For many, a sign of love or affection comes neatly wrapped up with a bow— and a really large price tag. It’s bouquets of flowers, shiny diamonds and fancy dinners. It’s nice and all, and probably makes your friends jealous. It makes you happy in the moment. But what about the morning after? And the day after that?

The reality is that true happiness can never be boxed and or wrapped.

Flashy gifts can’t compare to the small, personal moments you can share with someone. A relationship built upon these gestures will be successful. Trust me when I say: the small stuff really matters in a relationship.

For example, do you:

  • Make your partner a cup of tea in the morning?
  • Notice when they’ve had a hard day and then make them dinner to try to bring their stress levels down?
  • Bring them home little presents from time to time “just because”?
  • Kiss them goodnight on the forehead?

Notice my intention wasn’t to come up with 10 good ideas. Bad ideas count too! Just 10 ideas, no matter how good or bad. Every day.

Over those 30 days, my thinking evolved. I gained clarity about the project and my writing about it over time as I paid attention.

We’re all aware of the knowing/doing gap, but for me it’s not so simple. “Just do it” sounds good, but too often I just do it for a short while because I haven’t grounded the habit. I see this method as a way of laying the groundwork for the doing.

All of the important action we take begins with intention. We don’t just wake up one day and say “I’m going to start the exercise program now.” Or, if we do, the effort is likely to be short-lived.

We begin to stew about something, sometimes for years, before we actually begin. As we stew, we get clearer on what the doing will look like and what will be required. This is a way of slowly speeding up the stewing process.

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