Check In – Part 1: Make a Commitment

shutterstock_169998947I’m busy. My husband is busy. We work full-time, we bring the kids here and there, we try to keep up relationships with our friends, etc. and after all of that, we barely have time for each other.

But this month will be different; we are making a commitment to “check in.”

A “check in” is a place in time allocated to communicating with your partner. This “check in” isn’t for discussing upcoming weekend dinner plans with friends, or school conferences, or who’s bringing the kids to practice Saturday morning. It’s time focused on just you and your partner. It can be a time where you have silly conversations, discuss your hopes and dreams, share what you appreciate about each other, dig into deep topics related to your marriage, or simply check in about each other’s day. Choose what works at that place in time.

My husband and I already do this to some extent (and you probably do too!). Those 5 minutes in bed before you drift off to sleep, the quick exchange sealed with a kiss before you leave for the day, or maybe it’s the dinner conversation you have during your weekly maybe-once-a-month date night. We both know these sometimes infrequent moments (yes, they are just moments) should be more intentional in our relationship, but hey – life gets in the way!

I want to challenge you and your partner to commit to a “check in” along with us.

Here’s what we did to prepare:

First, we picked a reasonable time and decided on just how often we would “check in.” Being reasonable here is key, don’t set yourselves up to fail. Consider what you have going on in the next month that might get in the way of your “check in” – acknowledge it and adjust. We picked 15 minutes each Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun – 4x a week.

Next, we chose when to fit in these 15 minutes and where in our house to “check in.” For us, Mon/Wed/Fri tends to be crazy until the kids go to bed (after school activities, practice, homework, dinner, etc. – you get it, right?!). We decided we would take 15 minutes after the kids are in bed, but before we get ready for bed to “check in.” Our place to “check in” is going to be our living room couch – nice and cozy. On Sunday, we will get up a little earlier, enjoy our coffee and “check in” before the kids get up.

Lastly, we set some ground rules. You might think I’m getting too formal with this, but the good thing is you can take all the steps we took, or just a few, whatever works for your relationship. Our rules are simple and are there to help remind us to be present.

  1. 15 minutes. Not 5, a full 15.
  2. No distractions – no phones, no TV, etc.
  3. Respect each other.

Once you make a commitment, be intentional with your follow through. Do what you need to prepare. And then watch your relationship grow and become stronger.

Just like any new intention, accountability increases your chances for success. Voice your commitment out loud (or on social media) to your friends and family, it might even inspire them to join you! Use #CommitmentToCheckIn to let me know if you and your partner decide to make a commitment to “check in.”