This sensual love building trigger is one of the most powerful exercises of all because it allows you to form a deep emotional connection-- simply by communicating how you feel with one, simple question. "What can I do for you?" It may be that your partner wants to cuddle on the couch, or have wild, passionate sex, or just eat a meal together without interruption and talk about their day. It doesn't matter what they might want. Remember, this exercise is about communicating your love, so that your partner will feel so insanely drawn to you (thanks to your magnetizing likeability) that you'll ultimately get what YOU want from the relationship. Imagine getting a greater sense of connection from your partner. There are additional strategies you can use to successfully schedule and do new activities. This section offers tips to boost the likelihood that you will plan them and then follow through on them. It's common to have a goal that reads something like this: "Spend more time with my family." But you may get stuck, feel overwhelmed, and procrastinate on such a goal. Why? Because it's nebulous. It is more helpful to take a general goal and then break it down further into concrete, manageable action items you can do right away. Here are some examples of action items that are consistent with the goal to spend more time with family. You can create a similar table in your journal or use the downloadable form to practice making your goals more specific. Vast amounts of data suggest that imagining yourself performing actions enhances your actual performance. Athletes and musicians regularly practice "in their minds." Marsha M. Linehan, a guru of clinical psychology and expert with patients who get sidetracked by overwhelming emotions, calls this strategy "coping ahead." You can cope ahead by imagining yourself enacting the steps you lay out on your schedule while being realistic about barriers that may make it hard to follow through. In your mind, see yourself coping with those obstacles. For every new activity that you put on your schedule, try it out first by practicing the follow-through in your mind. There are four behavioral principles that you can apply to scheduling and following through on goal activities. These strategies are like extra credit on a hard exam.

Try them out--you won't lose any points for trying, and it's likely the payoff will be high. Use Preferred Activities to Get Those You Dread Done: One of my favorite behavioral principles is the Premack Principle, which refers to using your preferred, high-frequency activities to increase the likelihood that you will engage in new or less desired goal activities. Here's an example of the principle at play. After a long day at work, I come home and still need to take care of some time-sensitive emails, which of course I'm not in the mood to do. This is my less desirable activity. It's a more desirable activity to sit on the couch with my husband and watch a show that makes us crack up. I apply the Premack Principle by making my TV watching contingent upon spending an hour finishing up those work emails. In other words, I don't let myself get on that couch until the last email is complete. Only then do I enjoy my highly desired TV time. Set Up Routine Rewards: Positive reinforcement is the little nugget of reward that keeps you trucking along toward your goals. I highly encourage you to plan realistically and build in reinforcements for yourself. Reinforcement can be incredibly mundane--your brain won't mind. I often spend hours writing, so my most effective strategy is to set the timer on my phone for 35 minutes. I write for that allotted amount of time with no e-mail checking, and my cell-phone silenced and turned over. Then, when the alarm goes off, that is my planned time to reward myself: I check my email, make a hot beverage, stretch my legs, or take a bathroom break. I told you, rewards can be incredibly mundane. But they work because they help me sit down for another work period since I know another rewarding break will be waiting for me in just 35 minutes. While it can be tempting to set a grueling goal, it is unrealistic because you'll simply feel overwhelmed and procrastinate. Try a more middle-of-the-road approach by rewarding yourself for progress along the way. Make the Aversive Less Aversive: If you're depressed, it's easy to imagine that an activity you have to take care of will take high amounts of effort and be highly unpleasant.

That's the depression talking. Try to override the temptation to let a TRAP get in the way by making the task slightly more enjoyable or, if not more enjoyable, less aversive. Can you soften your environment to make the job feel just a little easier? For example, when I'm stuck working on long reports at work, I kick off my shoes and play good music in the background. Recall that Principle 2 is filled with examples for finding ways to ease into, or reframe, tasks that you don't look forward to doing, such as waking up and getting out of bed in the morning. Strengthen Your Cues: You can be intentional about setting the cues for any activity. Let's say you want to cultivate a habit of reading rather than watching TV when you unwind at night. To be successful, you can strengthen the cues that will help you read. Where do you usually watch TV? The couch. Okay, so then you need to find a new place where you can sit and read. How about the recliner next to the couch? Differentiating the cues is important, so the first time you start your reading habit--with great intention--sit in the recliner and read. When you read the next night, read in the recliner and not on the couch. Keep repeating at the same time, in the same location. Eventually, you will likely find that it's natural to situate yourself in your chair and pick up your book at night to read. Then there was the discovery that yet another high-school friend of mine died by suicide. Grace was a dark haired, down-to-earth girl, who had the most beautiful blue eyes I'd ever seen. They were gleaming aquamarine with amber flecks, and framed by long, thick-set black eyelashes. When Grace smiled, she was unforgettable with those eyes.

I remember voting for her for "best eyes" back in high school--and I remember sitting next to her in Mrs. Gordon's English class. Finding out about her suicide was a shock. It felt so out of con-text from the girl I knew. But that's what depression does. It deforms and distorts thinking so much that you become unrecognizable to yourself and others. Rounding out these personal experiences were the suicides of notable individuals in the 1970s and 1980s. Christine Chubbuck4 was not someone I knew personally, but the live-television broadcast of her suicide in 1974 was grist for the gossip mills. I didn't witness it, but the sensationalism about her death found its way into every conversation. When the film Network,5 a movie about a news broadcaster who threatened to kill himself on live television, came out several years later, the tragic story of Chubbuck's on-air suicide scraped the bottom of the gossip barrel again. Another prominent suicide was that of British stage-and-screen star Rachel Roberts.6 Her face was a familiar one to me, as I'd seen her in a variety of great movies when I was growing up. The explicit details of her suicide were particularly upsetting to me. It was reported that she ingested poison and suffered terribly before dying. Then there were the two members, Peter Ham and Tom Evans, of one of my favorite British bands, Badfinger, who died by suicide several years apart from each other Another notable suicide that made the rounds in the news was that of Trent Lehman, who played Butch on the popular television show Nanny and the Professor. He hanged himself from a school-yard fence at age twenty.8 The warm glow of the television might actually be bumming you out. A pair of researchers looking at what happy people do differently from unhappy people reviewed data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which tracks changing social characteristics and attitudes through personal interviews over a span of thirty-five years. These researchers looked at information from more than 45,000 people on what they did in their free time. Happiness was rated based on respondents' self-reports. They found that happy people reported being more engaged in social activities, religion, and newspaper reading (okay, so the research is a few years old). The only activity that correlated negatively with happiness was television viewing--meaning that people who watched more hours of television in an average sitting were more likely to report that they were unhappy.

While this research does not prove that television viewing causes unhappiness (unhappy people may use television to escape from reality), it does show a correlation between the two. Get away from your TV and call some friends. Review your viewing habits, and cut back on the hours spent streaming. Maximize the joy you get from making a purchase by putting a savings jar in your house and note what the money will be going toward. Open-concept kitchens are all the rage, but if you're trying to cut back on how much you're eating in order to enhance your overall wellness and health, you might want to add back a few of those walls. Research has found that dining areas' floor plans have an impact on the amount of food we consume. In a comparison study of open and closed floor plans, an architecture researcher and a design researcher found that closed areas resulted in fewer servings being consumed, presumably because diners could not see the extra food that was available. Add a divider screen, if not a wall, between your kitchen and dining areas. A long commute can take a serious toll on your level of happiness. Research in Sweden found that happiness ratings decreased the longer the commute. It was also found that commuting by walking or biking was correlated to higher happiness ratings than having to rely on public transit or a car. When choosing where to purchase or rent your home, give extra weight to the length of the commute. We're piling our minds with garbage on top of garbage and, as a result, everything we're thinking, feeling, saying, and doing is complete garbage. If we don't put value in, we're not getting value out. If we put garbage in, we get garbage out. If we put stupid in, we get stupid out. If we put ignorance in, we get ignorance out. It's really THAT simple - just like if you eat garbage food every day, your body and health reflects garbage eating habits and choices. You're a product of your environment - everything happening around you is entering your mind through your eyes and ears. It's automatic and you can't prevent it.