Start Strong - ANCHOR Your Relationship
There’s no question about it - the way you start and end a boat race will determine your outcome! How do you plan to begin 2023? What will your focus be? How much intentional time will you spend connecting with your partner?
I have a friend who races sailboats in multiple day regattas. He says choosing the best place to anchor at night makes all the difference in the rest and connection of his crew! How is your marriage/relationship anchored? Proper anchoring makes a world of difference in communication, managing conflict, promoting connection and reaching joint goals.
Why not start 2023 with a fantastic anchoring exercise? If you and your partner can set aside 20 minutes three times a week and follow the template below you could be in for the most amazing year of your relationship!
Step 1 - Agree to a 20 minute span of time that is free from distractions. Sit down without electronics in hand and prepare to hear from your partner. Your only goal is to listen to understand your partner fully!
Step 2 - Use the ANCHOR acronym as prompts to share and connect with your spouse:
Appreciation – Highlight specific things you’ve noticed and appreciated about your partner since the last time you spoke.
News - Share new information that is significant to you or may be of interest to your partner (e.g. changes at work, family matters, new activities, lessons learned).
Challenges - Confide in your partner regarding the challenges you are currently facing. The listening partner must be careful NOT to fix things or give advice unless asked… Just Listen!
Help - Ask for help. Don’t tell your partner what to do or what you want them to handle but do share ways they could partner with you to provide a helping hand.
Opportunities for Growth - It takes a certain measure of maturity to be able to hear your partner share a request for some kind of change. Do NOT get defensive but listen to understand your partner’s request. Be introspective and carefully consider what can be done to facilitate change in that area. (Check out next week’s blog as we discuss what to do with these opportunities for growth)
Request Forgiveness - We all act in ways that are hurtful to our partner at times. Recognizing our actions as hurtful and seeking forgiveness has an amazing impact on our connection!
You can discuss all six of the ANCHOR prompts in one sitting or alternate sharing the answers to each question. No matter how you do it, remember your job is to listen.
Step 3 - Before you leave this discussion, share with each other one positive affirming action step based on what you heard. Take that step before your next meeting if possible.
Start the year intentionally ANCHORING your focus on enhancing your relationship could be the key to a fantastic 2023!