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Deanna Bartalini explains how she and her husband found a way to create new habits together - and made a game of it.

Does life seem both a bit dull and yet chaotic at the same time? Is it hard to decide what do next to get yourself out of the “blahs” in different parts of your life? We, as in my husband and I, found ourselves knowing we needed and wanted to do something to create some new habits for ourselves in different areas of our life but not knowing what to pick or how to decide. So we made a little game of it. A super simple little way to choose.

First we picked some areas we wanted to work on together. We choose spiritual, relationship, intellectual, and fun/random. Then we each thought about things we could do for a month in each area and discussed it. We had to agree with all the options. We wrote each one a slip of paper; I used different colored construction paper for each area. I cut them up and put all the slips in basket. Then we took turns choosing. If we picked more than one of the same color, we put it back and picked again.

Here are some ideas to get you started in the different areas.

  • Spiritual: daily examen, discuss the daily Gospel, Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours (one time per day).
  • Relationship: read a marriage book, tell each other something we love about each other, recall a favorite memory.
  • Intellectual: read 15 minutes a day, plan the next day at night, listen to a book summary.
  • Fun/random: take a couple selfie, eat outside, go to the beach, 15-minute cleaning project, $1,000,000 question.

For October, we have committed to the following activities each day: reading a marriage book together; discussing the daily Gospel, answering the $1,000,000 question, and listening to a book summary.

The book we are reading is Be Devoted: Restoring Friendship, Passion and Communion Back in your Marriage by Dr. Bob Schuchts. Sometimes we read it aloud together; other times we read it on our own and then answer the questions provided.

The $1,000,000 question is: What would you do with $1,000,000 today? You have to spend it all; you can give it away, buy something, start something new. If you do this, I suggest writing down your answers so you can remember them. Plus, we don’t want to repeat things. It’s fun to think of something, don’t make it a chore with a whole business plan and research. Just a general, but plausible thought.

Make a game of creating new habits to strengthen your marriage. #catholicmom

Of course, if you want to do this with your family that would be fun. I’d include everyone in coming up with ideas and use the categories that fit your life. Have fun with it. I will say, it gives my husband and me something to look forward to every day. And I think we will incorporate some things into our daily routine and go back to the slips of paper and choose a few new ones for November.

If you do this, tell us what new habits you put in place for the month.

Copyright 2020 Deanna Bartalini
Image: Vlada Karpovich (2020), Pexels
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