Ever feel out of sorts, out of sync, or confused? When you reflect on life, does it feel like it’s in a constant state of disorder or disarray? Listen in as we discuss 5 things to do when feeling out of sync with your spouse!
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What Do You Do When You Feel Out of SYNC, or
Don’t Like Your Current Life Rhythm?
Ever feel out of sorts, out of sync, or confused? When you reflect on life, does it feel like it’s in a constant state of disorder or disarray?
Chances are, with the world’s trend towards turmoil, madness, and ongoing unrest of chaos, you’ve likely struggled to maintain a sense of peace, calmness, and any semblance of balance.
If it’s any consolation, a complete balance rarely occurs in the currents of life. On any given day, one area of life may demand more attention than another. Personal, family, career, faith, and our extended circle of friends and commitments require more energy in some seasons of life than other seasons. Truthfully, we don’t teach a lot on balance. We often encourage couples to throw away the elusive idea of living a BALANCED life and instead embrace the idea of living a HEALTHY RHYTHM. Rhythm provides variables. A healthy rhythm goes with the flow.
According to Collin’s Dictionary as a VARIABLE NOUN, “A rhythm is a regular series of sounds or movements.”[i] As a COUNTABLE NOUN, “A rhythm is a regular pattern of changes, for example, changes in your body, in the seasons, or in the tides.”[ii]
Think of it this way; there are five types of rhythm:
- Random rhythm is a rhythm by chance or is arbitrary, unplanned, unintentional.
- Regular Rhythm – Even, steady, consistent, reliable, routine, ordered, systematic, methodical.
- Alternating Rhythm – irregular, sporadic, fluctuating, varying, interchanging, exchanging
- Flowing Rhythm – Graceful, smooth, elegant, fluid, unbroken, even, effortless, fluent, tranquil.
- Progressive Rhythm – Gradual, ongoing, increasing, developing, advancing, step by step, continuing.
Without getting too geeky or lost in definitions, it’s important to understand our life experiences all of the rhythms listed above. The important decision we make is what style do we want to maintain the most consistently.
Think of it this way; in music, rhythm is the repeated pattern of movement or sound. Our life rhythm is the repeated pattern by which we do life. The truth is, we can all endure short stents of stress or change, we can all roll with the flow and survive a few crashing waves, but after a while, when one wave crashes against another, even the strongest of swimmers can become fatigued and overwhelmed.
So how do we bring a sense of stillness and quiet when life seems disordered or confused, and frankly we don’t like our current life rhythm?
Here are five quick thoughts to help restore our life and bring it back into line, to a steady, stable, and sustainable pace.
- Recognize the season and exchange your expectations accordingly.
God set day and night in motion. Every morning the sun rises and the sunsets. As the earth orbits the sun, we experience changes in the seasons. Our life is no different.
When our kids were little, we enjoyed dinner around the kitchen table a minimum of 5 times a week. As they got older, started working full time, and moving to different parts of the country, we needed to change our expectations and prioritize what was fundamentally important for the NEW season of life.
We had to learn a new way to connect and support them. If our expectations remained fixed on what worked in our early years of family, we would have never come to terms with the demands of this season.
It may take a while to work out the changes of your life, but reflect on the variety of life’s domains and prioritize what’s most important and what you need to give your attention to in this current season of life brings us to step number two.
- Prioritize what’s MOST important.
In his book, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker talks about the importance of setting goals, deciding which are most important, and then doing the most important things first. The problem is often figuring out just what is most important.[iii]
As a couple, it’s essential to know what questions to ask to determine our purpose and vision individually and as a couple. If you’d like to discover your marriage purpose, pick up a copy of Two Are Better than One: God has a purpose for your marriage.
Consider for a moment the law of sowing and reaping; if you plant a kernel of corn…you reap corn. In other words, you reap what you sow. As you meet daily and take time to Manage for What’s Best, you WILL impact your results and influence your outcomes. Is what you are doing right now, the way you live, the practices your perform, the actions you take, and the decision you make, planting the right seeds for your desired harvest?
The idea is to start asking: What is our desired outcome? What do we agree on? Where is our common ground of what we both want? And, what’s most important now for us to do to move toward that desired outcome? What can I do daily to ensure we protect what matters the most?
- Determine your healthy life rhythm.
We all vary in design and capacity. A racehorse cannot do what a workhorse does. Likewise, a workhorse would never win the Kentucky Derby. God designed you on purpose for a purpose.[iv] He equipped you with everything you need that pertains to life and godliness.[v] Scripture records, there is nothing better than for a man to enjoy his labor; this is the gift of God.[vi]
Take a moment to consider your pace and your capacity. What is your capacity? Is there an area of life that’s been in ‘winter’ too long? Where do you need to shift your attention? Are there areas you’ve neglected?
- Set small attainable goals to set yourself up to succeed.
Be specific and ensure your success for small changes. Instead of saying I’m going to tithe 10% of my time to God and spend two hours and forty minutes reading, praying, and worshiping daily. (Though we can never get enough of spending time in God’s presence, if we haven’t read, prayed, or made any time for our spirit, we may consider setting up a more realistic goal.) Try starting with a more attainable goal, like waking up early to spend fifteen minutes with God. Start by spending five minutes in prayer, five minutes in reading, and then five minutes in worship. Be specific and schedule a time to gain harmony in all of your life domains: personal, family, career, faith, and community.
If we want to bring our life rhythm into line, we need to determine ways to regulate our life, bring order to a specific area, practice a little discipline to systemize or bring order to areas that feel in chaos. Are there areas you need to practice self-restraint? Maybe you’re binge-watching too many shows, and you need to spend 15 minutes tucking your kids in bed or holding a meaningful conversation. Are there areas you need to practice self-control? Maybe eat a small bite of a sea salt dark chocolate caramel instead of the whole bag. The idea is to determine what you want … what you truly desire, and make changes to correct anything sabotaging that perfect vision.
- Constantly Re-Evaluate and Course Correct as Needed.
“If we don’t safeguard what’s most important, we’ll always live at the mercy of what seems urgent.” We need to re-evaluate frequently; where are we? What’s right that we want more of in our life? What’s wrong that needs changing? What’s confused that needs greater clarity? And what do I want? What is most important?
As we consider those thoughts and the various domains of our life, we need to remember that we never drift toward greatness. Everything worthwhile requires our attention and intentionality. So, without judgment, we need to course-correct.
Slow down or speed up. Bring order. Add a schedule. Systemize. Calendar connection. Set reminders for intentional conversations. Prioritize thinking/reflection time. Then, follow through.
Visit marriedforapurpose.com for more marriage resources!