Daily strategies to move from knowing to being

Day 1

Begin with gratitude

As you awake in the morning, take the first few minutes to think about what you love about your partner. Stay with that thought and reminiscence about the good times in your relationship. It could be the first time you met, the first time you saw your partner smile or a favorite song that the two of you have. Now, set your intention to go into your day with that loving feeling. It may not last all day but the fact that you did it first thing in the morning will help make it become a habit. 

Day 2

Manage your mind

This can also be known as meditation. Choose a space in your house where you will not be disturbed. Ideally the space should be clean and clutter free. Once your space is ready, sit down in a cross-legged position and gently rest your hands on your knees. Relax, gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Next bring your attention to your breath. Slowly inhale and exhale for a minimum of 10 minutes. Try this in the morning before you start your day. This helps calm the mind.

Day 3

This is your life

First, remind yourself of the gratitude exercise you did on Day 1. Think about what you truly love about your…

Read more: 7 Days to Make a Change in Your Relationship

The 4 Habits That Keep Relationships Strong

"The one who is meant for you encourages you to be your best, but still loves and accepts you at your worst." Marc Chernoff

Loving your partner for the person they are
Maybe you wish your partner would chat it up with your friends without being prompted or put the cap on the toothpaste. But, their inability to notice crumbs on the counter may stem from the laid-back personality that drew you to them in the first place. One of the things I've noticed with happy couples is they have stopped trying to change one another and have learned to accept one another. They try to focus on their partner's strengths and not their weaknesses.

Framing your demands as favors
Whether you want your partner to take the kids to school or help cook dinner, your partner will be more likely to change their behavior if they feel like they'll get relationship brownie points. Instead of telling your partner, ask your partner. Make sure to let your partner know how happy it makes you when they help with dinner or the kids. Everyone wants to make their partner feel happy.

Focusing on the positive
Unhappy couples feel stuck, they focus on the negative about their partner. If you are always looking for what your partner does wrong, then you will always find it. Start looking for what your…

Read more: The 4 Habits That Keep Relationships Strong



Is it time to check-in? What happened to my dreams? What happened to our dreams? Is it too late?

When is the last time you spent talking to your partner about their life dreams? Do you know your partner's life dreams? If the answer is no, then it's time for a talk. And, yes, dreams can change. We live in a fast-paced world and can get caught up in the busyness. Not only can we forget what our partner's dreams are, we can forget what our own dreams are.

Take a sincere interest in your partner's dreams. Know every detail of their dreams and their plans to make their life dreams come true. It's important to validate one another about your dreams. Start by accepting each other's influence even if you thing their dreams sound unrealistic. This is also known as, compromise. All dreams are important, regardless of how big or small they may seem. And, this doesn't mean you give up on your own dreams.

Now, it's time to start creating shared meaning in your relationship. There is no time better than the present to start creating shared dreams for your relationship. That is why the present is a "present." Set aside time in the New Year to discuss your own dreams and how you can support one another, and at the same time create shared dreams. Remember, each person in the relationship gets a turn being the listener and the speaker.

When you start the conversation it's important to create a plan that will build rituals around your shared dreams and also discuss the legacy you would like to leave behind. It's important to be flexible and accepting of one another's dreams. Not only will this nurture the friendship in the relationship it will also build love and respect.

Read more: The Importance of Keeping the Dream Alive

Couples Math

Find your inner flirt. I often hear couples complain that their relationship is boring and they feel stuck. They miss the passion. I usually ask how the beginning of the relationship was. Are they still dating and having fun together? This is very important. Remember to spend magical time with one another.

Break this into "The Magic Five and One-half Hours a Week." Don't part in the morning without knowing one important fact about your partner's day. Kiss for a minimum of six seconds before departing for the day from one another. Two minutes a day x five working days = 10 minutes.

When reuniting at the end of the day have another six second kiss and the stress reducing conversation that lasts 10 minutes. Make sure to give support to one another and listen to one another. Twenty minutes a day x five days = 1 hour 40 minutes.

Find some way every day to genuinely communicate appreciation to your partner. This should be five minutes a day x seven days = 35 minutes.

Play with one another. Kiss, hold, grab and touch each other. Make sure to kiss one another before going to sleep. Make the six-second kiss last, five minutes a day x seven days = 35 minutes.

Go out on a date think of great questions to ask your partner.…

Read more: Couples Math

What's Wrong with Being Single?

"It's nothing personal," he says "it's really not you it's me I just need some time to figure things out." "This is not the first time I have heard this," said my client.

One of the great things about being single is the independence that comes with it. Take this time to make your own decisions and learn not to rely on others for approval.

I know some people think there is nothing worse than being single. Where does this come from, many clients have asked me. And, I often ask them to answer their own question. When did they start feeling this way and where did it come from? We are starting to see a change in our society it has been reported that 49% of the United States is single. We see single people living a carefree life in many commercials with a nice car and nice clothes. But, after working as a Marriage and Family Therapist I find this really isn't always the case.

Many of the single people I work with complain being single is not all it's cracked up to be and wonder if they would ever find the love of their life and live happily ever after. There can be a lot said for singledom, after all, it is a right of passage. This is a time to…

Read more: What's Wrong with Being Single?

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94404

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