They say with age comes wisdom, and I have to agree. The older I get, the more I see the relationship between how I live my life, how I feel, and the quality of the relationships that matter to me most. When I neglect to implement healthy habits and make myself a priority, everything begins to suffer, including my marriage.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is expecting good in one area of our lives while completely neglecting another. Sure, that might work for a little while, but in the long run, it rarely works out. Eventually, the part of our lives that just isn’t going well begins to affect the seemingly great part of our lives. This doesn’t mean we need to seek perfection in every area to have happy lives, but it does mean that we need to do our best in every area to have a shot at lasting, meaningful happiness.

When the new year starts, everyone is all about changing their “bad” habits, all in an effort to live better lives. Unfortunately, just weeks into the new year, our attempts to develop new habits fades, and we find ourselves right where we were on December 31st. And why is that? It’s because we try to change too much at once, failing to realize that habits that took years to form can’t just all change at once because the clock struck midnight. It just doesn’t work that way.

Our best bet is to keep the list of habits we want to change to a minimum. It’s also incredibly important to attempt changing habits that will have the most meaningful impact on our lives.

Here are 3 habits that can help change your life in amazing ways, and as a result, will change your marriage as well. With daily practice, developing these new habits can help you create a happier, healthier marriage because you will end up with a healthier, happier you.

Express Appreciation

Vocalizing how much you appreciate anyone in your life is a great habit to develop, and it especially makes a huge difference in your marriage. Despite our best intentions, life can get crazy and it’s not uncommon for people to forget to show and tell their partners how much they appreciate everything they do. Make this a habit and you will notice an immediate difference in your relationship and your life.

Focus on the Positive

It’s easy to get caught up in negativity and begin to focus on how frustrated you are because of everything that is going wrong in your world. The thing is, there has to be something going right. Why not focus on that. If you begin to make focusing on the positive a daily habit, you will begin to see a shift in how you view your life and a huge shift in how you view your spouse. Negativity is a part of life, and of course everything won’t always be great, but focusing on the negative never made anyone’s life happier.

Be Still

We all need moments of stillness in our days. That time can be spent meditating, praying, journaling, or doing anything else that doesn’t require talking–things that bring you calm. Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on every part of your life, but using stillness as a way to bring clarity into your life helps you keep things in perspective. It also helps you approach all of your problems from a place of clarity and peace, rather than a place of anxiety and confusion.

When you practice habits that change your way of being in the world, they also change your way of interacting with your spouse. That shift in how you approach things can make all the difference and help you create a healthier life as well as a marriage filled with joy.

Belles, what habits help you maintain a healthy, happy marriage?