mental attitudes. There’s true beauty behind the bad reputation that only foster parents will know and experience. Being a foster parent is not easy by any means, but it is rewarding.
Here are some positive things about being a foster parent that most people don’t know or understand.
Foster Parents Are In Need:
Overwhelmingly, the children who go into foster care are the victims of either abuse and/or neglect by their parent or legal guardian. At any given time, there are approximately half a million children in foster care nationally and roughly 60,000 under the age 18 in California. This does not include children ages 18-21 in the extended programs and children whom chose to age out of care. In Los Angeles County alone, the number of foster homes has decreased from more than 8,000 in 2005 to less than 4,000 by 2015. The need for new foster homes is increasing and the approval process to be approved is getting stricter.
Contrary to stereotypes, these children aren’t monsters sent to terrorize homes, foster parents and bio kids. I’ve seen and dealt with a wide range of foster children across all age groups. Many children are very small, some even newborn. Some have been beaten. Some have been neglected. Some have been molested. Some are malnourished and underfed. Some are addicted to drugs from the womb. And there’s even some that come with almost no baggage.
Children with known, extreme behaviors typically aren’t sent to foster parents, they are placed in different level/type of care. Some of the teens have straight A’s, and some struggle to make it through the school day. Some of the teens are happy, and some are sad and angry. Some of the teens are just crying out for moms and dads to love them. They are all kids who have been hurt and endured pain that most people couldn’t imagine. They are needing a family to love and guide them and accept them for who they are and where they come from.
You Can Be An Amazing Foster Parent If You Want To:
Yes, some foster parents and foster agencies have a bad reputation. You don’t have to be a horrible foster parent or involved with a shady agency. You can be amazing, rescuing children from reoccurring trauma and shining a bright light into the world.
Those of us who truly want to make a difference in children’s lives can and will reinvent what foster care looks like. There are more good stories out there than bad and we need to get them circulating. There really is dedicated foster parents out there. Ones who do it to make an impact on children’s lives. I know because I am one of them. As soon as a child is placed in my care that becomes my child. I do anything and everything for that child as if I birthed them myself.
I make sure their time with me wether a short stay or a permanent stay is safe, secure and as happy as possible. No, it’s not all hearts and butterflies and it does get tiring sometimes but knowing how many little lives I’ve impacted keeps me going. The reward of having many children call me mom…is priceless.
It’s A Life-Changing Experience:
Much like biological parenting, foster parenting is life-changing. Besides the normal consuming activities of parenting young children or teens, foster parents have extra responsibilities of meeting state requirements and caring for children with acute/special needs. Records need to be kept, visits need to be made, medicine dispensed, therapy appointments to attend and social workers and supervisors regularly visiting your home. This is all a daily part of your life. It’s not easy, but it’s good. It keeps the children safe.
Taking care of foster children takes a whole heart, willing to accept the payoff of laughter, pain, sorrow, joy, and even self-improvement. Watching an abused child gain the ability to smile and laugh again is priceless. Seeing a teen comfortable in her own skin for the first time is worth the mood swings. Ice cream cones, football games, and trips to the playground are the perfect distractions from the difficulties of being a foster parent.
Foster care changes children and foster care changes foster parents. The personal growth that comes from being a foster parent is life-changing.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to like comment and share! I love to hear feedback and personal experiences.
Chances are you have lots of beliefs about yourself and everyone else you come across. You use these beliefs to help understand why people do what they do. If someone yells at you, you might forgive them because you know they are under a lot of stress. Or, you might not trust them because you think that this person is always angry with you. Or, you might even think that deep down, they are an angry person who should be avoided at all costs.
There are probably times when you believe that a person’s actions reflect the situation they are in or their current mental state. But, you also have times when you think that a person’s actions are a reflection of their true self.
Psychologists around the world have been interested in capturing the qualities that people think are part of someone’s true self and also in understanding how the idea of a true self affects people’s actions and their relationships with others.
An interesting fact of the true self is that it seems to be a belief that is similar across cultures. That is, aspects of the true self have been explored in studies using many different populations around the world, and the beliefs tend to be quite similar.
Two core beliefs are that the true self tends to be moral and good. So, when people make a change in their actions, they are more likely to be judged as doing something that reflects their true self when they change from doing something bad to something good than vice versa. This is why someone who stops abusing drugs or alcohol is often judged as allowing their true self to come through, while someone who starts abusing drugs or alcohol is judged as suppressing their true self.
These beliefs also tend to lead people to assume that someone can change for the positive over time, even if many of their past actions have been bad. We are reluctant to decide that someone is truly evil and prefer to believe that their true self has a moral beauty that might someday lead them toward better actions in the future.
An interesting fact of the true self is that our beliefs about our true self and other people’s true selves are similar. This belief differs from the way we often treat our motives compared to those of people from a different group. Often, we assume that we and people from our group have better motives than people from some outgroup. But, we also assume that deep down (in their true self) members of other groups are good and moral people.
Why does the concept of the true self matter?
One reason, the belief in a true self affects people’s judgments about what actions give life meaning. A person might work hard at their job and also spend time with family. They might believe that their job is just something they do, but that the importance they place on family relationships is part of their true self. Meaning, the effort they put into their family relationships will give them a greater feeling that their life has had meaning than the effort they have put into their profession.
Another reason, the belief in true self can influence the treatments people will consider for mental illnesses. For example, many college students are willing to take medications for attention disorders that allow them to focus on their work. Part of the reason why they take this medication so freely is that few people consider their ability or inability to concentrate as a central part of their true self. On the other hand, many patients suffering from bipolar disorder are reluctant to take their medication, because they believe that their medication is changing aspects of their true self.
While the true self seems to be an important part of people’s beliefs about themselves and others, it is hard from a scientific standpoint to think of the true self as something that actually exists. I may believe that I have a true self, but is there actually a true self inside me? It can be useful to believe that we and other people are inherently good and moral, but that doesn’t mean that there is an inherently good and moral person lurking within every person just waiting to get out.
Human beings have a unique ability that rarely gets talked about. It’s the ability to observe and react to our own behaviours as if they were the actions of someone else. In other words, to be the ‘observing self’.
As a Life Coach I encourage my clients to utilize their observing self, because it allows them to ‘step out’ of problematic trance states and gain a fresh perspective.
The observing self makes us human.
The ‘observing self’ is perhaps the seat of what it is to be human. As far as we know, no other creature has the capacity to reflect on reality and its own place within that reality; if other creatures do have something similar, it is to a much lesser extent.
This ability is a function of the prefrontal neo-cortex, which we can regard as the ‘conductor’ of the brain’s ‘orchestra’ or the leader of the brain.
From this capacity flows the potential to become more than just our immediate and current self in our immediate and current situations.
Many psychotherapeutic techniques specifically encourage the use of the observing self. The extent to which we can engage this faculty corresponds to how well we can transcend the situations in which we find ourselves, understand the workings of our own minds, and minimize damaging emotions so we have clarity and tranquility.
Here are three ways I use my clients observing self to help them feel better:
1. Grade emotions
I have them grade their emotions because it is as if a part of us is watching the problem from the outside. We are partly outside the problem pattern and have removed it from our ‘core’ self. This breaks the grip of the problem behaviour.
So for instance: If I feel anxious and decide that ’10’ is the most terrified I could possibly feel and ‘1’ is the most relaxed, I might then rate my anxiety at that moment as ‘6’. The act of doing this requires me to use my observing self. This is one reason I use grading with our clients.
When we laugh at a situation, for that time, we engage the observing self. When we label ourselves or get labeled as ‘depressive’, ‘anxious’, or ‘alcoholic’, the opposite happens. The core of the person then identifies with their behaviour. In a way, perspective is lost and their identity becomes meshed with their ‘condition’.
Humor needs to be encouraged at the right time and in the right way. But you can tell that the capacity to engage the observing self is getting stronger when you see someone start to show glimpses of humour in relation to their situation.
3. Use imagination and analogy
If you are lost in a forest, all you know is that you are surrounded in a sea of trees.
But imagine what it would be like if you could be lifted above the trees for a few moments. You would look around and see that you are actually very close to a trail. After being set down again, you’d be able to find your way out of this sea of trees.
This metaphor/imagination practice demonstrates both how metaphor/imagination can activate the observing self and how engaging the observing self can help people have a detached view of their situations, putting themselves in a better position to escape a problem state or circumstance. Describing the pattern of a person’s problem with a story or analogy lets them see it ‘from the outside’.
There are many ways to help people detach psychologically from their emotional patterns. It’s a very important skill to learn to have the best chance at becoming as mentally healthy as possible.
Last year, I left my dead end Postal Route job and I tried different ways to make money. I got myself involved in all sorts of adventures. I took risks and won some and lost some. It was hard sometimes to get back up and try again. It was hard to admit I had failed or I had been duped.
Am I grateful?
Gratitude has helped me in more ways than I can imagine.
I’ve realized when I complain, it blocks my creativity. I can’t think. I can’t produce. I need to keep coming up with great ideas and not being grateful clouds my mind.
I want to share with you what I have learned about gratitude.
Gratitude is a powerful key to unlocking your hidden potential.
I love talking about hidden potential with my clients. So many of them don’t realize what’s locked deep down inside themselves. When you are grateful, you see opportunities around you. When you stay in a state of complaint, you are consumed with yourself. This makes you lose sight of the potential within you. Complaining is actually the EGO.
Complaining aka The Ego makes you see only negativity. I realized when I had a negative mindset, I lost sight of the opportunities around me. I was focused on what I didn’t have and I didn’t look within to explore what I did have.
Gratitude increases your productivity.
Not being grateful drains you of your energy. This affects your productivity. You can’t produce your best because you have no energy.
Gratitude releases hormones within you that get you excited about life. Excitement increases your energy levels and you find yourself more productive.
Gratitude helps you achieve your goals.
Do an exercise this week for yourself. Write at least one thing you are grateful for every single day. Do this in the morning or before bed each night. You will realize at the end of the week that you have gotten to know yourself more. Through this process, you have also realized strengths you have and you need to focus on. In these strengths, lies your dreams and goals. You will have more clarity about your purpose. If you stick to this plan you will soon be unlocking your full potential.
The art of gratitude is an art you need to learn and practice daily. You cannot achieve your goals without it. You cannot fully be happy in your life without it. You will be amazed at how much your life can change just from expressing Gratitude.
If this post has inspired you, please share it with your friends and family. How has gratitude affected your life in the past? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Limiting beliefs put you in a cycle of self-destruction. You want to be successful. But you’re doing everything in your power to make sure that it never happens. How?
Because you always find a reason it shouldn’t. You could have a cure for a disease and you still would find a reason that it wasn’t the right time or that you don’t know enough yet. And you’re wasting all that incredible power you have. It’s not entirely your fault though. You’ve trained yourself to think that way. You tell yourself the story that something else is the problem over and over again until you believe it.
These thoughts are called limiting beliefs. And they’re the biggest roadblock to your success ever. The best part though about it all…You have the power to change them.
In this blog I’m going to show you how to change your limiting beliefs. By the end of this article I promise you’ll have a fool proof solution to each of your limiting beliefs.
Here we go!
1. “I Can’t Do It.”
Who said? This limiting belief is the most common limiting beliefs I hear. Yet it’s one of the biggest lies you will ever tell yourself. The root of this is the fear of failure. It’s not that you can’t do it. It’s that you’re scared that you might fail miserably if you try.
Which, technically, you might.
Ok… so what? Everyone fails at some point. If you don’t try something new your life can never change. Which is a much scarier thought than failure. If you truly don’t think you can do something, make it so easy you can’t fail.
For example, if you want to quit smoking don’t go cold turkey. If you smoke a pack day now then smoke 19 tomorrow. You could do that without even trying. You just need to take that first step.
2.“I Don’t Know Enough Yet.”
You will never feel like you know enough. This limiting belief is a lie because it’s really the fear of taking action. The truth is you won’t ever know enough. Life is about learning all the time. But knowing everything isn’t the goal. Knowing more than the people you are talking to is.
If you are wanting to start a project on something you’re passionate about: a book, a blog, a business, a website or a YouTube Channel – you already know enough to start. So take some action. Take that first step despite how much you think you know. Because as long as you know more than the average person, you’ll be fine.
3. “They Can’t Afford It.”
If you run a business this belief is on your mind all of the time. But why? You don’t know what someone can or can’t afford. Unless you have a breakdown of their monthly expenses you can’t possibly know. You’re guessing. And you’ve probably guessed wrong.
You can look at this in two different ways:
If they want it they will find the money
If they can’t find the money you don’t want them
What you’re really scared of here is rejection. That someone might not want you’re selling. But guess what? You’ve got bills you need to pay. So that’s not a worry you can entertain.
Value your time. Value your product. Value yourself. Each no is one step closer to a yes, and someone who can afford it.
4. “I Don’t Have The Time.”
You’re reading this blog post right now, aren’t you? That tells me that you do actually have spare time. That not every single minute of your day is taken up with something important. Spare time that could be spent on something important to you.
How many times do you check these each day?
Have 5 plus minutes that you just zone out
I can bet the answer is probably, ‘Too Much.’ In fact, the average person can save 45 minutes a day by not checking their Facebook feed. Again this is the fear of taking action at it’s finest. It’s just a new disguise. If time really is an issue make a set schedule and follow it.
Put that important task you’ve been putting off: reading, writing, marketing, painting– you name it – to the beginning of your day. Make it the first thing you do. You’ll suddenly realise you have a lot more time than you think. And you’ll be thankful of the results.
5. “It’s Not The Right Time.”
This is going to be hard to hear. But, there is no right time. Deep down you know it too. There are, of course, bad times to start things. If you’re laid up in bed with with a back injury, now probably isn’t the right time to commit to starting a new business.
But you’re not, are you?
Time is one of those things you have no control over. You’re just scared about what’s going to happen when you start. That you might fail. People might not like what you’re doing. That you might not even like what you’re doing. But instead of waiting for the perfect day, which rarely comes, make a start and take action. Get it going now. Forget about the limiting beliefs, because the right time will never come and this will be another regret to add to your list.
6. “I’m Not Good Enough.”
Whether you’re a world famous author or a person sitting behind a 9-5 desk job, you will never think you’re good enough. And that’s a good thing. Because when you think you’re good enough, that you’re entitled to something, that’s when you truly start to fail. Always strive to learn more. Always strive to do better. Always remember there is someone out there who is better than you are at something. But never let it stop you from doing what it is that you need to do. So, challenge your limiting beliefs and change your lifestyle.
I hope this helps give you a kick in the butt to throw those limiting beliefs out the door. Get out there and start making moves to do what you really want to do in life.
Being Organized Reduces Stress:
People who describe their homes as cluttered or full of unfinished projects tend to be more depressed, fatigued, and have higher stress levels than people who felt their homes were restful and organized.
When you come home to clutter or a list of To Dos, it may prevent the natural decline in cortisol (the stress hormone) that occurs over the course of the day, researchers say. This can and will take a toll on your mood, sleep, health, and more. Taking the time to tackle those piles of laundry, sort through stacks of papers, and organize your space won’t just clear away the physical stuff, it’ll actually help you feel happier and more relaxed.
Being Organized Makes You More Productive:
Clutter is distracting, and research confirms that it can actually affect your ability to focus. Looking at too many things at once gives you sensory overload. De-cluttering your desk will payoff at work, but the benefits won’t stop there. When you’re organized at work, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you’re able to finish on time and go home. This leaves you with more time for your needs like to exercise, prepare a meal, relax, and get more sleep. Clutter in the home works the same way. You can either spend your days going through clutter regularly or get organized, stay organized and enjoy your space! You’ll find you have time to do other projects or get out and do things without feeling stressed.
Being Organized Improves Your Health:
You’re probably wondering how organization has anything to do with your health. Being an organized person helps you stay accountable for many things in your life. People who set short-term goals, have a plan, and are more likely to stick with an exercise program than those who show up to the gym and wing it. Using organizing skills to be more organized about exercise makes you more aware of your progress, which motivates you to stay accountable even when you don’t feel like it. This will also help you be more mindful about what you put into your body. When you are holding yourself more accountable about exercise the food will follow because you don’t want to ruin that good workout. Another way being organized helps improve your health is you will find that you sleep better. When things are in place as they should be in your life then your mind will also be calm. Between a good exercise regimen and eating a balanced diet your sleep will be on point. All of these things improve your overall health and quality of life!
Being Organized Makes You Love Your Home/Work Space:
This truly is a no brain-er. When you stay organized you can regularly find whatever you are looking for. Your space is clean and highly functional. Who doesn’t love a clean organized environment? It makes you love being in that space because it brings a sense of calmness and relaxation into your mind.
Being Organized Boosts Your Self-Esteem:
Being organized makes you feel more accomplished. This is one of the best ways to boost self-esteem. Go to your dresser and open it. Is it a complete disaster? If so, pull out all those clothes and dump them on the floor. Get rid of the things you no longer wear, and fold the clothes you want to keep. Stack them according to color and season. I love keeping my closet color coded and shirt/pant type. This way, when you wake up in the morning you’ll know exactly where everything is and what you want to wear. You will be amazed at how much better your clothes feel and look on you. I also love to have my bathroom organized with containers under my cabinets. I can always locate what I need when I need it and it makes me feel so good inside!
Being Organized Save You Time And Money:
Organization keeps you from buying items you already have, but you’ve forgotten about or lost in your household or workplace. Did you know lost item replacement is roughly an 80 million dollar business? Being organized can save you so much money and time it takes to replace the items.
A happy couple is not by any means a perfect couple that just happens overnight, but an imperfect couple that learns to enjoy each other’s differences, and works together every day to create something special and unbreakable. In other words, a great relationship isn’t luck, it requires effort and care to grow and evolve in ways that keep both partners happy.
I have read several books on relationships, coached many couples who were struggling to find happiness in their relationships, and have been up against my very own personal experiences. All of this has given me insight into the specific behaviors that make two people happy as a couple. Here is what I’ve found to be in common with most happy couples relationships:
1. They practice self-care as individuals
I talk about self-care regularly with my clients. It’s a very important aspect of my work. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect it. Happiness comes from within. Relationships are simply mirrors of the combined ecstasy that two people have as individuals. What you see in the mirror is what you see in your relationships. Your dislikes in your partner are often your dislikes about yourself. Your acceptance of your partner often reflects your acceptance of yourself. The first step to having a healthy relationship with someone else is to have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you love yourself then you will radiate love to your partner.
2. They stand together and refuse to let outsiders have a say in their relationship.
Relationships don’t always make sense, especially to outsiders. So don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. Many times outsiders have a bit of jealousy because of the current state of their relationships and can unintentionally sabotage yours and your partners. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM only! You have to live your own lives your own way… that’s all there is to it. It’s our duty, and ours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for us. If you and your partner both agree that it is right, and it’s worth working on, don’t bring the outside in. It’s ok to have privacy these days.
3. They know their relationship is a unique, uncomparable bond
This I can say I know from true experience. No one understands my husbands and my relationship like we do, and really, we like it that way! Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s. Every couple makes their own relationship rules, love agreements, and habits. Just focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be. All relationships have their ups and downs, they do not stay on a continuous blissful high. Working together through the hard times will make your relationship stronger in the end.
4. They are intimate about everything
Sex is not the only thing to be intimate about. Sex doesn’t always equal love either. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love. Sex is amazing but it’s the easy part. Intimacy is far more and what makes relationships last. It requires honest communication and openness about concerns, fears and sadness, as well as hopes, dreams and happiness.
5. They don’t try to change each other
Our biggest need in life is to be accepted as we are. Sometimes we try to make our partners into what we want them to be, what we think we need, love, or desire. But these expectations and perceptions are against reality, against their benefit and ours, and always end in disappointment, because it is not who they are. The foundation of love is to let your partner be their true self’s, because that is who we are supposed to be in love with. Otherwise we fall in love only with our own fantasies, and miss out entirely on their true beauty. Instead of trying to change your partner, give them your support and grow together.
6. They go on dates or spend quality time alone
They take date nights with each other. If you neglect your relationship, your relationship will neglect you too. With busy schedules we often forget to relax and enjoy each other. In relationships distance is measured in affection, not miles. Two people can be right next to each other and yet miles apart. So don’t ignore the one you love, because lack of attention often hurts more than angry words. I love our date nights. We have 8 kids so date nights are much needed. Sometimes our date nights are simply cooking a special meal and checking out to our room where we watch a movie without kids! Whatever it may be as long as we get to be together.
7. Communication is the Golden Rule
Your partner is not a mind reader. Communicate your thoughts. Give them the information they need rather than expecting them to know. The more that remains unspoken, the greater the risk for problems. Start communicating clearly. Most problems, big and small, within a relationship, start with bad communication.
Listening is also part of communication. Listen intently before replying. Don’t listen so you can reply, listen to understand. Open your ears and mind to your partner’s concerns and opinions without judgment. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own. Most people fail to understand that communication is both speaking and listening.
8. They don’t play games with each other’s heads and hearts
Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons relationships break up. Relationships fall apart quite easily when they’ve been held together with lies. The truth is, relationships don’t hurt. Lying, cheating and twisting reality until it plays with someone’s emotions is what hurts. Promises mean everything, but after they’re broken, sorry means nothing. So never mess with your partner’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own. If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so. Always be open and honest. And remember that when the truth is replaced by silence, silence becomes a lie too.
9. They review and discuss their goals and dreams often
For couples, it’s you two against the world. Having regular discussions with each other about goals, dreams, passions and the future, in a way that’s positive and inspiring, will not only bring you closer together, but will also bring your collective desires closer to reality.
10. They negotiate and compromise on decisions
Since people’s needs change over time, and life itself demands changes too, the inner workings of good relationships are negotiated all the time. And oftentimes a two-way compromise is the best solution. There has to be a balance of give and take.
11. They don’t blow things out of proportion.
People make mistakes. Things happen. There’s no reason to break your relationship into pieces over spilt milk. One way to check if something is worth fighting over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter next year?” If not, then let it go immediately and leave it in the past.
12. They Control their anger
Heated arguments are a waste. They drain you mentally, emotionally and physically. Your partner doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right. Most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much. When you feel anger boiling inside and you want to yell that rude remark on the tip of your tongue, just close your mouth and walk away. Don’t let your anger get the best of you. Give yourself some time to calm down and then calmly discuss the situation.
13. They apologize to each other immediately and forgive whole heartedly
This takes practice but let me tell you from experience, my husband and I always apologize immediately. Sometimes we both realize how petty we sound and we both start apologizing. Making up after an argument is key to every happy relationship. A simple, honest “I’m sorry” is usually the most important step. We all make mistakes, but our willingness to admit it doesn’t always come naturally. So remember, it doesn’t really matter who’s right, it’s what’s right that matters. If your relationship is important to you, an apology is always right. Apologies must be backed by sincere patience and forgiveness. Because no matter how honest and kind you try to be, you will occasionally step on your partner’s toes. And this is why patience and forgiveness are so important to relationships.
14. They do sweet nothings for each other
We’ve all heard the term “sweet nothings” at some point in our lives. Happy couples will stop and pick up some flowers or their partners favorite ice cream bar to surprise them with here and there. As simple as it sounds, these sweet nothings show your partner that you care and pay attention to the details of the relationship. Sweet nothings can even be as simple as flirting with each other, or telling them that they look beautiful or handsome today. All those little things keep a relationship alive and thriving.
In conclusion I’m not suggesting that these are the only factors to being a happy couple, I’m simply stating some common habits that can make all the difference in the world. Most of the happiness in our relationships is due to intentional decisions. Meaning, it’s possible for us to significantly improve our relationships simply by altering what we choose to do every day. Happy couples are always looking for ways to show their partners that they care and are truly invested in the relationship.