There’s a weekly ritual I suggest any time your relationship feels stale, passionless or fraught with negative tension.
It’s a ritual that has saved countless partnerships, bringing marriages back from the brink of destruction. I basically guarantee that it will lead to more intimacy, more laughs, more connection and a renewed respect for one another.
But the nature of this ritual might surprise you.
I want to tell you the secret to improving your relationship: The Weekly Planning meeting. Capitalized for importance, trust me. This is one of my favorite relationship tips because the impact is major.
How do you know if you need a Weekly Planning Meeting?
The idea is that you should meet with your partner weekly to get all the annoying stuff out of the way so that you can actually enjoy each other. It’s that simple.
Life gets in the way of the fun we used to have – it’s inevitable! If you have kids, run a business, manage a household together or have assets, you have probably experienced the following…
Your partner forgets to pick up the kids from school. You get annoyed and resentful because they’re not on top of their schedule, and it shouldn’t be your job to remind them.
You get home and your partner is scrambling around the house, organizing dinner for a party you forgot about. You feel guilty that you didn’t remember, and they’re frustrated with you.
You haven’t been intimate in what feels like a long time. You wonder if you’ll ever get your spark back. Meanwhile, all the text messages between you and your partner are about soccer games, picking up eggs from the store and the date of your child’s school bake sale.
If any of these scenarios remind you of your own partnership, please consider a Weekly Planning Meeting. You could get all of the annoying stuff out of the way in a 1-hour planning session…or you could let it creep into your entire life and rob you of romance. Doesn’t it seem smart to just take care of business?
It’s a common concern that having a Weekly Planning Meeting will make your relationship seem too…planned. It might seem transactional and professional, but organizing your lives in one hour sure frees up time and energy for connection.
How to Create a Weekly Planning Meeting
Choose a consistent time and day of the week to create your Weekly Planning Meeting. For example, my wife and I have a set planning meeting on Mondays at 11:00am. We treat it like a professional requirement, as if we are co-managers of the organization that is our household. Silence your cell phones and minimize outside intervention during this meeting as much as possible.
To begin the meeting, I encourage couples to start the meeting on a positive note. Begin with words of genuine appreciation. Acknowledge what your partner is doing well and thank them for their contributions. Before you dive into more difficult or complicated subjects, shower your partner with words of affirmation.
There are a few other ways to turn this meeting into a positive and fun event. You could bring treats, meet at a quiet coffee shop, or make the space extra relaxing and inviting.
I also recommend that you meet in the morning – there’s a fair amount of research around our ability to be present, flexible, and alert in the mornings compared to the afternoons or evenings.
During a Weekly Planning Meeting, I encourage couples to…
Enter upcoming events into your respective calendars
This is when you should pull up your children’s school schedule and make sure you both know which activities will be happening on which days. This is the perfect moment to make sure you don’t miss your kids’ events.
This can be so stressful if we don’t make time! Use some of this time to coordinate who is picking up your children from daycare, school or playdates.
Schedule chores or errands if needed
In most partnerships, both people are working outside the home, but still have to manage the household together. Avoid resentment and inequality by delegating tasks during your Weekly Planning Meeting.
Plan date night or fun activities together
Use this opportunity to plan more fun, more excitement and more connection for your relationship. When life gets busy, it gets harder – but it’s more important than ever to slip in an hour of laughing over coffee or go to a movie in the middle of a weekday. I encourage you to keep an open mind and plan something with your partner as often as you can, so that you stay connected to one another.
I have a tip to help you make this meeting ultra-effective. Set up your meeting for a few days out, then keep a piece of paper or a note in your phone for everything that you want to bring up when you sit down together. Scribble down everything you want to go over, so that nothing gets forgotten. If both of you do this, you’re very unlikely to forget the important stuff going forward.
How Can I Implement This?
The hardest thing for many couples is bringing it up. Suggest that it can make your partnership even better and more fun. Bring up the fact that you’re on the same team, so a meeting can help you eliminate obstacles for your partnership.
Here is a tip from a professional Couples Therapist: Please, do not wait to suggest a Weekly Planning Meeting until you’re in the middle of a conflict. A planning meeting should not have negative connotations for it to be effective.
The key is to treat it like an integral part of your relationship. It’s something you always do, not just when you’re having an argument or there is tension. Set yourself up for success by planning your lives together, and then authentically enjoying one another’s presence.
I hear rave reviews about this technique from the couples I work with. Try it and let me know what your experience has been!
If you need help practicing a Weekly Planning Meeting or further transforming your relationship, reach out to me by scheduling a free consultation.
Happy planning –