Most people know how to achieve physical fitness. They know that with some hard work exercising over the long term and making good food choices, their bodies will change for the better. There are lots of methods to do this. For exercise, people can go running, head to the gym, play sports, or pop in a fitness DVD. For their diets people can count calories, eliminate certain foods, or follow a specific diet.
Of course, knowing and doing are two different things. How many of us want to be physically fit, maybe put in a little bit of effort, and then give up? We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when our bodies stay the same. It takes time and patience and persistence to actually change.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make a plan, and find a way to stick to it every day. No matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient, just do it. Sure it will be hard. That’s to be expected. But the more you keep doing it, the more these new changes will become habit. Habits, then, become part of who we are.
So you know how to achieve physical fitness. But how do you achieve marriage fitness?
It actually happens in much the same way, though it can be a hard road to get there.
If you do a quick Google search for marriage fitness tips for couples, you’ll find page after page that explains all sorts of ways to achieve marriage fitness. This website says to ‘do this’, and another website says to ‘do that’.
It gets a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? All you want to do is get the best advice to help your marriage. But you have to wade through a lot of differing opinions and ideas. How do you even decide what is best for your relationship? How do you pick the tips that will actually work?
When finding the right tips, they’ll need to pass this test in order to be worthwhile:
- They make you feel a little uncomfortable.
- They will require YOU to change.
- They will suggest that YOU focus on your marriage more.
- They will ask you to have patience over the long term. No quick fixes.
- They will ask you to act loving and unselfish.
As you search for marriage fitness tips, you may be tempted to just do the ones that seem easy or don’t require you to change very much. For example, taking out the trash more often is easy, and being home more is easy. Those are great things to do, but they aren’t enough on their own. Just like avoiding sweets is a great thing for your physical fitness, it’s not enough to make you truly physically fit. You need the big changes.
Here are some motivational marriage fitness tips to try in your own marriage. These are the big thing that will truly make your marriage fit:
1) Look inward
Many times when there are issues in a marriage, we want to blame the other person. But it takes two to tango! To achieve marriage fitness, you have to look inside and face what you see. Is there baggage that you need to get rid of? Is there old hurt you are allowing to fester? Do you have a negative attitude when you are around your spouse? Looking inward is not easy, because we aren’t always pleased with what we see. But we can’t change until we are honest about ourselves.
2) Write down what you need to work on
It’s proven that goals that are written are much more likely to be achieved. We need to see them to internalize them. Again, this is not something considered as “fun” but it’s definitely necessary.
3) Switch one “ok” habit for one “awesome” habit
Just like eating a salad for lunch when you’d rather have a hamburger, or going to the gym when you’d rather watch TV can have an impact on your physical fitness, there are things you need to work on to have good marriage fitness. So switch.
When your spouse leaves their stuff out you typically get angry; how about switching it and just putting the items away for them? Perhaps when your spouse says something you don’t like, you yell. How about switching yelling for humor? This won’t be easy, but marriage fitness never is. It takes practice and lots of patience with yourself and your spouse.
4) Date night
Don’t ever underestimate the power of date night. Our weeks are so packed with activities we are doing with other people. We are going, going, going for our kids, our boss, our schools, our communities, and ourselves. It can be hard to just focus on our spouse. So date night is essential. Plan them regularly. Make them a priority. It will show your spouse that you think they are a priority to you. And then when things get tough you will have a good foundation to keep building on.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.