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Bucket List Journal and Why You Need One!

Bucket List Journal and Why You Need One!

 Can a Bucket List Journal Change Your Life?

Can a bucket list journal really change your life?

The movie The Bucket List introduced the idea of making a list of things you want to experience before you die or kick the bucket. In the movie, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play hospital roomies, both terminal. Nicholson’s very wealthy character decides he needs a bucket list and, with time, the much poorer (financially) Freeman secretly creates his own list.

The two break out of hospital and begin their adventure of ticking items off their lists. But, the items on their bucket lists aren’t the items many people put on their own lists today. Here’s a sampling of the bucket lists from the movie:

  • Witness something truly majestic
  • Help a complete stranger
  • Laugh until I cry
  • Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
  • Drive a Shelby Mustang
  • Get a tattoo
  • Go skydiving
  • Visit Stonehenge
  • Find the joy in your life
  • Drive a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China

There were a few others, but this is most of the list. I show you this not to brag about some movie knowledge – heck I had to google this stuff. Instead, I show you this because several of the items on this list are truly remarkable experiences most of us won’t think to include.

Should You Create a Bucket List?

If you’re really asking me my opinion, then yes, I believe you should create a bucket list. However, having said that, I believe you should carefully consider what you put on your bucket list journal.

Creating a bucket list is another way of saying you are setting goals for yourself and this is never a bad thing. When you set goals as an individual, you build your confidence and also give your life purpose and direction.

When you set goals as a couple, you build lasting memories and intimacy. But, there are other reasons to use a bucket list journal:

  • You begin to examine what you really want out of life
  • It helps you determine where you are today and where you want to be in the future
  • You become energized by the possibilities that lie before you
  • It allows you to look past your comfort zone and think outside your safe zone
  • You develop a sense of accomplishment as you tick off the items you’ve completed
  • It keeps you from becoming idle – there’s always something to work toward
  • You’re more interesting

What Should be on Your Bucket List?

What you put on your bucket list is up to you, but I do have a few suggestions. Rather than seeing how many outrageous trips to foreign places you can come up with, envision adventures that will truly add value to your life.

This may be some trips to foreign countries or other states, but it might be things like you saw on the Bucket List movie list – things that are more meaningful and amazing.

Make it Meaningful

If you didn’t see the movie, Jack Nicholson’s character accomplished kissing the most beautiful woman in the world by kissing his long-lost daughter. It wasn’t some celebrity or model. Instead, it was a healed relationship.

When you set goals, they should be attainable. and the same goes for the items you place in your bucket list journal. Visiting the Louvre or riding a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China are fine if they’re attainable to you in the future.

Goals should be relevant to your life and this is true of your bucket list items as well. If you don’t really like airplanes that much, setting goals to fly all over the world seems like a waste of a dream.

Overcoming your fear of flying is a fine bucket list item, and maybe more relevant to your life, but that can be done at a local airport.

To create your list, imagine you have just weeks to live. Would you want to spend those weeks traveling? If so, go for it! If not, what would you like to do? Repair relationships? Make sure those closest to you know how much you care? Spend time with a loved one you don’t get to see very often?

Our Dream Catcher is your personal bucket list journal. Use it to spark ideas, plan your adventures and even record the results. The journal is large enough to provide plenty of space to record photographs and memories of your adventures. You'll find dozens of prompts to help you come up with ideas for your list as well.

Buy your copy today by clicking one of the buttons below.

Using a Bucket List Journal to Create Your Bucket List

There are as many ways to create a bucket list as there are people making them. My best tips for creating your own bucket list are:

  • Think about those people who are most important to you – how can you enrich those relationships?
  • Imagine your future. What do you dream of doing? Is it something you believe you will be able to do?
  • When you think about the legacy you would like to leave behind, what does that look like?
  • If you are in a relationship, how can the two of you build your foundation as a couple?
  • Find ten amazing things to do within an hour or two of your own home and consider doing them with either your partner or best friend or both
  • Are there relationships you’ve let slide over the years that you would like to rekindle? How can you do that?
  • Are there financial goals that will make your life easier, like zeroing your debt or building a savings?

Give yourself some time and recognize that a bucket list journal doesn’t form overnight. It will take time and introspection to come up with the list that’s right for you.

Bucket List Journal for Couples

If you’re in a relationship with someone, make your individual lists and make one together – a couples journal. There is no reason to give up on your own dreams just because you’ve got someone special in your life.

In fact, I encourage you to pursue your individual items separately. You can each schedule a week or two away at the same time, pursue one of your bucket list items and then return home to share your experiences!

This is a great way to keep the mystery and challenge in your relationship alive!

For the items you want to do together, prioritize and work together to accomplish those goals. It’s a great relationship-building activity!

Create that Bucket List and Do it!

We humans have become robots. We wake up, go to work, come home and watch reality shows. Then we die.

Tomorrow, I challenge you to kill the routine and brainstorm 100 bucket list items. Then, by the weekend, set goals and do them!

Ultimately, you will be amazed at what a bucket list will do for you!

Me. You. Forever! Your Personal Couples Journal

Me. You. Forever! Your Personal Couples Journal

Surprising Things You Need to Know About Using a Couple’s Journal

A couples journal is one of the best tools you can use to strengthen your relationship. But it doesn’t happen without both of you putting in the time and effort. There are many benefits to journaling and as a couple, you can multiply those benefits by doing some of the activities together.

Since this is a long article, so I’ve provided an easy way for you to navigate the information. Just use the links below to read the different sections of this post!

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling and Men

Things to Include in Your Journal

Building a Solid Relationship Foundation with a Couple’s Journal

10 Ways to Use Your Couple’s Journal to Grow Your Relationship

Final Thoughts on Building a Solid Foundation

The Power of the Memories


Benefits of Journaling

Journaling Improves Intelligence

One way in which clinicians measure overall intelligence is by the size of your vocabulary.

The University of Victoria conducted a study during which the IQ and writing ability of subjects was tested. Each subject was tested before and after performing writing exercises. Following the exercises, the research showed a strong relationship between performing writing exercises and increased intelligence.

It further indicated that people who write have a higher IQ. In other words, writers are smart people. This extends to those who write in journals, not just professionals!

The logic behind these results rests in the use of language. Writing encourages you to explore your language further and enables you to use words you might not use in everyday exchanges.

If you are using a couples journal, you can challenge one another by sneaking in new words or phrases. You can have a word of the day, as well as other fun language-based activities.

Letting Go of Negativity

Writing in a couples journal provides a space to let your pent-up negative emotions flow. I’ve heard of parents and children sharing a private journal where the child can write anything in the journal. The child knows the parent will read it, but the parent can’t apply negative consequences to what is written.

If a child confesses something, it can be up for discussion in a healthy way. The parents agree not to use the information to deliver negative consequences.

Children are often more likely to share truth with their parents in this way. This opens the door for constructive discussions while building a trusting relationship.

In a couples journal, you can work things in much the same way. What is written between the two of you stays between the two of you. Additionally, the door is opened for discussion without negative consequences.

If your partner shares that he’s really put off by something, you can examine your behavior and talk about it. Sometimes initiating these conversations in person can be difficult so this makes it easier.

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Dealing with Anxiety Inside your Love Journal

Anxiety, is thinking into the future and imagining a negative outcome. Writing in a journal helps because you can review thought patterns to see how they flow. Watch the anxious thoughts unfold and see patterns emerge when you aren’t feeling anxious.

Journaling also has a calming effect on your mind. You can let go of the negative thoughts that are banging around in your head. As you journal, you will uncover not only the thought patterns you have during your anxious moments, but also the triggers.

This is one area of using a couples journal where you must be careful and sensitive to one another. When someone is sharing their negative thought patterns, don’t reinforce them or be judgmental.

If your partner shares in the journal that he’s anxious about an upcoming job interview, don’t feed his anxiety. Also, don’t say something seemingly harmless like, “Dan, I don’t know why you worry so much about this stuff.”

While a statement like that sounds like you’re lifting him up, you’re really telling him he’s silly to worry.

Instead, remind him of his attributes and accomplishments, “Dan, getting that PMI certification last month was a great accomplishment. Your people skills are great. I’m sure the interviewer will see that too!”

Strengthen Your Immune System by Using a Love Journal Together

Can you believe that journaling can actually make you healthier?

When you experience less anxiety, you are healthier. When you aren’t feeling depressed, you’re healthier. If you let go of negativity, you’re happier and therefore healthier.

A couple's journal is an excellent way to bond with your significant other. Me. You. Together Forever is not just a couple's journal but a planner too. Using this journal will help you keep your schedules synced, answer difficult questions and maintain a healthy, happy relationship.

You can learn more about Me. You. Together Forever here or you can purchase it by clicking below.

Using a Couples Journal Provides Improved Emotional Health

When you journal, you’re more in tune with your inner thoughts and desires. You’re mindful of your surroundings and thoughts and can remain present in this moment. This keeps your anxiety from kicking in.

Writing in a journal keeps your emotions regulated and improves self-confidence and identity. It also triggers and grows the creative side of your brain. In every possible way, journaling promotes personal growth and awareness.

You Develop a Practice of Mindfulness

Being mindful means being present in the moment. You aren’t ruminating on the past or anxious about the future. You’re able to write about your hopes and fears in a way that allows your mind to work through it.

While writing, you actively engage in your thought process and here’s the kicker: when you’re mindful, you’re happier.

BONUS!

As a couple, become more mindful of your own thoughts and those of your partner. When we’re stressed, it’s easy to be absorbed in our own thoughts. But, if you and your partner are doing this together, you can be more present in their world as well.

Using a Couple’s Journal Helps You Improve Self-Discipline

Setting aside time every day to write in your journal begins a practice of self-discipline. Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you’ll be. As you form this habit, you’ll form others.

For example, a journaling habit brings mindfulness to those moments. It also helps you develop more of an overall mindfulness mindset.

If you develop a habit of doing the dishes after each meal instead of allowing them to pile up, you’ll soon keep other areas of the kitchen cleaner. This leads to keeping the adjoining rooms cleaner, and so on.

Good habits and self-discipline build and expand, which is always a great thing in your life!

As a couple, encourage one another when one isn’t feeling it. Sometimes, you come home from work or school exhausted. Doing even one more thing seems like too much.

Your partner says something like, “Gee Honey, I know how you feel. I was wiped out too, but writing in our journal when I got home actually helped me feel refreshed and energized.”

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Using a Couples Journal and Men

Women are more inclined to journal than men, but I think men will do it if there are clear benefits. How can you keep him engaged in the process?

I read reviews of many of the top love journals and one comment was concerning to me. I want to address it and help you understand how men will stay engaged in the process.

A Couples Journal Should Be Fun

Yes, this journal will have its serious entries, but life isn’t always about being serious. Many negative comments I read about a couples journal included comments about silly activities. The woman writing the review was annoyed by the silliness.

Let yourself have fun once in a while. Great moments in a relationship aren’t always built when you’re being serious with one another. Highly memorable moments are often built in the silliest of situations.

“Remember the time I thought I could go sprinting across that stream and I landed flat on my butt in the ice-cold water? That was a great hike!”

A man will enjoy this process more if it isn’t always so serious, and quite frankly, so will you.

There are times to be serious in your life and in your journaling. There are also times to cut loose and have fun. Challenge one another to do silly things like, ”Hey Jack, I bet I can eat more donuts than you for breakfast this morning! I’m heading to Krispy Kreme now for a dozen! Be hungry!”

This is great! It’s something you can both write about later, probably in different ways. You might write about how much fun it was to watch Jack try to beat your donut count. Men are competitive, and we want to win! Even against you!

He may write about how much he enjoyed the mystery of wondering what you’ll pull next! You were mysterious to him. This is always a good thing! Of course, he’ll also like the challenge itself, so it’s a double win!

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It Should be a Safe Space

Earlier, I said your journal is a safe space where you can share anything without fear of negative consequences.

Before you begin, agree that your journaling space is a judgment-free zone. Your partner can share his thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears and desires knowing he won’t be negatively judged.

You have that same freedom. If something comes up that you want to ask about, you do so without negativity and judgment.

“Joe, I saw you wrote about being afraid you’re going to lose your job in the company downsizing. I just want you to know I’m here for you if you want to talk more about it.”

Or,

“Steve, I saw that entry you wrote about your sex fantasy yesterday and I wanted to know if you’d like to try it sometime. I’m up for it if you are!”

The idea of a couples journal is to share memories and be supportive of one another. If you treat your partner’s entries with respect, he will be more and more open with his entries and responses.

You Might Not Always Like What the Other Writes

Another criticism I’ve read about couples journals is that the questions inside pre-printed journals can cause a fight.

While I would never encourage a couple to argue, I’m also realistic. From time to time, a couple is going to have a disagreement. This is a normal part of a relationship. Disagreeing with one another doesn’t mean you stop caring for or loving one another. It means that, on this topic, you don’t agree. Period.

I recently read somewhere that couples experience more arguments earlier in their marriage. I suspect this has something to do with not having a rhythm between you. You don’t really one another well. There’s also a slight degree of immaturity found in a need to be right versus a need to settle the disagreement.

Of course, we’ve declared the journal to be a judgment-free and positive space, but still, things happen. You’re tired, emotionally wrung out, overwrought or overly anxious about something and allow your emotions to run away with you. It’s okay, it happens.

If your partner shares something in the journal that is upsetting to you, you have a choice on how to react. You can react emotionally and fly off the handle, or you can react proactively and think carefully about your response before delivering it.

May I encourage you to be proactive?

Either way, you are in control of your reaction. That’s a topic for an entirely different article, but understand that whether you get angry or not is your choice. Just like it’s his choice if he gets angry.

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Set a Cadence You Can Both Manage

Let’s face it. Life is crazy hectic, especially if you have children. While you might want to write in your couple’s journal every day, it might not be realistic. Even if you have the time, your guy might not.

As you begin the love journal journey, decide how frequently you would both like to write. It’s okay if you don’t write the same amount or on the same days. The idea is to build your life together and have memories of your life together.

You may agree to write weekly, every other day or every day. You may find out that you can do more frequently, or you need to do less frequently.

There are no rules except the ones you both agree to. Don’t force him to write every day if you both know, realistically, that he’s not going to do it.

You may both get into it and realize that you both enjoy the writing and want to step it up. Whatever you do is fine. The point is to make this stress-free, enjoyable, positive and memorable.

Using a Couples Journal Isn’t Always About the BIG Memories

I knew a guy once who bought his girlfriend a loaf of bread. This happened twenty years ago. Still, of all the things she remembers about their time together, she remembers that loaf of bread.

Why?

Because he took the time to notice, on another occasion, that she loved this particular type of bread, and he made an effort to get it for her.

Your journal entries aren’t always going to be some big drawn-out affair. They may be about the smallest things or they could be about huge events in your lives. The birth of a child, your wedding, anniversaries, death of a loved one or buying a new pet all qualify, as does the bread.

Each has its own significance in your life, but much of what you write will probably seem insignificant at the time. Five years from now, however, it might be a truly fond memory you enjoy recalling.

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Things to Include in Your Couples Journal

Before we get too far into this topic, I want to tiptoe through Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. Are you familiar with them? If not, you can dig deeper into them here.

The first time I read about the Five Love Languages, I thought these are great, but I can make them better! Men and women think differently, love differently and have different needs in a relationship.

The Five Love Languages summarize the ways in which people prefer to be loved. I want to summarize for you how to best use these love languages with your guy.

One word of caution before I continue. Often, when I share these tips with women, they go overboard and do them all the time.

You don’t need to use any of these on a daily basis. That’s overkill, and takes away the true meaning of doing it. You want to use these when the occasion arises, otherwise, it won’t feel special.

Words of Affirmation

If this is his love language is words of affirmation, he appreciates a pat on the back from time to time and an ‘atta’ boy type of thing.

The trick to this is timing. I own a construction business. If someone tells me the tile job I just completed for them is awesome, I’m glad to hear it, but it doesn’t get my juices flowing.

Now, if I get a review on one of my books, telling me how much the words helped a woman who was feeling really down and out, I am walking on air!

What’s the difference?

I’ve been in construction for my entire adult life, which is more years than I’d like to admit. I have heard compliments for most of those years. While I appreciate the compliments, they don’t make me feel any better than before I heard them.

But, when I make a positive impact in the life of someone by helping them feel better, I truly feel as if I’d contributed and I feel great!

When you deliver words of affirmation to your guy, make them relate to something he’s passionate about. If he likes rebuilding Mustangs, compliment him on the paint job or how nice the engine sounds when he revs it up.

Hit him in his passion point and watch the smile spread across his face!

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Gifts

For this guy, the easiest way to really strike gold is to gift him something that relates to his passion. If he likes sports, get him tickets for his favorite team. If he’s into cars, get him a book on the history of his favorite car or a how-to on something he enjoys doing.

A gift can also be the meal his mom always made that made him feel warm and fuzzy or his favorite kind of cake or cookie.

It can even be something as simple as a note in his computer bag or on the bathroom mirror that reminds him he’s special to you.

Quality Time

If his love language is quality time, you have more leverage to do it more often. The best way to show him you love him is to do something together that you both enjoy. It can be anything from having a movie night at home to taking a vacation away together for a week or two.

A couple's journal is an excellent way to bond with your significant other. Me. You. Together Forever is not just a couple's journal but a planner too. Using this journal will help you keep your schedules synced, answer difficult questions and maintain a healthy, happy relationship.

You can learn more about Me. You. Together Forever here or you can purchase it by clicking below.

Physical Touch

I find physical touch to be the most challenging for couples. I knew a couple once who were polar opposites on this. He craved physical touch and even begged for it while she was more of a don’t touch me type.

It didn’t work out. His whining to be touched all the time drove her crazy and she came to resent his need to be touched. They didn’t understand the love languages. If they had, they probably could have worked something out.

If your guy craves physical touch, find out what it is he’s looking for. Does he like the occasional massage or does he enjoy holding hands? Maybe he just likes to have his arm around you when you’re together. Maybe he wants you to place your hand on his knee when you’re sitting together.

Have a conversation to see what exactly he wants. Even if your language isn’t touch, you’ll have to adjust and be accommodating. Just like the other languages, you both need to find a balance between both your needs.

Acts of Service

Often, this is how a man shows he loves you. Men tend to be doers. Sometimes, however, this could be his love language as well.

Acts of service and gifts can overlap. An act of service might be preparing his favorite meal or cleaning his car for him. It might be something as simple as picking up his laundry at the cleaner’s or mowing the lawn.

Love Language Final Notes

It’s possible to have more than one love language, although one will be stronger than the other and usually. This is nice because it gives you some flexibility in how you show your love for him.

If you’re unsure of your own love language, or his, you can figure it out easily enough. Pay attention to how he responds to different things you do.

Look at how he shows his love to you. Our tendency is to show love in the way which most represents how we want to be loved. If he showers you with gifts, that might be his love language as well. If he does things for you around the house, he may like acts of service.

Recognize his love language and show him you love him in the way he understands best. Then, strike a balance between your needs and his. This requires discussion and honesty.
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Building a Solid Relationship Foundation with a Couples Journal

Researchers have spent the last thirty or so years uncovering what makes a successful relationship happen. After plowing through tons of this research, I have a few keys to success to share with you today. The best part is you can accomplish these by using a love journal.

Admire Your Partner

Your guy might be the worst joke-teller on the planet. But, laugh at his jokes anyway and believe he can tell a great joke. Nobody is perfect, but if you’ve found a great guy, all he needs to be is perfect for you. He might not look like a male model, but he tells corny jokes, has a good job and a smile that melts your heart, every time.

When we get in a funk, we tend to look at the negatives, but what if you focus instead on positives.

The next time your guy annoys the heck out of you by leaving the seat up (why do women need to win this one?), recall the time he made you laugh so hard at that joke he tells every time you go out for sushi.

Make a conscious effort to look at things that attracted you to him. You’ll find yourself in a happier relationship. Be enthusiastic about him. Don’t make him your passion or hobby, but get excited when you see him and let him know it.

When you use your couples journal, let him know what it is about him that revs your engine. Show that enthusiasm for his dumb sushi joke.

Focus on and Celebrate the Good Times in your Couples Journal

In a University of California study by Shelly Gable, participants ranked receiving a supportive response to good news higher than receiving a sympathetic response to bad news. Gable categorized our set of possible reactions into four categories:

  • Active Constructive
  • Passive Constructive
  • Active Destructive
  • Passive Destructive

If you engage in Active Constructive communication, you’re saying something like, ”I’m so proud of you for getting that promotion!” This is an excellent way to communicate with your partner and will have the most lasting positive impact.

While it might also seem okay to say, “Gee Sweetie, that’s good”, it’s not really anywhere close to a great response. It’s like you’re being dismissive. He’s got great news but he interrupted your important life to deliver it.

Now, if your guy comes to you with a promotion and your response is “Does this mean you’ll have to work more on the weekends?”, you’re engaging in Active Destructive communication. You’re essentially saying that his promotion sucks for your life, regardless of how it impacts his.

And finally, no response at all to his excited news is called Passive Destructive. You’re ignoring him at a time when he just got a win – and a win is a big deal to a guy!

Focus your energy on being Active Constructive in your interactions. Don’t be fake. Anyone can see fake. Whip up that enthusiasm we just talked about, focus on his good points, and for Pete’s sake, be glad he has a job!

In your couples journal, you can expand on your excitement over his good news. This is a great way to reinforce that you are happy for him and care enough to let him know about it. Avoid comments that seem dismissive, vague or negative.

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Be Grateful to Each Other Inside your Love Journal

It’s very hard to get too far down in the dumps if you’re focused on the good things happening in your life. This goes for everyone, single, in a relationship or married.

Gratitude is an essential tool in your confidence and self-esteem arsenal. Take time to write about the things he did in your world today that made a difference, albeit a small one.

Maybe he warms your car up every morning in the winter or cools it off in the summer. Perhaps he fixes the coffee before he dashes out the door or passes by the dry cleaners to get the dress you want to wear on date night tonight.

Gratitude forms a stronger connection between you and reminds you of your feelings toward one another. It also inspires responses from him. It turns an ordinary act into something extraordinary because you recognized and acknowledged it.

The kicker for gratitude is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to respond in kind if he says something nice. Be grateful from your heart, otherwise it just undoes the good of his gratitude toward you.

Enrich One Another’s Lives

I was listening to Intentional Living by John Maxwell the other day and something struck me so hard that I had to stop what I was doing to write it down.

What I wrote down was this: How did you matter in your partner’s life today? What was the story the two of you wrote today?

If you only answered these two questions every day for one another, you would have a relationship made in heaven!

I’d also like to take this in a different direction and encourage you to spend time together doing exciting things. Now, exciting is a relative term. Exciting for me might not be exciting for you but that’s where you expand one another and enrich one another’s lives.

Exciting for your guy might be zip-lining, which might terrify you and he probably knows it. Why not take the risk? The benefits are tremendous.

First, you build a great experience together, but you also face a fear, which builds your own self-esteem and confidence! This is a win-win. The excitement of the activity will form a bond between you and if you both get something out of the experience, that bond is nearly inseverable.

Being there to boost one another up is a great way to show your support for your partner. You can use your couples journal to not only write about the experience but stick in some photographs for a deeper memory.

This type of activity shows your partner that you’re not only there for the good times, but you’re there to support one another during difficult times too.

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Encourage One Another to Pursue Goals

The final brick of your foundation that we’ll discuss today is to encourage one another in the pursuit of your goals. A great use of your love journal might be to write down, as individuals, what your goals are. Then, compare notes and come up with a list of goals for you as a couple.

Not all your goals will align and that’s okay. You’re not there to approve of his goals, you’re there to support him in his pursuit of his goals.

A friend of mine is an engineer. After he graduated from college, he set a goal of getting his professional engineer’s license. He had a long-term goal of owning his own engineering firm and having is license was a requirement.

He was married with two young children, and pursuing his license meant spending two nights a week after work at a night class, leaving his young and exhausted wife home for more than 12 hours with the kids.

Still, she did it without complaint. She supported his goal to get his license. She allowed him time to study for his test and was supportive and encouraging when it was time to take the test. This meant an extra burden on her, but she didn’t complain.

Another example is a Biography show I watched recently. It was on Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian. They were interviewing his wife, Gregg, about their early marriage years and something she said struck me. She was talking about how they were broke most of the time while he did comedy gigs in bowling alleys and bars, but she didn’t care.

Then, her husband got his big break and was invited to be on the Johnny Carson show – the ultimate goal of every comedian in that era. What Gregg Foxworthy said went something like this, “I was so excited. It was everything we had dreamed of.”

She didn’t say it was Jeff’s dream. It was their dream. That’s magic right there!

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10 Ways to Use Your Couples Journal to Grow Your Relationship

In order to build wealth, financial advisers recommend paying yourself before your bills.

This is the same effect a couple’s journal can have on your relationship. By putting dedicated time and energy into one another before anything else, you are investing in building a solid future together.

It should be a fun activity, not something you dread, and if done right, it will be just that!

Record Photos and Feelings

When you both look back at this journal in years to come, you will treasure the photos and the feelings those photos bring.

The memories you build, which I like to call pennies in the jar, are like a form of relationship insurance. When a couple has strong, happy memories together, they are more likely to want to stay together than to go find someone new.

With each photograph, you can both write something about the photo, including where it was taken, how you felt while you were there and what was so memorable about the experience.

Use Your Couples Journal to Give Compliments to One Another

Life gets hectic! There may be days when you’re like ships passing in the night. You can still connect with one another in a great way by providing a compliment, even if he’s not there to see it immediately!

“I truly appreciated how well you cleaned up the breakfast dishes this morning! I was in a hurry and it really made me happy to come home from work tonight without a mess to clean up!”

Everyone likes to be appreciated and this is a great way to let a man know that the little things he does for you don’t go unnoticed! Just like you, he wants to feel appreciated for his efforts.

Share Your Hopes and Dreams

What better way to use a couples journal than to dream about your next big adventure together! This makes me think of the movie, Up! Even though it’s a cartoon, it’s a really cool movie to watch!

If you haven’t seen it, an older man and a young boy strike out on an adventure together. At the end of their adventure, the man opens the journal he and his now-deceased wife kept and realizes that she wanted him to continue his adventure without her.

This movie puts life in perspective!

What if this was your last year to spend together? Which types of adventures would you want to go on together? What dreams would you want to fulfill?

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Use Your Couples Journal as a Tool for Communication

Sometimes, communication can be difficult. Men have times in their lives when they retreat into their own little cocoon in order to re-evaluate, problem solve or lick their wounds.

While your instinct might be to try to nurture him out of it, a better way to communicate with him during his difficult time is to ask him a question in your journal.

You can also share stories of difficult times in your own life. While these may not prompt immediate discussion, it isn’t something he’s likely to forget.

You can write letters to one another, either randomly, or for special occasions or difficult trials in your relationship. Communication doesn’t always come naturally to a man in a relationship but if he can write it down, he may be more willing to share.

Share Your Feelings

Keeping in mind that this is a positive space, share your feelings with your guy. Even if you’re telling him how frustrated you were with something he did, it’s important to write that as a feelings statement, rather than an accusation.

He will respond much better to:

“Tom, it really made me feel invisible when you ignored me at the Baker’s party last weekend.”

Than he will respond to:

“The next time we go out and you treat me like crap, I’M LEAVING!”

You can even provide him with hints on how it might be better next time:

“It’s fine if you want to go off and hang out with your friends at a party, but I would enjoy the party more if we could do things as a couple too.”

Complaints should be at a minimum, though. This is the space to share the joyful moments!

“Sharing the birth of our first child with you was the most amazing experience of my life.”

Inspire One Another through Your Couples Journal

If you have favorite quotes you love, people who inspire you or things you’re passionate about, share them with your guy.

Use this space to inspire him to grow as an individual or to promote growth as a couple.

What do you want out of life? What does he want out of life? How can you inspire one another to achieve those goals?

Your couples journal is the unique history of your life together. It is a tool by which you can grow together and form an unbreakable bond. It’s the place from which the dreams of your life together are laid bare.

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Record Lasting Memories

Not all memories come from big vacations on the beach, weddings and other large celebrations. Some of the best memories come from the smallest of things.

Your couple’s journal is a great place to write down that time you forgot to put the entire amount of flour in the cookies and they spread all over the pan or the time he put fertilizer on the lawn…except for that one strip down the middle.

Your yearly trips to the apple orchard or to pick out that perfect Christmas tree (or the Charlie Brown one!) can be logged in your journal.

Save Mementos

The ticket from the first movie you saw together or a napkin from the first bar you went to together are great mementos to take you back to those exciting moments of your young relationship.

As your relationship grows and builds, you can save other items with meaning like wedding invitations, markers of goals achieved or results of shared hobbies like photographs or printed documents.

You can also store the names of songs that mean something to both of you, poems, cards or other items that only the two of you can appreciate.

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Final Thoughts on Building a Solid Foundation with Your Couples Journal

I wanted to conclude by sharing with you some of the remaining research I uncovered about successful marriages, but just in a few bullet points. It’s important because the focus is on how men and women perceive the success factors of their relationships differently.

When asked, women stated these as the top reasons why their marriage was successful (in decreasing order):

  • Freedom to pursue dreams and individuality
  • Similar backgrounds and interests
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • My spouse is a good person
  • Support of one another
  • Commitment

Men responded with these:

  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Similar backgrounds and interests
  • Similar values
  • Know one another well before marriage
  • Respect for the other person’s feelings
  • Commitment

If you use your couples journal to hit most of those, you will be in great shape! While it’s long, this article is full of ideas for sharing your thoughts in writing.

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The Power of a Couples Journal is in the Memories

Memories shore up your relationship and help to keep it affair proof. They are things shared just between the two of you, things that can’t be undone.

This can become a fundamental communication tool between the two of you and an invaluable resource for growth as a couple.

Couples who have a strong emotional bond report a higher quality relationship and this comes from using more than one form of communication and sharing.

A couples journal or love journal is a way for you to recall things you’ve done in the past to keep things fresh. There’s nothing wrong with recycling an activity you both highly enjoyed, like a two-hour drive in the country or a trip to a museum.

If you make this an activity that’s fun and not drudgery, your guy will get on board. It might take him couple weeks or so to become excited about it, but if you’re patient and not demanding, he’ll get there.

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