Today Starts The 30-Day Kindness Challenge!
And weeeeee’re off! The starter’s gun has fired and you’re off and running on a thirty day marathon that will lead to some great encouragement in your lives and marriages.
Just as a quick review, here’s the race set before you. For the next 30 days:
- Don’t be distracted and don’t withdraw: give your wife or girlfriend your full attention at least 15 minutes a day and, when you are upset, stay in the game five more minutes past when you want to escape.
- Each day, find at least one thing that you enjoy or appreciate about her, and tell her.
- Each day, do one little act of kindness for her.
I am thrilled that you’re willing to do this Challenge for men (and be a part of my research!), and I hope you’ll see some great things happen over the next month.
Here are three tips for success – and please share with us what works for you as you go! (Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.)
Success Tip #1: Run the race with a buddy
If you have ever started a new workout plan with a buddy, you know it is more successful than trying to go it alone. Especially since it keeps you accountable to remember to do it. This is no different. You will be more successful if there’s a guy you can bounce things off of, and check in with.
And our team stands ready to help. Feel free to email us questions (email@example.com) as you go, and definitely share any input you have.
Success Tip #2: Learn how your wife responds over time – and how you do, too.
For this to work, you’ll need to pay close attention to what your wife or girlfriend responds to best – not just at one time, but over time.
Each day, in addition to working on the “listening thing,” you’ll be receiving emails from us with simple ideas of how to do Challenge actions #2 and #3 (telling her what you love about her, and doing little acts of kindness). Feel free to do those specific tips each day, or go completely your own way, but the key is this: observe her response over the course of weeks. What did she say when you did a particular thing? What worked? What didn’t? You may be surprised at how some little things make a bigger difference than you would have thought!
Observation is key, especially since you may be practicing some things for the first time and it may take a few tries to get it right – for example, for her to feel that you’re actually listening.
Just as important: learn how you respond. For example: if your wife doesn’t react in the way you expect, how can you stop yourself from assuming that she doesn’t appreciate your efforts? (For example: to look for clues that she does appreciate your efforts but is simply responding a different way.) Or what most helps you hang in there for that extra five minutes during conflict? (Or, perhaps, do you realize that in conflict, in order for this to be the kindness challenge, you personally do need to withdraw to control your anger, and then come back?)
The best way to track what you’re learning is to write it down. Do you already have a notebook you use to track your workouts or day-to-day notes? Use it to capture what you’re learning in the Challenge.
Success Tip #3: Try a gift journal
This Challenge will, we hope, give you a whole new appreciation for the woman in your life, and you’ll be getting plenty of chances to tell her that. This is optional, but imagine what a great gift it would be to memorialize those comments in writing.
So consider buying a pretty journal/notebook (hint: bookstores or the stationary aisle at stores like Target have the nicest ones, but even drugstores have simple little notebooks that work), in which to record your Challenge #2 comments each day. And then give the journal to her as a special present. Either on the last day of the Challenge or some later date, like your next date night or her birthday.
We’re cheering you on!
By stepping up to do this Challenge, you’re showing you want to invest in your relationship. Whether you tell your wife what you’re doing, or are planning to keep it secret and see what happens, that investment will pay off.
Now. Go listen to your wife!
Cheering you on…