from fizzle to sizzle book

Do you have relationship goals for 2013?

I have been thinking a lot about what I want for 2013 in all areas of my life. I hosted a Meetup this past Saturday where we looked at the Wheel of Life, talked about what areas were rolling smoothly in our lives and what areas could use some more attention in 2013. I realized in this process, that I do have specific relationship goals for 2013. They are simple in most cases:

  • Spend more time with my husband and kids.
  • Continue to make new friends in Santa Barbara.
  • Spend time developing the friendships I have made.

Others are more complex, for me at least. I need to work on my relationship with my self this year. Self-acceptance is one of my themes. I am a very confident business woman, coach, speaker, friend. I am not shy. I love people. I love being the center of attention. Yet recently, my weight has been bugging me. I have had a life-long battle with my weight and my negative relationship with my body. I have decided this is the year the battle ends and acceptance begins.

Sunday, I spent a lot of time on the couch with the flu and watched two great movies: Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Lucky One. I blogged yesterday about the art of allowing our stories to unfold gently, a writing tip learned from the movies. The movies were both about relationships, too, and how they unfold across time with all of their delight, romance, joy, sadness, grief and challenge. In Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the one married couple is clearly at odds with each other and doesn’t know how to repair their relationship. The wife is so oblivious to how her negative attitude towards life is adversely affecting everyone around here, it was difficult to watch.

As we worked through our collective goals and dreams on Saturday, relationships tended to pop up on many people’s list – the desire for more romance, new friendships, and more time with family appeared on many of our lists for 2013.

It made me think about all of articles about goal setting, resolutions and intention setting that are rampant right now on most websites. It’s a hot topic in January. I get it. Yet most of the focus is either on personal goals or professional goals. The truth is that relationships are at the core of our lives and without healthy relationships, life pretty much sucks. I wouldn’t want to be the miserable wife in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel who sees life so pessimistically and without any joy.

So I invite you to take a look at your list of goals for 2013 one more time before it gets buried forever in that stack of mail, bills and grocery shopping lists only to be discovered long after you have abandoned your goals, for now at least… Think about the many different relationships in your life and ask yourself the following questions. These would make great journal prompts if you like to journal as much as I do.

  • What relationships could use more of my time and attention?
  • Who would I like to have a better relationship with? Spouse, boss, kids, co-workers…
  • What does a better relationship look like? Describe it in details.
  • Ask yourself, are you willing to be the one to make the changes?
  • Are you accepting responsibility for your role in the relationship?
  • How is my relationship with myself?

I know, these aren’t necessarily simple questions but they will give you a start, a focus on what matters most to many of us: our relationships.

Once you have honestly answered these questions, set very specific goals to make your intentions for your relationships actually happen. Without action steps, we will not make progress. Maybe it is as simple as, “Don’t forget my anniversary.” Or “Invite my husband out on a date.” Or “Have an honest conversation with my boss about what’s bugging me.” Yes, I am asking you to be vulnerable, to take the risk.

There is an old saying, “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want in the moment.” Sometimes a little vulnerability goes a long way. Probably my favorite read recently was Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. If you struggle with vulnerability, it’s a must read, right along with my book, From Fizzle to Sizzle: 4 Crucial Tools for Relationship Repair.

Here’s what one fan said about From Fizzle to Sizzle:

From Fizzle to Sizzle is one of the best books I’ve read on how to truly establish whole relationships in one’s life. It is a must read for all ages whether you’re starting the journey and taking proactive steps to establish real and meaningful relationships in your life or you are in the process of bringing healing and repair to your present ones. The authors take you through simple action steps to develop healthy
relationships in all areas of your life whether it’s your marriage, your relationship with your child or those in your profession. Bring the sizzle back into your life and relationships by investing in this book and  using the powerful wisdom shared by Dr. Goode and Dr. Riordan.

– Lesa Day, Parenting Family Coach and author of The Yes I Can Child

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