Are you feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by how much progress you want to make in your marriage? Here’s some advice from marriage experts Claudia and David Arp — founders of Marriage Alive! — which may help you get your goals into perspective.
Have you heard this saying, “Inch by inch life’s a cinch, but yard by yard it’s hard”? Do you feel overwhelmed by how far you have to grow in an area? We both experience that feeling from time to time.
Here’s a good question: If life’s a cinch by the inch, then why do we try to tackle things a yard at a time? We’re not suggesting we should never set big and grandiose goals, but we are suggesting that we break our goals down into bite-size pieces.
For instance, if we want to lose fifteen pounds, we need to break that down into “inches.” (We may want to lose those too!) We need to have a weekly goal–maybe for us that would be to lose one pound a week–or even one pound every two weeks. Now that’s believable.
What about your marriage? Maybe the relationship is stale and boring. What would be an “inch” goal you could set? You can’t change your whole situation overnight, but you can do something! Maybe you could plan a fun date. Surprise your spouse with an evening out at your favorite spot. Pick up your mate’s favorite candy bar on the way home.
One “inch” we’ve been working on recently is to fitness walk several times each week. We take an index card and pencil along to record our brainstorming. (We’ve even come up with several of these Marriage Builders as we are keeping our bodies in shape.)
Maybe you want to take the initiative to sign up for the class you’ve been wanting to take together. You “inch” might be to call and register for the course.
Decide just how much your “inch” is, and start there. So mark this down and remember, yard by yard the job is hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch!