Your engagement is your final chance to “prep” yourself for a lifetime of marriage. In other words, it isn’t just time spent busily planning a single wedding day or a week-long honeymoon. It’s a final opportunity to work on yourself before you officially and fully commit to sharing your life with another person.
On top of that, the average length of an engagement in the U.S. is between 12 and 18 months. That provides plenty of time for some serious personal development and growth — if you’re willing to take advantage of the opportunity.
Here are a few suggestions for ways that you can set healthy routines and develop good habits throughout your engagement to set the stage for a robust, wholesome married life for the foreseeable future.
Find a Food Routine
Food is a two-edged sword. Sharing a fancy anniversary dinner with your significant other or attending a Thanksgiving meal with extended family can create incredible memories. However, binging on ice cream every night or stress eating Doritos during a bad day at work can destroy your health.
Your engagement can be the perfect time to motivate yourself to develop a healthy relationship with food. Consider your current interactions with your victuals and look for ways that you can improve how you fuel your body. This can apply to both overeating and overly controlling your diet. A few questions you can ask yourself include:
- Do you obsess over calories, carbs, and other numbers?
- Do you consider the condition of your overall health and not just your weight?
- Are you tempted to try fad diets to get quick results or are you pursuing long-term healthy eating?
- Do you punish yourself when you fail?
As you consider your current situation, look for small changes that you can make, such as eating out less or weeding out processed sugar, that you can use to set up beneficial eating routines and, ultimately, create healthy change.
Find a Fitness Routine
Exercising goes hand in hand with healthy eating. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can get in shape before your big day. You can kickstart the process by:
- Setting reasonable and achievable exercise goals.
- Finding a good rhythm that you can turn into a steady routine.
- Looking for a good fitness program that works for your particular body, interests, and circumstances.
- Making sure you’re getting plenty of cardio.
- Integrating squats, push-ups, and planks into your routine.
There are many benefits to exercising, such as reducing stress and helping you lose weight — although if you do drop a few pounds before the wedding, make sure to check if it changes your ring size or how you fit into your dress or suit.
Find a Sleeping Routine
Sleeping is an easy item to shove to the back burner. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, right? But sleeping is a critical part of your health, with the average adult requiring between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each day. As such, it should be routinely attended to. A few suggestions for ways to increase the quality and quantity of your sleep include:
- Setting a regular “sleep window,” such as going to sleep between 10 and midnight or getting up between 6 and 7 each morning.
- Making sure you only use your room (and especially your bed) for sleep.
- Avoiding blue light for an hour or two before you hit the sack.
If you can set up healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising routines throughout your engagement, you’ll be able to enter your marriage in excellent physical condition.
Don’t Forget Self-Improvement
Right along with physical health, it’s also important to address your emotional and mental well-being. You can do this in through a variety of different activities and routines during your engagement, such as:
- Challenging and orienting yourself with a quality self-improvement book. Look for a good topic such as communication or emotional intelligence to help you develop your ability to cohabitate with someone else.
- Studying yourself to learn more about how you operate. For instance, are you a morning person or an evening person? An introvert or an extrovert?
- Setting up a morning routine to help you gain mental clarity, focus, and serenity before you start each day.
- Working on developing a healthy desire to always be learning and developing, even when things are going well.
As you work on self-improvement, remember that everything takes time. Never give up on yourself, but rather focus on bringing positive, improvement-focused energy to the table each day of your engagement.
Setting the Stage Before Your Big Day
Your engagement is a busy, exciting time, and it’s rightfully focused on the future. However, it’s essential that, throughout all of the bustle, you don’t lose sight of the here and now.
The period before your nuptials is an ideal time to create healthy routines, work on self-improvement, and generally set the stage to start your new married life on the best foot possible.