“If he really loved me, he’d make more effort to be home on time.”
“If she really loved me, she’d put me first instead of always saying yes to everyone and everything except me.”
It’s human nature to measure our partner’s love for us in terms of their ability to change their habits for us.
But, if there’s one thing that I have learned in my fifteen-year career as a habit coach, it’s that changing our habits has surprisingly little to do with our motivation or willpower. There is a ton of research from Stanford University to suggest that though most people rely on willpower to change their habits, that this is the wrong way to go about it. You can watch Kelly McGonigal’s inspiring TedTalk on the subject, but it comes down to the neurological fact that willpower is a rather limited resource and that if we depend on it for sustainable habit change, our chances of success are small. 88% of all habit attempts fail, even if it concerns changing habits we are really passionate about. 78% of patients, who suffered a severe heart attack, are back to their unhealthy habits one year after their initial scare. And this is regardless of the fact that they are very motivated to stay alive! It would be silly to say to them: ‘If you really loved life, you would be able to change your fitness and diet habits’. Often their love of life got them in this situation in the first place!
What these patients need, is not willpower, because considering it’s a limited resource that is required in many other domains of our daily life as it is, it’s not a safe bet to count on it. So when it comes to changing our own habits or the habits of our partner, let’s stop thinking in terms of ‘If he/she really wants to or loves me, he/she will change…’ and instead look at how habit change really works.
Avoid the willpower depletion trap by beginning with small steps. Stanford professor BJ Fogg has demonstrated with his research that you can dramatically increase your chances of installing a new habit by starting with tiny habits and then building up from there.
So instead of asking your boyfriend to always be home on time, ask him to send you a text at 5pm to let you know when he will make it home. This small habit can eventually have a huge impact, when your boyfriend becomes more aware of this daily bad habit of always starting something new when it’s actually about time to be leaving the office.
And instead of asking your wife to say no more often to others (which will probably be very difficult), ask her to not say yes immediately and consult with your before she does.
People often set themselves up for failure by not being specific enough in when they will perform their new habit. They tell themselves things like ‘It’s true, I should put my husband first more often’, but once absorbed by their daily life, their existing habits take over and they forget about the new habit (because it’s not a habit yet) until the next marital discussion. Define a concrete trigger that builds on an already existing habit and that can be specified in an ‘After I… I will…’ statement. ‘Every night, after I turn off the lights, I will turn around to kiss my wife and tell her I love her and what I appreciated about her that day’.
New habits are formed, because we experience some kind of reward whilst performing them. Many people drink coffee, because they experience some kind of reinforcement: the smell, the caffeine boost, the break,… We continue habits because they are pleasurable. So, encourage your partner by reinforcing the small steps, however tiny, in the right direction instead of focusing on the big leaps that he or she isn’t successful in yet. For a basic introduction on how habits are built through the power of rewards, watch this short and entertaining video by Charles Duhigg, the author of ‘The Power of Habit’.
We hope that with these simple rules, you will be successful at building those relationship-enhancing habits that will nourish your relationship or that you will become better at supporting your partner in building theirs!
Good luck with those small habits that can have huge impact on your relationship when practiced on a daily basis.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog and I would love to hear what you think. Do you think these little habits could improve your relationship? Just click on the comment box below and share away your thoughts!
For some decades now the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry are telling us that saturated fats and cholesterol are to blame for everything from cardiovascular disease (heart problems, stroke etc.) to Alzheimer’s.
New research however is constantly proving them wrong and shows us that it’s very important to eat enough dietary fat every day.
Eating fats on daily bases is necessary to maintain healthy testosterone levels. About 35 to 40% of our daily energy intake should come from fats. But the ratio between different types of fatty acids is important.
There are 3 groups of fatty acids:
Here are some data:
So it's pretty clear that you have to eat quite some fats to increase your baseline testosterone levels and more specifically saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Don't be afraid of getting heart diseases or gaining weight from eating fats, those myths have been debunked by science many times!
The only type of fats I want to warn you about are trans fats. A high consumption of trans fats is directly correlated with cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues. Trans fats are uncommon in nature but are industrially produced and used in f.e. margarine, snacks, baked goods, etc. Try to avoid them as much as you can!
One of my favourite scenes from The Simpsons is the one with Groundkeeper Willie's epic quote: Grease me up woman!
How about you? Do you use your culinary oils only for culinary purposes? ;)
Slip ´n slide peeps, see you next time!
Article by Tom Van Biesen (Osteopath, Physiotherapist)
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Neuroscientist Barry Komisaruk and colleagues studied the mechanism underlying sexual arousal at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. They discovered that there is more than one route to orgasm and that there might be a novel type of consciousness.
Over 30 areas in the brain are activated during an orgasm, but Komisaruk was particularly interested in the increased activation of the prefrontal cortex ( PFC ) which for example is involved in aspects of consciousness, personality expression, decision making and moderating social behaviour.
They found that the same brain areas were activated with both real and imagined clitoral touches, but surprisingly they saw that the PFC showed more activation with the imagined touches than with the real ones. The PFC might be playing a key role in creating a physiological response from imagination alone. This process is also called “top-down” control: the direct regulation by the brain of physiological functions.
Another study however, by Janniko Georgiadis and colleagues at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, showed that the PFC, and especially the left orbifrontal cortex ( OFC ), “switched off” during orgasm. The difference was that in Komisaruk’s study the orgasm was self-stimulated (imagination was involved) and in the second study it was achieved with a partner’s help.
Georgiadis thinks that this deactivation may be an example of an altered state of consciousness, a state of “letting go”. And that reaching this state of “letting go” is necessary to climax. This could be very interesting for individuals who experience problems with orgasming.
Scientists hope that further research will offer more insight into how we might use thought alone to control physical sensations such as pain. Several brain areas are activated with both pain sensations and orgasms.
A typical example of top-down control is the placebo effect: you believe you take a real pill and it makes you feel better. According to Kenneth Casey from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor people with chronic pain could relieve their symptoms by using high-level mental processes to modulate what they physically feel.
Interesting stuff that maybe some day might explain why the line between pain and pleasure is sometimes very thin... ;) . Love hard & bite gently...
by Tom Van Biesen (Osteopath, Physiotherapist)Subscribe To Goachi Magazine
Did you know that their our ways to be more attractive to the opposite sex? Good news for the guys! Follow these 6 scientifically proven methods and discover how to become a "lady magnet".
A study by researchers in Australia shows that women prefer men with heavy stubble. Full beards and heavy stubble edged out light stubble and the clean-shaven look.
"The scruffier your beard, the sharper you need to dress." ~Ashton Kutcher
A Canadian study in 2011 found that women find men less attractive when they are smiling compared to when they take on swaggering or brooding poses. How is your social media ratio? Do you give them a like when they brood or smile?
Everybody knows that most women love dogs, but there is even better news. Women love men with dogs even more! Researchers found that dogs augment prosocial behaviours and serve as "chick magnets".
Basically women are attracted to men when they were red. There is no way around it. In the animal kingdom and in many cultures red is a signal of male status, and females show a mating preference for high status males. Elliot EJ and other researchers proved in a series of 7 experiments that women perceive men to be more attractive and sexually desirable when seen on a red back ground and in red clothing. These findings indicate that color not only has aesthetic value but can carry meaning and impact psychological functioning in subtle, important, and provocative ways.
Nicolas Guéguen did an interesting experimental field study back in 2010. A male confederate in a bar was instructed to tell (or not to tell) funny jokes to two other male confederates. A few minutes later, after the other two confederates left, the first male confederate asked a female who was near his table and who had been listening to his funny jokes for her phone number. The humour before was associated with greater compliance with the male's request for her phone number and with a higher positive evaluation of the male. Know any great jokes? Leave your best jokes in the comments below and inspire men with some good "pick up" jokes.
When you first meet a "potential" partner they might be vigilant and a bit cautious of you because in the end you are still a stranger to them. Make them feel comfortable and help them get their guard down. Dennis and Stel (2011) suggest this requires a vigilant nonverbal style, defined as:
When your partner's body language start to change they will lean in to you more, make more eye contact and smile.
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Do you also need caffeine in the morning? Daily millions of people rely on coffee to increase wakefulness, combat fatigue and to improve concentration. But did you also know that caffeine might help fight erectile dysfunction?
More than 85% of adults and millions of people consume coffee, but little is known about its effects on erectile dysfunction (ED). Researchers from the University of Texas decided to investigate the association of caffeine intake and caffeinated beverages with ED and the results are good news for the "heavy users" amongst us. A few cups of coffee a day may help prevent ED. People who consume an average of 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction than peers who consume little or no caffeine. The study suggests that the correlation could be true because caffeine helps smooth muscles and arteries relax, increasing the blood flow.
"If it wasn't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever." ~David Letterman
Researchers found that men who took 85-303 mg/day (3rd and 4th quintiles of caffeine intake) were less likely to report ED compared to men in the lowest 1st quintile (0-7mg/day). This difference was also observed among overweight, obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men.
Yet be careful... these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies, so please don't start drinking liters of coffee a day to tackle your ED problem! Caffeine has its perks, but too much can cause problems too. Keep in mind that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That means you can have about 4 cups of coffee a day. I like my coffee, but I will stick to my Horny Goat Weed for my daily boost. ;)
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"I believe that Marrakech ought to be earned as a destination. The journey is the preparation for the experience. Reaching it too fast derides it, makes it a little less easy to understand." ~Tahir Shah
Well you know what? My girlfriend certainly earned it, so we booked some tickets and wondered of to Morocco for a 2 week adventure. My 7th time, her first...
My 7th time here and I love Marrakech and it's people even more! And this time it felt even better because I came with somebody very special to share this magical city with. Slowly I am getting to know my way around the labyrinth of shops and little streets in the old medina and that makes the whole experience even better! The old medina is a romantic place for lovers to wonder around and get lost and that was just what we were planning to do.
Weird how you get on a plane in Portugal and 1 1/2 hours later you arrive in a completely different world where you are greeted with big smiles and open arms. Never a boring moment here and I am happy I have my girlfriend here to share this memorable experience with!
So after dropping of our luggage and a welcome tea on the rooftop of the Riad we wondered of to Jamaa El Fna to absorb the atmosphere, smells, colours and noises of the market place in Marrakech's medina quarter (old city). Time to let the senses and feelings go wild!
"The spectacle of Jamma el Fna is repeated daily and each day it is different. Everything changes - voices, sounds, gestures, the public which sees, listens, smells, tastes, touches. The oral tradition is framed by one much vaster - that we can call intangible. The square, as a physical space, shelters a rich oral and intangible tradition." ~Juan Goytisolo
"A visit to Marrakech was a great shock to me. This city taught me color." ~Yves Saint Laurent
"...writing stories was always a bit like falling in love with a stranger and running off to Marrakech for a long weekend. It didn't have to be successful to be thrilling." ~Ann Patchett
On our last night of our 2 week adventure it was time to head back home, but first one more walk around Marrakech, but this time by night. It's amazing how such a hectic place during the day turns into a beautiful mixture of lights, shadows, doors and something magical and peaceful at night. I am still here and I miss Morocco already...Subscribe To Goachi Magazine
‘Our failure to notice the erotic side of our partner is often closely related to the unchanging environment in which we lead our daily lives’. – Alain de Botton in ‘How to think more about sex’.
About 6 years ago, my husband and I were enjoying a romantic weekend in Paris. That is, it was romantic until I kind of screwed it up by remarking to my husband who was running around the hotel room naked; ‘Honey, you butt is getting fat’. I know that sounds awful, but those were the words, so I can’t change them now. I don’t recall my husband responding immediately, but that evening in the restaurant, he decidedly said ‘I’m going to enjoy my steak with French fries and mayonaise now, but tomorrow I’m going to get serious about getting back in shape’. I remember feeling bad and it made me almost take back my words and reassure him that that didn’t change how sexy he was to me. But I’m glad I didn’t and that wouldn’t have been the truth either.
Because what happened after that weekend, was that my husband did get serious about living a healthier lifestyle and he inspired me while he was at it (irony was that my butt was fat too!!). Now, 6 years later, we enjoy working out together, eating healthy with the occasional indulgencies and we look and feel great. But what’s more important, is that this taking care of ourselves, has spread over to other areas. We pay more attention now to how we ‘present’ ourselves to each other, but more importantly to ourselves, in various domains of our lives. It’s about making very conscious choices about the kind of people we want to be and living our lives accordingly. We want to be people that are healthy and happy, that live in a home that feels sexy and cosy, and are a source of love and energy for our friends and family.
In a very profound way, it’s about being present and being aware of the way in which we are present. It’s changed the way we feel about ourselves and we are both convinced that that remark in Paris might have just saved our relationship or at least led to the kind of relationship we have now and love.
It’s a work in progress though and I admit, it takes effort to maintain that kind of focus and of course, sometimes we get off track. For example, there are periods where I am being consumed by work and fail at being ‘present’. Or the evenings when I’ve given all my energy to just about everyone else that day – colleagues, customers, family, and all my husband comes home to is a drained wife. Sometimes I try to fake it and pretend I’m the lovely wife who is happy to see him, but it’s useless, he sees right through me and the evening falls flat. I’ve come to learn that there are no short-cuts to a healthy life and relationship, it’s not about pretending, faking or forcing some kind of mantra. I’ve tried all that. It’s about being aware of the person you want to be and designing your life accordingly.
I follow 3 simple rules that I was inspired by from my good friend Leila and also philosopher and writer Alain de Botton:
Do this simple litmus test. If you would go into your bedroom right now, take a picture and put it on Pinterest, would anyone repin it? If not, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to look and feel at lot sexier as lovers. Repeat the same exercise for your bathroom, living room and kitchen. And think about what you want them to represent to you and adjustments you want to make.
Amuse yourself with another little fun test. Take a look at our new Pinterest Board ‘Sexy at Home’ and ask yourself if you still put in the effort to look and feel sexy for yourself and your partner.
Well, do you? If you don’t, then ask yourself the question: if you enjoy it at your favorite restaurant and you light them when you have friends over for dinner, why don’t you put in the same effort for yourself, your partner and your family?
I hope you already apply these 3 simple things to keep the romance in your life, but if you don’t, they are 3 small and easy to do things that will have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself, your life and your relationship.
Enjoy. Indulge. Be happy.
Love, SarahSubscribe To Goachi Magazine
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – René Brown (Research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work)
I spend a lot of time thinking about the habits that make our lives more fulfilling, productive and easier to meander. And it’s no big secret that my biggest inspiration is lifestyle author and thinker Timothy Ferriss, who interviews top performers to find out what their key habits are. One of my favorite interviews is the one about the habit of ‘vulnerability’ with vulnerability researcher René Brown (view her Ted Talk) that was viewed more than 21 million times). And it made me think about what vulnerability is and what the role of vulnerability is in relationships.
In the interview, Tim asks René the fair enough question:
Tim: ‘How do you have vulnerability co-exist with strong masculine virtues/traits? A lot of my female friends complain to me (…) that they can only find guys to date and they are looking for men to date.’
René: ‘Show me a woman who can sit with a man in real fear and vulnerability, I will show you a woman who’s done her own work around vulnerability and doesn’t derive her power or status from that man. You show me a man who can sit with a woman who’s in real fear and vulnerability and I’ll show you a man who’s done his own work around vulnerability and doesn’t derive his power from being the all-knowing and all-fixing.’
I loved her answer! And it really made me think about the role of vulnerability in my own relationship. It made me think of a comment my husband made to me not that long ago. It was the last night of our summer vacation and he was sharing his feelings of sadness that he felt every time when a vacation came to an end, how it felt like the slipping away of time and beautiful times coming to an end. I was trying to cheer him up by reminding him of how nice it would be to get back home and all the exciting things ahead. He responded with: ‘Why is it so hard for you to deal with my sadness?.’ And it was true, I do have a hard time dealing with his sadness.
Being vulnerable I learned from René Brown is an act of courage, which comes from the French word ‘coeur’, which means heart. Courage is the act of showing your heart, not knowing what the consequences will be, but being brave enough to speak from the heart anyways. My husband was speaking from the heart and I had responded from the mind. Not because I couldn’t accept his vulnerabilities, but because without a doubt I need to accept my own.
Luckily it wouldn’t be The Tim Ferriss Show, if I hadn’t also learned on how to build vulnerability and courage. It starts from a place of accepting yourself as being ‘good enough’. I’m sure that there’s still a large portion of my inner dialogue that keeps telling myself that I’m not good enough (yet). Not a good enough wife. Not a good enough friend. Not a good enough professional. And certainly not a good enough cook (this one is most definitely true though). But I’ve come to understand that courage does not come from a place of not feeling good enough. It comes from a place of feeling good enough, but wanting to do better. And that’s a big difference.
And if in a relationship both partners meet from a place of feeling good enough as they are, enormous potential for growth is freed. It is from this place of feeling good enough that you can allow vulnerability and find the courage to change.
To all our Goachi readers, we just want you to know that you are imperfect but good enough and worthy of love!
If you liked this article, you will definitely love René Brown’s #1 New York’s Times bestseller book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead’.
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“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” – René Bro
According to Dr. Paul Kelley, a clinical research associate at Oxford University's Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, it does. The circadian rhythms are the changes in our body in relation to sunlight. They control every system and every cell in our body. And they change with age. It’s all about balancing the cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Dr. Kelley did some research about the best time to wake up and have sex according to peoples age. These were his findings:
Although people in their twenties feel like having sex all the time, they should set their clock at 15:00h because then their body experiences a spike in energy. He advises waking up at 9:30h ( when orexin, the hormone that wakes you up, overrides melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleep ) and going to sleep at 01:00h.
8:20h is the perfect time to make love because the sunlight boosts testosterone in men and women by stimulating the hypothalamus ( hormone regulating organ in the brain ). People in their thirties should wake up around 8:10h and go to bed around 23:40h. Young parents are advised a power nap around 15:40h.
The best time for sex changes to 22:20 for people in their forties because the release of oxytocin, the “love” hormone, helps them rest better during the night. They shoud try to go to bed before midnight and get up around 7:50 h.
They should get it on a little earlier, around 22:00 h, and go to sleep soon afterwards, around 22:30 h. From this age on the liver function slows down so be carefull with drinking alcohol before bedtime .
The best time to enjoy some love making is around 20:00 h. The release of oxytocin will help to relax before an early bedtime, around 22:00 h. The best time to get up in the morning is around 6:30 h, to enjoy an early breakfast.
These scientific guidelines are well worth trying, but of course making love is also about spontaneity and doing it whenever you feel like it.
As the Scottish say: no rules, great sex! ;)
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A kiss can be sexy, slow, fast, sweet, smooth, warm, simple, wet, dry or simply an unexpected touch... While kissing may feel oh-so-good, it also has important health benefits! Did you know that kissing can do wonders for your health?
It's something we all should do more often so the world would be a healthier and happier place! Kissing triggers a whole spectrum of physiological processes that boost up your immunity, make you healthier and reinforce the bond between you and your partner. Start kissing away and keep the doctor and psychologist away!
"Kiss me, and you will see how important I am." Sylvia Plath
When you kiss your blood vessels start to dilate, which may help lower your blood pressure.
"The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss." Jarod Kintz.
Kissing decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain. Kissing has also been measured to lower anxiety. Other studies have shown that kissing has similar benefits to meditation. I am going to try to substitute one of my 30 minutes meditation sessions with a 30 minute kissing session to test out these findings!
"Make me immortal with a kiss." Christopher Marlowe
When you start kissing your blood-vessels start to dilate which helps relieve pain. Kissing has been shown to help reduce headaches or pain caused by menstrual cramps. Kissing also reduces pain through our saliva which contains a kind of anaesthetic.
"But because two can play at this game, I stand on tiptoe and kiss his cheek. Right on his bruise." Suzanne Collins
Kissing triggers your brain to release a happy elixir of feel-great chemical like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These "love" chemicals make us calm down and feel good. Physchotherapist Arthur Janov says that "Oxytocin is the hormone of love and the better the oxytocin levels, the more capacity for love." He found that people who cannot commit in a love relationship are low in oxytocin.
"A kiss is a secret which takes the lips for the ear." Edmond Rostand
When you kiss saliva production increases in your mouth, which helps wash away plaque on your teeth that can lead to cavities. Kissing also improves our immunity by releasing antibodies that kill bacteria.
"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, Tomorrow I'll miss you." Paul McCartney
Keep the kisses coming! The cocktail of "love" chemicals released by the brain helps promote togetherness!
Interestingly, kissing activates the same areas in your brain linked to addiction and reward! According to the researchers who released these findings: "KISSING may have evolved as a way to stimulate brain systems associated with sex drive, romantic love, and attachment so that humans are triggered to seek a variety of potential mates, then focus attention on one for mating, and finally be able to tolerate that mate long enough to raise a child as a team." Interesting way of stating things!!
Our lips are densely packed with sensory neurons, which are stimulated by the touch of another's lips. This triggers the release of sebum, which is thought to play a role in bonding. Reasons enough to start kissing more?
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"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous." Ingrid Bergman