In the overview, we talked about the 10-minute habit we’re going to try to create, and the areas of focus.

Let’s talk about the details of implementation now.

What I’d like to do is give this habit the best chances of success, so I’m going to share some steps that I’ve found to work with any habits. Then we’ll talk about a couple of areas that are important for this particular habit — the weekly focuses, and having a conversation with whoever you’re going to work on relationships with.

The Plan

Today you should take a few minutes to decide on the following (and write down in this month’s habit plan):

  1. Commit to a 10-minute daily session: In your mind, be committed to doing a daily session of just 10 minutes with someone else. You have to be really committed to making this habit happen, or you won’t stick with it. So you should think about how important relationships are to you, and whether they’re worth working on. If they are, be fully committed. Make this a priority.
  2. Figure out when: What time of day will you do this session? Having a consistent time is best. You’ll probably need to talk to whoever you’re going to work with (more on this below) in order to find a common time. Write it down once you’ve decided.
  3. What will your trigger be? The trigger is the event that you’ll tie the habit to (read more about triggers). What thing in your daily schedule can you tie your 10-minute session to? Write it down.
  4. Reminders: When the trigger happens, you should have reminders set up so you won’t forget. If it’s when you wake up, have physical reminders around your bed. Have phone alarms that go off. Don’t allow yourself to forget! And when the trigger happens, do the habit without fail.
  5. Commit to accountability: Find a group or an accountability partner today to commit to — you should commit to doing this habit every day and checking in with them daily. This is a key to making the habit stick — you should be fully committed to this group or accountability partner. Find a small team in Slack if you don’t have one yet, and check in with them regularly.

Please decide on these things today, and write them down in a habit plan that you’ll update each week after the weekly review.

Talk to the Person You’re Going to Work With

This month’s habit is unique in that you can’t do it alone — you need to work on a relationship with another person. What other person? It can be your significant other, a child, a parent, a sibling, some other close relative or friend, a colleague or peer — anyone you want to improve your relationship with.

That means you need to have a conversation with them, asap. Share the articles in this challenge with them (copy & paste, or let them read it on your computer or phone), and talk to them about how this is a great opportunity to work on your relationship, which is important to you. This doesn’t imply that there are problems or that the relationship isn’t already good — it just means you want to nurture it, which is crucial to keeping any relationship alive and thriving. And if there are problem areas, it’s good to work on those to make the relationship even better.

What do you need to talk to them about? First, about your intention to do this module with them, and why. Next, about when you’ll do it — find a common time that will work for both of you. Third, about the different focuses that you’ll be working on together (below), and how the sessions will go (also below).

This might seem awkward or silly to some people, but look at it as a fun way to practice some key skills that we all need to practice.

But what if you don’t have anyone to practice with? I say you find people at work, or in your neighborhood, or in your house, and practice with them without telling them. You can just practice each of these skills by talking to people, but without telling them you’re practicing, and that’s OK too if you’re embarrassed to admit what you’re practicing.

The Weekly Focuses

Each week, we’ll focus on a different area:

  1. Week 1: Explore what comes up (bringing awareness).
  2. Week 2: Stay open in the middle of stress.
  3. Week 3: Praise & gratitude practice.
  4. Week 4: Give what you’re craving to receive.

These are all really important areas, and each week will be awesome.

The Daily Session

Every day, you’ll have a daily Mindful Relationships session. Basically, you’ll just be spending time together doing something you both enjoy. What might that be? Well, it can be taking a walk or going for a run, having tea or coffee together, cooking dinner, working out or doing yoga, decluttering, sitting in a park, knitting … anything where you can do something fun and also talk to each other. Just for 10 minutes (though feel free to go longer if you are having fun).

At the beginning of each session, pause to take a few breaths and focus on your breath mindfully, coming in and going out. Follow the breath with your intention. Just a few breaths, not any kind of long meditation.

Then take a brief moment to think about your intention for this session — to be mindful, to appreciate this person, to improve your relationship, to do whatever this week’s focus is. This will help you align your mind as you get started.

Then you spend time together, but you should try to be mindful of your thoughts, your body, and the other person’s words and actions, as you do the activity and spend time together. Try to really pay attention to them. Really bring your mind into the present moment, rather than thinking about past things, or things you have to do later, or what you’re going to say next.

Finally, when you’re done, go to your accountability group or partner and report on how you did for the day.

That’s it! It’s not a difficult plan — just 10 minutes a day, with reminders and accountability, and a review in the forums at the end of each week.

Let’s get started!