After all of the wedding planning, are you really ready for the marriage? Some of the most important milestones in life are getting married, buying a house, and having children (or maybe instead buying a dog!). Sometimes after saying "I do," these events occur back-to-back. Key questions are: How do you maintain your sense of balance and "you-ness" during this intense period of change? How do you define the new "we"?
When you start a business it is recommended that you create a plan. As you set forth on your new love union, think about ways to solidify your partnership and increase your chances of success.
Outline your mission, vision and values. Ask some really basic questions, such as: How do we see our lives together? What do we value as a couple? Actually write down the answers.
Set your intention for the year. Once you have a broader vision, decide what you want to accomplish as a couple in the next 12 months. It could be small like having date night every Thursday, or bigger like buying a house.
Negotiate "me" time. Like any partnership, decisions in a marriage are usually a negotiation. You can often get caught up in joint responsiblities, or simply the other person's priorities, and forget about your own. Commit to at least one thing on an ongoing basis that fuels your spirit. For example, practice yoga, join a reading club, or start a knitting circle.
Develop new rituals. Determine the nature and schedule for "we" time. For example, have weekly lunch dates, hold your own cooking parties (where you put on the music and cook together), or commit to taking walks in the evening.
Go on a planning retreat. Once a year, go away (even if it's to the local park) and plan for the future. Discuss what has been working and what could use improvement. Look for solutions to daily challenges and possibilities for more intimacy and growth.
Celebrate milestones. Pat yourselves on the back (or give each other back rubs!) when things are going smoothly. Look at your progress every three months and particularly at the end of every year.
Dear Dr. Terri K: I am 34 years old and pretty much have accomplished all of my academic goals. However, I am learning that since I got married - it's been a little over a year - I am really unable to focus on anything. My eating and my exercising have all taken a hit because I haven't been able to focus. As a result, I've gained 15 pounds due to consistent binging. Even my reading is taking a serious hit. I can't finish any book I start before I see another one that I'd much rather read. Could you please share some things to help get me back on the right track? --ANGELICA
Angelica: First, congratulations on your marriage and for wanting to regain control of your personal life. Here are some thoughts to get back on track:
Examine why your focus is off. Any major change - even a positive one like marriage - can cause stress, which can lead to lack of focus. Take time to examine your specific stressors and why you are binging. Are you unhappy with your new routine? How is the relationship with your husband? Is your work satisfying? When you are about to use food as an emotional crutch, change your pattern - call a friend, practice deep breathing, take a walk, or ask for a hug.
Redefine your Self. Marriage is a big step. Your personal identity is changing. You have added a new role as wife, and must define who you are and what now makes you happy. Take time to write down the qualities and activities you want to retain, and what you want to achieve in your personal life. Be specific. Then, blend in your new partnership goals. If you and your husband haven't already created a vision/strategic plan for the marriage, now is the time to do it. The more specific you are, the more focused you'll be.
Go back to the Power Living® Energy Basics. Eat more whole foods. Minimize processed foods. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Make water your drink of choice. Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bed. If you must, have low glycemic fruit, such as a banana. Get at least 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (get your sleep in before you have children!).
Recruit a workout partner. It helps to have someone there to motivate you and push you along. If you can coordinate your schedules, your husband is the ideal workout partner. You both have a vested interest in keeping in shape. Working out together promotes good health, as well as provides time to chat informally and could be a boost to your intimate relationship.
Create a quiet zone with no distractions. Create a sacred space where you can sit and meditate. This is the place where you can go to de-compress, write in a journal, practice gentle yoga poses, and/or read.
Get help. Find a personal coach (a friend or professional) to help you to maintain your focus and commitment.
Today, take control of your personal life. Recognize that you have entered a new phase and must determine new rules of engagement. Use the Power of Choice to change your lifestyle. You can make it happen. Start Power Living® Today! - T
If you are about to get married or are recently married and want to get off on the right foot, email or call regarding our bridal bootcamp coaching program. Also, check out Dr. Terri Kennedy advice on yoga for brides-to-be (or anyone!) on TheKnot.com. For more information, email email@example.com or call 212.901.6913.