Welcome to the Attention Age. Since the invention of social media in the 2000s, the Information Age has evolved into the Attention Age . The Age of Information provided an explosion in technology. This explosion created communication platforms that keep people connected through technology. We are fed a nonstop buffet of information based on our previous Google searches, iTunes buying history, Facebook profile, and recently watched videos and cell phone history. We even subscribe to RSS feeds and follow people on Twitter and Facebook to get up-to-the minute information delivered right to us. What's more, it's all on our iPhones and Blackberrys!
Some estimates report that by 2013 the quantity of information on the Internet will double roughly every 72 hours. With all of this information coming from all directions how can we learn to manage our attention to the things that are most important to us and not get lost in the Information Overload Age? The age of human history in which information has become so abundant and readily available that attention has become the greatest commodity.
A by-product of this development is the creation of a fast paced culture often resulting in a disconnection from self and our most significant relationships. What is your relationship story? Is it a story of connection and intimacy or are you experiencing relationship disconnection and distraction. Are you managing the direction of your attention with a balance between technology and human contact?
Have you ever found yourself or your partner saying such things as, "We don't communicate, I just don't feel understood, we don't laugh and have fun like we used to, and we need to get on the same page. These comments are common to couples who have added children to the mix, have demanding careers, are faced with the hardships of these economic times or are in periods of transition. Lying beneath these statements is a desire for greater intimacy, a desire for increased trust, respect and care.
Relationships are like the growth and development of human beings. It is an entity that grows and develops with time and shared life experience. It is nourished by the energy and attention each partner puts into it. When partners grow and develop through each stage of life and share that growth with each other, they nurture the relationship with attention to connection and intimacy. When partners stay stagnant or stuck in unfulfilling patterns, the relationship will be starved with alienation and loneliness.
When we are in the throws of personal challenges we often look to the relationship to feed us. We go to the cupboard and it is bare because we have not stocked it with time, attention and care.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist for 27 years and Best Year Yet Coach for 10 years I asked myself what tools could couples use to break through the relationship barriers and move couples to higher levels of loving? Best Year Yet for Couples was created for that very purpose. It is a program that keeps relationships stocked and stoked. One couple reported a "renewed sense of commitment and care in the relationship". Another couple became aware of how the neglect of their relationship had created disconnection. The result of their plan was feeling more connected leading to a resurgence of intimacy and joy. They planned a party around their plan, renewing their vows and celebrating their 7th anniversary surrounded by family and friends.
Other couples came up with strategies for paying attention to each other:
- Use 4 times a day to connect: waking up, leaving the home, returning home, going to bed.
- Hold a hug for 60 seconds or more.
- Have a date Directing Attention Toward Each other once a week in or outside the home. All electronic devices were turned off.
- Have three or more meals a week at a table where all electronic devices are turned off except for an occasional favorite soundtrack.
- Use texting for quick exchange of information or care connection only, never discuss problems or hurts via text.
- Send a thoughtful email marked high priority 2 times a week.
- Set monthly goals and meet weekly to discuss progress.
- Turn off cell phones in restaurants and in the car when together.
- Share computer sites/information with partner.
Best Year Yet for Couples is a simple 10 Question process that results in a one-page plan and is supported by a yearlong performance management system and coaching conversations. The program assists couples in evaluating the things that are most important to them and gets them on track with living from their values. It is a program that directs them toward mature loving.
In Question #1 couples look at their accomplishments and it is the beginning of reconnecting with the initial elements that attracted them to each other in the beginning.
In Question #2 couples identify the disappointments. It is during this question that they learn to tolerate the tension of tough times and hold on for the change that is meant to happen.
Questions # 3 and #4 test the heart of the relationship: trust, respect and care. It calls each partner to be honest and open. The focus on learning is a powerful way of resolving pain and ease into an exciting future.
Question #5 is where the relationship becomes more creative and committed as mutual values are established.
Questions #6-10 flow once the bedrock of trust, respect and care is established by the first part of the process. The couple's plan helps them be flexible but firm in guiding their life together. Through Best Year Yet for Couple's intimacy is deepened and the relationship goes to a new level of purpose, passion and joy. This is a program that helps couples balance attention to technology with attention to each other. It becomes the best of both worlds and rekindles relationships year after year.
For further information contact: Diana Baysinger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Under the role section scroll down the plan options and click couple and under referral code enter 388 to join the thousands of people who have used Best Year Yet and watch your relationship come alive.
About the Author
Diana has provided Best Year Yet® programs and presentations throughout the United States and Europe. She serves as a Best Year Yet® Online Coach Certification Coordinator and Trainer. She has been in business for over 28 years and uses Best Year Yet® with leaders, small businesses, non-profits, colleges and corporations. She is known as a creative and energetic leader who inspires others.