When I was a kid I played the piano.
My teacher and my parents
forced encouraged me practice every day for 30 minutes.
There were days where I would do everything I could to avoid practice.
My mom once told me I couldn't get up from the piano bench until I was done practicing.
I slept on the bench that night.
But one thing was for sure - when I practiced, I got better.
There were few things that caused more dread and anxiety in my little body than riding my little green Huffy 10-speed to my piano teacher's house with the knowledge that I hadn't practiced that week and that she was going to find out.
She always found out.
But then there were the weeks when I had practiced...
I'd show up to her house with my songs all polished and perfected. Her reaction was always one of satisfaction and pride.
It was often her expectation that I was going to show up prepared every week for our lesson that pushed me to practice, and helped me develop into a pretty great pianist after nearly a decade of lessons.
If You Want To Be Great...
If you want to be great at something - anything really - you only need three things:
- Set a measurable goal.
- Consistently measure the goal.
- Have someone hold you accountable to the goal you're measuring.
This is the magic of Pearson's Law...
That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially. -Karl Pearson
Just like becoming an incredible musician or athlete, becoming a great lover requires you to set, track, and be held accountable to goals.
Step 1 - Set a Trackable Goal
Pick an area of your relationship in which you know you need improvement. It could be sex, finances, physical affection, compassionate listening, forgiveness, spending meaningful time together, communicating with vulnerability, or anything else you can think of.
Set some measurable goals around this area of your relationship. Here are some examples of good, measurable, actionable goals you can set:
- I will initiate sex "X" number of times per week over the next month.
- I will stop what I'm doing and greet my husband with excitement every time he walks through the door.
- I will mute off or turn off my phone and make eye contact with my wife whenever she's talking to me.
- I will clearly ask for the things I want and need without making myself feel bad about it.
- I will plan a date night every week for the next month.
Step 2 - Track the Goal
Put that shizzle on your calendar!
How many times this week did I unload the dishwasher and take out the trash?
How many days this week did I intentionally flirt with my husband?
Did I express gratitude to my girlfriend every night before going to bed?
Did I open up and tell my boyfriend what I'm thinking and feeling, or am I still hiding my heart from him?
Sit down and analyze whether or not you're taking action. And remember it's ok if you're not perfect! The goal is little bits of improvement day over day. Not a drastic jump from struggle to excellence.
Step 3 - Involve the People You Love!
Involve the people closest to you in your goals. Tell them what you're up to and why. Explain to them the difference you're trying to make.
Here are some examples of how you can have the conversation:
"I want to be a better listener, so I'm setting some goals over the next few weeks. Can you punch me in the arm every time you see me reach for my phone when I'm talking with someone?"
"I want to do better at telling you how much you mean to me. Every night before bed I'm going to start telling you 3 reasons I'm grateful for you. Can you help me remember by asking me the question, 'What's your favorite thing about me today?'"
"I want to experience more intimacy. I know how important sex is to you. It's important to me too. I'm going to start initiating sex more often. What are some things I can do to help you get in the mood?"
Set aside some time every week to analyze how you're doing with your goals.
If you don't know what to work on, start asking your partner every day, "On a scale from 1-10, how good of a partner was I today?" If you weren't a 10, find out which areas need improvement, and work on them tomorrow.
If you don't want to be an average lover you must be committed to constant improvement. Set goals. Track them. Hold yourself accountable. Involve those you love in your growth.
Your relationship will grow exponentially.