Updated: Oct 2
It’s an acronym for Small Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-Limited - SMART. Similar mnemonics are applied to all sorts of process flow studies, but how about applying it to a relationship?! It’s a suggestion found in Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt’s “Getting the Love You Want” book on Imago Therapy.
Try this surprisingly effective tool that can break a daily routine in a positive love affirming way. Request from (or even better, offer to) your partner something that you feel might be missing from your regular interactions.
“Can we please have one night each week for the next three weeks where we sit down at dinner together, talk to each other instead of just our work day, but also some of what we recall about when we used to go out to dinner when we first met?”
Small-just a brief period of conversation
Measurable – One night each week for three weeks.
Achievable – It’s not “get me the Hope diamond!” It’s just a few kind words at dinner together.
Relevant – to the love you both shared when love itself was exciting because it was new.
Time Limited – The request is for a few brief moments of time. Although it could continue longer if the memory stirs the passion!
“Gently touch my shoulders if you happen to pass by me tonight.” “Hold my hand if we are walking next to each other on our date night.” “Try not to text on Wednesday night when we sit across from each other.”
The amount of attention it brings to yourselves as a couple will far outweigh the simple commitment the exercise requires. It’s SMART on so many levels.