When we were first married and didn’t yet have kids, I think I would have laughed out loud at the idea of something like this. I am a Type A planner, but life was much more spontaneous and we quite honestly, just didn’t need to plan around many things. Looking back, it felt really simple. If that’s you, that’s great – enjoy that season!
But as we learned over time, if you want to plan and tackle life’s greatest adventures side-by-side, adding a few kids and dogs and chickens and businesses to the mix, you’ve got to stay in-sync to work effectively as a team.
“The art of marriage is really the art of keeping up to date with your partner, of staying on track with your own and each other’s life goals as they emerge, exist, and change. It is about supporting each other and staying connected emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.”
Want to know what can help you stay connected on all of those levels? A Sunday night priority session! This one is a really practical episode. Grab a pen + let’s get into it.
FIND A TIME + WRITE IT IN STONE
If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not going to happen. Three steps:
- Choose analog or digital
- Set a weekly alarm
- Watch your new habit form!
We have digital + synced Google calendars, and I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me every Sunday night at 9pm that our meeting is happening. When we’re around each other, we both hear it and know the plan. These are simple, little, logistical things, but systems like this help to make these habits to actually form!
Next, Take a bit to figure out how you can both be reading the same calendar/schedule.
Do you have a strong preference towards the one you use, digital or paper? Create some great selling points to pitch that to your spouse, or be ready to compromise! :)
Practically speaking, separate from our list of weekly questions (which we’ll get into in a minute) we both just glance at our Google calendar, make sure we see the big checklist items for the week, have worked through any logistical challenges that we need to and then we’re good to go.
This part only takes like 5-10 minutes, but it is a proactive way to keep from running into the issue of thinking the other person knew something that they maybe didn’t know! This way, you’re both looking at it, at the same time, and can get on the same page!
EVALUATE YOUR FAMILY’S CULTURE/VALUES AND MAKE SURE YOUR CALENDAR REFLECTS THAT
This helps us think, big picture– what are the big rocks of life?
Make sure the people and events that are the highest priority get that recognition on your calendar. Some of the questions we ask each other really help to make that happen, like, for example we ask who we would want to have over for dinner one night that week, or who we would want to grab coffee with.
CREATE RHYTHMS OF COMMUNICATION
It’s so easy as partners in business, marriage, and parents to unknowingly create rhythms of NOT communicating clearly – SO this has become our proactive take on not becoming ships in the nights
Side note here – do you do a regular date night? If so, it’s fun to keep that light-hearted, not intentionally bring issues or deeper conversations into it, so just make this time separate from a regular date night.
Instead, plan for a different time to go over a few things: Our weekly Sunday night meeting is where we get into the details AND the big picture and it allows us space to start/conclude any conflicts that might have arisen during the week but we didn’t have the space or capacity to deal with it at the moment.
Berger, the marriage therapist we quoted earlier says to include these 4 components:
- Appreciation (expressing gratitude to your spouse)
- Chores (making sure to-dos are getting done)
- Plan for Good Times (scheduling date nights, as well as individual and family activities)
- Problems/Challenges (addressing conflicts/issues/changes in the relationship and in life in general)
And by doing these things, it will help in the following areas to:
- rekindle your romance
- solidify your friendship
- nip potential conflicts in the bud
- help you smoothly run your household economy.
If you already have a great marriage, then marriage meetings will enhance/magnify it. If your marriage has been struggling, the meetings can help you get your relationship back on track.
WHY WE LOVE IT
I’ve heard it said of Sabbath/day of rest, as a sort of reminder-to-self, that “I can do anything throughout the week, because I know I’m always only AT MOST 6 days away from a Sabbath.”
I like this concept here, too, in thinking – you know, worst case scenario, if there’s an undealt with issue, I’m only 6 days away from making sure that doesn’t continue on, unnoticed!
When we create spaces like this, we have an opportunity to pick up where we might have left off, both on big and small things.
WANT TO JOIN US IN THIS RHYTHM? We have a free download for you!
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”– Roman Stoic philosopher, Seneca (also widely attributed to Joshua Becker, from Becoming Minimalist)