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Get more sleep (DW#542)

If you are sleep deprived like a lot of us these days, you know that the world and everything in it (including your spouse!) looks much better after a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, a lack of sleep can leave us feeling irritable and wanting to lash out at even minor annoyances. 

A study from Ohio State University confirmed this. It found that couples who routinely slept less than seven hours were more likely to fight in destructive ways and with overt hostility. Sleeping more did not get eliminate conflict, of course. But those couples who managed to get more rest bickered with more humor and kindness and with less hostility. 

So an easy way to improve your family relationships is to improve your self care routines, which include sleep and exercise. If you take care of yourself, you are able to show up as your best self at home. 

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Apply the stranger standard (DW#541)

This week, let’s continue talking about marriage hacks – shortcuts or easy ways to make our relationships better. Attitudes and behaviours that don’t take much time or effort but may have a major impact. 

Today’s hack is about applying the stranger standard at home. 

What is the stranger standard? It is the standard of behaviour that we use with strangers and outsiders. The minimum level of courtesy, respect and goodwill with which we deal with the world in general. 

Sometimes we take our closest relationships so much for granted that we "use up" our best self for strangers, acquaintances and others who don’t really matter that much. We are able to be respectful and kind to those who we come across for short periods. We use up our good will and bring home only what is left over. The tiredness, the grouchiness and the frustrations. 

The stranger standard hack means that you are at least as respectful and courteous inside...

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A list of what annoys you (DW#540)

Any of us who are in long term relationships know that it is not always fun and games. In fact, our loved ones tend to trigger and annoy us in ways that we did not even think possible!

Here is the thing: this is completely normal – these petty annoyances are NOT a sign that your relationship is in trouble. (as we say repeatedly, there is conflict in the happiest of relationships – it is how you deal with the conflict that determines the health of your marriage and family). 

The bad news about these annoyances and triggers is that they are not likely to change. And unless we learn to take them lightly and with a good dose of humour, they might even increase over time. 

So how we learn to live with what drives us crazy? 

Today’s marriage hack comes from a list that I learnt about many years ago. It is rather unique. 

A long term married woman shared that she keeps a list of what she hates about her husband. When I heard this, my positively-oriented...

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A list of what you love (DW#539)

The first two marriage hacks we will explore consist of making lists. 
Today’s list is all about what you love about your spouse. 

Your list can include qualities and characteristics that you love and admire in your spouse. It can also include all of the moments in your relationship that confirmed for you that you wanted to be married to this person. It can include funny things and sad things and all the happy memories that you have, even if they are really really tiny. 
This is your list so feel free to put anything on there that is meaningful to you even if they would sound silly or meaningless to someone else. These are reminders for you of why you chose this person and why you want to keep choosing this person.

The way you met and got together. What about them or their personality first attracted you?
How they supported you in challenging times
The way they looked at you at a particular time
How they reacted at the birth of your first baby
A small kindness that they...

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Here’s how to hack your marriage (DW#538)

Do you know what a "hack" is? 

The way it is currently used, it means an easy solution or a work-around to a potentially challenging situation. A shortcut. It is a way to do or to improve something without too much effort. The term was initially used in technology to find quicker solutions with less steps instead of longer procedures to do particular things on computers. Popular culture adapted this term for all kinds of workarounds or shortcuts calling them "life hacks" or just "hacks". 

A more enlightened way to look at such solutions is to call them wise effort. Getting the most value for your time and effort. Doings small things that get big results. Kind of what Daily Wisdom is all about. 

So, over the next few days, let’s discuss some "marriage hacks" – simple (and sometimes quirky) ways to improve your marriage – rituals and practices that take only a short amount of time and effort but have potentially significant results. 

Before we...

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How not to forget your intention (DW#537)

Despite our best intentions (pun intended :) ) life gets in the way and it can be challenging to keep self growth and living our best selves in the fore front on a daily basis. 

If we do not engage with our intention frequently, it can be so easy to forget it completely. 

A very effective way to keep your intention alive and up-front for the year is to share it with others who support our wellbeing and growth. Sometimes though, we find that those who are closest to us are not on the same wavelength. While this can be discouraging and challenging, please do not let it stop you from progressing on your own path. 

The great thing about social media (despite its many downsides) is that we can find virtual communities of like minded people. If we use social media in an intentional way, it can be a great way to connect with others on the journey. You may find that virtual communities are incredibly generous and supportive when you reach out, share and are authentic. ...

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Operationalize your intention (DW#536)

A huge thank you to all of you who showed up and bravely shared your intentions on social media. 

Grateful, shining, patience, forgiving, love, joyful, mindful, authentic, honest, helpful, proactive, consistent, peace, positivity, kindness, calm, vastness. These are just some of the inspiring intentions set by our fellow seekers and the Daily Wisdom tribe. You are awesome :) 

When we set our intentions, they are necessarily broad and abstract. That’s the point. We cannot micromanage how we will bring the intention to action on a daily basis when we are setting it.

However, once we have set the intention, we can dig a little deeper. This is the time to consider what it means to live our intention. 

So let’s reflect on the following questions:
·     If I was living my intention in the various domains of my life (health, work, relationships for example) how would I be behaving? What would I be doing differently?
...

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Some ideas for intentions (DW#535)

If you are having trouble coming up with your intention for the year, here are some words to get you thinking. This is not an exhaustive list of course. 

Just read it over once and then let your inner wisdom come up with an intention that speaks to you at this particular time in your life. 

Compassion, Delight, Generosity, Effortlessness, Wealth, Gratitude, Abundance, Creativity, Willingness, Change, Growth, Freedom, Mastery, Truth, Authenticity, Consistency, Kindness Health Presence Acceptance Courage Confidence Self-Love, Action, Forgiveness, Forgive Release, Trust, Knowing, Patience, Friendship, Fun, Grace, Laughter, Love, Expansion, Exploration, Adventure, Openness, Discipline, Awe, Awareness, Risk, Gentleness, Choice, Spirit, Prayerfulness, Power, Allow, Artfulness, Attention, Beauty, Joy, Focus, Ritual, Heal, Order, Clarity, Pioneer, Peace, Laziness, Deliberateness, Commitment, Savor, Integrity, Listen. 

Once you do come up with an intention, please consider...

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You don’t need to have it all figured out (DW#534)

Clarity of intention does NOT mean that you need to know or figure out how your intention will guide you, manifest itself or show up during this year. 

Of course, I do understand that this uncertainty will be more than some of us can bear. (not that any of us are control freaks of course …). But here’s the thing: An intention is not about certainty or having it all planned out. If we try to figure it all out and micromanage how we will live our intention and then how will others react etc, it will lead to a lot of frustration. 

This is simply about making an intention for ourselves about how we are going to show up regardless of what is happening around us. 
So please don’t let your need to certainty stand in the way. Commit to a one-word intention. Yes, just one. 

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Express your intention in one word (DW#533)

The thing with setting intentions is that they need to be short and simple. If we are writing paragraphs (or pages!) about our intention, it’s a sign that we are over-complicating things. 

So go ahead and set an intention to set an intention! Once you open to the possibility, your one word intention will come to you. And not necessarily when you are trying hard to think of the "perfect" one. 

And once your intention does become clear to you, it can act as a guiding north star for you, directing your actions and behaviours. 

This does not mean that you will always act according to your intention. But it does mean that whenever you do stray away from it, you can recommit in the moment and reconnect with your intention, adjusting your behavior accordingly. 

For example, if my intention is to relate with honesty (or just "honesty" or "authenticity" or "vulnerability") and I am tempted to be less than this, as soon as I become aware of it, I...

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