For all my athletic friends…I invite you to join the “Relationship Training Program.” It may prove challenging at times, but the long-term benefits are astounding. This training program can culminate in the completion of the Iron Man of Marriage—a 50-year anniversary. I know people who continued training after the first Iron Man and completed a 70-year marathon of happy marriage, leaving a tremendous family heritage. Over the next several weeks, I’d like to share a daily exercise routine, a strength- and resistance-based workout, and a distance workout that can enhance your overall relationship goals, especially in regards to family. But first, let me make a few suggestions to promote your success in this challenge.
First, surround yourself with people invested in a “Relationship Training Program”—people who value family relationships and whose lifestyle promotes positive family relationships. Hanging out with people invested in family life will help you stay involved with your family as well.
Second, find a buddy with whom you can share your plans and goals for family. Having mutual accountability with a friend who has similar goals is a great way to stay honest and on track.
Third, set achievable, weekly goals. You might set a goal to thank you spouse for two things a day…or, a goal to complement each family member every day. Make a goal to sit down for a cup of coffee and conversation once a day for a week. Read a book together and talk about what you read. Whatever the goal, make it achievable.
Fourth, incorporate fun into your training routine. Many times people drop out of training because they don’t enjoy it. Look for activities that you enjoy when involved in the “Relationship Training Program.” If you don’t enjoy going for walks together, try going to a movie. Sign up for a dance class together or have a game night. You might enjoy having breakfast together instead of dinner. The options for family fun are limitless. Be creative. Find the family activities you enjoy. The more fun you have, the more likely you will continue the training program.
Fifth, make the “Relationship Training Program” part of your daily routine. Think of ways to fit the exercises incorporated into the “Relationship Training Program” into what you already do. When you talk, offer a compliment. When you meet one another, share a hug and kiss. When you go to bed, share a word of thanks. You will find a million ways to fit various exercises into your daily life.
Finally, make family a priority. You have to make your goal of a more intimate family a priority or you will never achieve it. The hustle and bustle of life will simply interfere. We all make time for those activities we prioritize. Prioritize your spouse and your children. Prioritize your family.
One other thing, before you begin this training program check with your physician to assure your heart is strong enough to engage in these activities. JUST JOKING!! Just enjoy the program and the benefits of fit and healthy family relationships.