Enhance Communication with Your Partner

7 Ideas to Enhance Communication with Your Partner

Communication with Your Partner

Enhance communication with your partner. Relationships are often easy to manage in the beginning. The anticipation, newness, fun, and passion are all the fuel a new connection needs to power it forward. However, these things tend to wane over time. The relationship requires more than the things that fueled the initial attraction — especially if the interest is heavily driven by pulchritude. Without growth and marked progression, relationships tend to grow stale.

Communication becomes a crucial part of every relationship. Communication maintains and builds closeness. It also helps to avoid many of the misunderstandings and avoidable drama that plague many relationships. Without effective communication, it is virtually impossible to develop mutual expectations or to formulate and express how you feel with clarity.

If the communication with your partner is poor, it’s only a matter of time before the relationship suffers dramatically. The best time to enhance communication with your partner is before you need it. Attempting to develop communication skills in the heat of battle or during turbulent times is often a cyclopean endeavor that proves too much for most.  

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Use these strategies to enhance communication with your partner:

  1. Ask more questions. Questions are a powerful communication tool. They accomplish so much with so little effort.

    1. Questions show interest. By asking a question, you’re implying that you care. People like it when you demonstrate that you care. Asking questions also invites the other party to be open and communicate what they are feeling without feeling like they are imposing or pushy.

    1. Questions help to remove confusion and ambiguity. Rather than make assumptions and potentially create a more significant issue, ask a question and verify what is happening. There seems to be a natural human proclivity to make assumptions. Unfortunately, we tend to interpret and evaluate things based on our personal perspectives without considering the variations in background, personal experience, and more when making postulations. Instead of postulating what your partner is feeling, ask.

    1. Questions aren’t a lot of work. Just ask the question, be quiet, and listen. You can be quite the skilled conversationalist just by asking a couple of good questions. Asking good questions can make all of your relationships more rewarding. As a therapist and coach, my sessions with my clients are guided by the questions I ask. Much of what I get my clients to see is done by formulating the right questions and allowing them to figure out the solution.  

Enhance Communication with Your Partner
  1. Listen. Half of communication is listening. When it’s your partner’s turn to talk, listen. Most people don’t really listen. All they want to do is speak. You would be surprised at how often people listen only to prepare their responses. Listening is often viewed as simply waiting for another opportunity to talk, but this is a huge mistake. People are well aware whether you’re listening or just biding your time. One of the quickest ways to turn a relationship sour is to convince your mate that you are not listening to them. The feeling of being ignored can turn even the most likable person cold.

  2. Communicate your needs. Don’t make it difficult for your partner to know what you need from them. Tell them! There’s no reason to make it a secret. Your mate is not a mindreader. Make it easy for them to help you and contribute to your joy. I don’t believe in making other people responsible for your happiness, but a good mate will definitely contribute to it in the right situation.

    1. Communicating your needs is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your relationship. One of the greatest disruptors of relationships is unmet expectations. Don’t you think it is a bit difficult to meet expectations that haven’t been clearly communicated? It is hard to accomplish something you aren’t even aware that you are supposed to do.

  1. Spend more time together. It’s important to share some of the same experiences. It helps you to learn more about each other and gives you something to discuss. Shared experiences provide the opportunity for better bonding. What are some things that you both like to do? Find common ground as much as you can. The more you find yourself on common ground, the deeper the bond you will develop.

  2. Avoid assumptions. Assumptions unnecessarily create additional challenges in all relationships. It’s easier to be 100% certain than to guess. Assumptions lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If you’re not sure about something, ask.

  3. Address the situation rather than attack your partner. If your partner is doing something you don’t like, address what they are doing. This approach is much more effective than attacking your partner. No one wants to be attacked. It shuts down communication and creates animosity. Learn how to separate the action from the person. Always address the action rather than take an accusatory tone with your partner.

  4. Have fun together. Do fun activities that you both love. Do things together that are enjoyable. Communication is easier when everyone is having a good time. The more you enjoy someone’s company, the more you let your guard down and the less defensive you are. You’ll like each other more if you can have fun with each other. If all the time you spend together is miserable, your relationship and your communication will suffer.

Better communication with our partners is something that we know we need, but it’s not always obvious how to accomplish it. Relationships require work. If you are willing to invest the time, energy, and effort necessary to become a better communicator, you will build strong, lasting relationships.

Fortunately, the basics are easy to accomplish. Spend more meaningful time together, focus on being an excellent listener, and communicate your needs. These simple steps can enhance your relationship significantly.

A meaningful relationship is worth the effort. Make your communication with your partner a priority. We live in a world that is speeding up each day. It is easy for people to feel lost, alone, and unheard. When you communicate with your mate, you let them know they have a voice and that they matter.

How to Stop Procrastinating

How to stop procrastination

How to Stop Procrastinating ~ Overcoming the Habit of Delaying Important Tasks

by Content Staff | Courtesy of Mindtools | Commentary and Editing by Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.
How to Stop Procrastinating

Do you want to learn how to stop procrastinating? I often say procrastination is the thief of time but is also the thief of opportunity. Procrastination represents a type of arrogance that assumes that God/life owes you a second chance tomorrow to do what should have been done today. The windows of opportunity close — they are not forever!

There is a common phrase that says, “what’s for me is for me!” You have to be very careful with that statement because what’s for you is for you if you actively seize it. Nothing is guaranteed. Inactivity offers nothing but emptiness and frustrated hopes.

Are you a procrastinator? If you want more out of life, you will have to conquer the curse of procrastination. The good news is that you can do it.

It’s Friday afternoon and the clock is ticking. You’re working furiously to complete a task before the five o’clock deadline, while silently cursing yourself for not starting it sooner.

How did this happen? What went wrong? Why did you lose your focus?

Well, there were the hours that you spent re-reading emails and checking social media, the excessive “preparation,” the coffee breaks, and the time spent on other tasks that you could have safely left for next week.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone!

Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, according to researcher and speaker Piers Steel , 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can be sobering to realize just how much it can hold you back.

In this article and video, we look at why it happens, and we explore strategies for managing and prioritizing your workload more effectively.https://www.youtube.com/embed/TLsxJQ1Dn2Q?wmode=transparent

Click here  to view a transcript of this video.

Is Procrastination the Same as Being Lazy?

Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different.

Procrastination is an active process – you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness  suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.

Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier.

But giving in to this impulse can have serious consequences. For example, even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals.

If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases.

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How to Overcome Procrastination

As with most habits , it is possible to overcome procrastination. Follow the steps below to help you to deal with and prevent procrastination:

Step 1: Recognize That You’re Procrastinating

You might be putting off a task because you’ve had to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.

You may also be procrastinating if you:

  • Fill your day with low-priority tasks.
  • Leave an item on your To-Do list for a long time, even though it’s important.
  • Read emails several times over without making a decision on what to do with them.
  • Start a high-priority task and then go off to make a coffee.
  • Fill your time with unimportant tasks that other people ask you to do, instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
  • Wait to be in “right mood,” or wait for the “right time” to tackle a task.


Take our self-test quiz, Are You a Procrastinator? , to identify how much you procrastinate.

Step 2: Work Out WHY You’re Procrastinating

You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it.

For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of your job that you find more enjoyable.

Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome it because they use prioritized To-Do Lists  and create effective schedules . These tools help you to organize your tasks by priority and deadline.

Even if you’re organized, you can still feel overwhelmed by a task. Perhaps you have doubts about your ability and are worried about failing , so you put it off and seek comfort in doing work that you know that you’re capable of completing.

Some people fear success as much as failure. They think that success  will lead to them being swamped with requests to take on more tasks.

Surprisingly, perfectionists  are often procrastinators. Often, they’d rather avoid doing a task that they don’t feel they have the skills to do than do it imperfectly.

Another major cause of procrastination is poor decision-making. If you can’t decide what to do, you’ll likely put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing.


For some people, procrastination is more than a bad habit; it’s a sign of a serious underlying health issue. For example, ADHD , OCD , anxiety, and depression are associated with procrastination.

Also, research suggests that procrastination can be a cause of serious stress and illness. So, if you suffer from chronic or debilitating procrastination, one of these conditions could be to blame, and you should seek the advice of a trained professional.

Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies

Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. This means that you probably can’t break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practicing them, so try as many of the strategies, below, as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.

  • Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future.
  • Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.
  • Promise yourself a reward. If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a slice of cake or a coffee from your favorite coffee shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!
  • Ask someone to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind self-help groups. If you don’t have anyone to ask, an online tool such as Procraster can help you to self-monitor.
  • Act as you go. Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day.
  • Rephrase your internal dialog. The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do. This can make you feel disempowered and might even result in self-sabotage . However, saying, “I choose to,” implies that you own a project, and can make you feel more in control of your workload.
  • Minimize distractions . Turn off your email and social media, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!
  • Aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day! Get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will give you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable.


An alternative approach is to embrace “the art of delay.” Research shows that “active procrastination” – that is, deliberately delaying getting started on something so you can focus on other urgent tasks – can make you feel more challenged and motivated to get things done. This strategy can work particularly well if you are someone who thrives under pressure.

However, if you do decide to actively procrastinate, be sure to avoid putting your co-workers under any unnecessary, unpleasant and unwanted pressure!

If you’re procrastinating because you find a task unpleasant, try to focus on the “long game.” Research  shows that impulsive people are more likely to procrastinate because they are focused on short-term gain. Combat this by identifying the long-term benefits of completing the task. For instance, could it affect your annual performance review or end-of-year bonus?

Another way to make a task more enjoyable is to identify the unpleasant consequences of avoiding it. For instance, what will happen if you don’t complete the work? How might it affect your personal, team or organizational goals?

At the same time, it can be useful to reframe the task by looking at its meaning and relevance . This will increase its value to you and make your work more worthwhile. It’s also important to acknowledge that we can often overestimate the unpleasantness of a task. So give it a try! You may find that it’s not as bad as you thought, after all!

If you procrastinate because you’re disorganized, here are six strategies to help you get organized:

  1. Keep a To-Do List. This will prevent you from “conveniently” forgetting about those unpleasant or overwhelming tasks.
  2. Prioritize your To-Do List using Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle . This will enable you to quickly identify the activities that you should focus on, as well as the ones you can ignore.
  3. Become a master of scheduling  and project planning. If you have a big project or multiple projects on the go and you don’t know where to start, these tools can help you to plan your time effectively, and reduce your stress levels.
  4. Tackle the hardest tasks at your peak times . Do you work better in the morning or the afternoon? Identify when you’re most effective, and do the tasks that you find most difficult at these times.
  5. Set yourself time-bound goals . Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals, and will mean that you have no time for procrastination!
  6. Use task- and time-management apps. There are numerous apps designed to help you to be more organized, such as Trello  and Toggl, for example.

If you’re prone to delaying projects because you find them overwhelming, try breaking them down into more manageable chunks. Organize your projects into smaller tasks and focus on starting them, rather than on finishing them.

In his 2011 book, “The Procrastination Cure ,” Jeffery Combs suggests tackling tasks in 15-minute bursts of activity. Alternatively, you can create an Action Plan  to organize your project. Start with quick and small tasks first. These “small wins” will give you a sense of achievement, and will make you feel more positive and less overwhelmed by the larger project or goal that you are working towards.

Finally, if you think that you are putting something off because you can’t decide what action to take or you find it hard to make decisions, take a look at our range of decision-making tools to help you to develop your decision-making skills.

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Key Points

Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act.

Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt teamwork, reduce morale, and even lead to depression and job loss. So, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to prevent it.

The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize that you’re doing it. Then, identify the reasons behind your behavior and use appropriate strategies to manage and overcome it.

9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem

9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem and Strategies for Fixing Them

9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem

Following, you will find 9 signs of low self-esteem and some simple strategies for overcoming low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is practically an epidemic. We’re bombarded with images of impossible success and beauty on a daily basis. It’s hard to avoid making comparisons, and those comparisons never seem to work out in our favor. These unrealistic images that we place such gravity on have this impact because we lack the awareness of a healthy self-concept. Simply put, when you are genuinely cognizant of who you are in the world, you will not get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to others.

Add to that a few mean comments received in childhood, a workplace bully, and a few extra pounds, and your self-esteem can plummet. Social media has served to exacerbate the problem of collective low self-esteem. In a world where everyone is constantly presenting a weighted version of themselves that conveniently omits the struggles, setbacks, hidden battles, it can be easy for those reading these posts to become disenfranchised with their reality.

Fortunately, there is a way to recognize when your self-esteem has taken a hit — putting yourself in a situation to reverse the effects and develop a healthy and effective self-esteem.

Recognize the signs of low self-esteem:

  1. Difficulty accepting compliments. If you have a hard time hearing someone say something nice about you, you might be suffering from low self-esteem. Most people enjoy receiving a genuine compliment, but those with a low opinion of themselves feel very uncomfortable being on the receiving end of praise.

The difficulty in accepting praise is the result of conflicting ideas. If you have a low opinion of yourself, the idea of someone thinking highly of you will conflict with that belief creating what is known as cognitive dissonance — mental discomfort. One of the most powerful weapons against the aversion to compliments is to change your self-talk. When you change the way you speak about yourself, it will reprogram your subconscious to see you in a different light, making it easier to accept compliments and embrace them.

  • Start by giving yourself compliments in the mirror. Keep doing this each day until the discomfort is greatly diminished. It is about repetition, not comfort. It will not be comfortable at first, but you must continue to do it daily.

    • Next, ask people if they like your shoes, new haircut, or your brand-new gas grill. People will almost always say they do. Enjoy the compliments. Using this methodology is a simple but effective way to solicit positive compliments.

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  1. Overly sensitive to criticism. On the other hand, those with low self-esteem can’t handle criticism either. They tend to overreact and to take criticism too personally.

    1. Even constructive criticism isn’t received positively. Do you bristle when someone offers a helpful suggestion for improvement? If so, your lack of self-esteem might be the reason. It would be best if you learned to see constructive criticism as an instrument of growth.

    1. Ask someone for advice about how you could improve how you currently do something. Then, thank them for it and make good use of their feedback. Constructive criticism is simply feedback to be used for the purpose of intentional growth.

  2. Fear of failure. Low self-esteem and avoidance are commonly found together. Those with low self-esteem expect to fail, and who is going to try to do something if they expect failure? Failure is inevitable at a foundational level. The idea is not to avoid failure but to learn from it. Those who are successful in the world are the ones who are able to take away key learning points from their failures. You will not successfully circumvent the challenges and vicissitudes in this life, leading to setbacks, disappointments, and delays. Your focus must be on how you will grow through them.

    1. Do things that will likely result in failure and realize that it isn’t so bad. Apply for jobs you have little hope of landing. Ask a stranger out for coffee. The goal is not to become content with failure but to mitigate the aversion to it that paralyzes you.

  3. People-pleasing behavior. While compliments are hard to handle, who doesn’t like the gratitude of others? When people show appreciation to someone with low self-esteem, that appreciation is soaked up like a dry sponge soaks up water. People-pleasing is done to feel a sense of value and worth. One of the problems of being a people-pleaser is that you are more at risk of being manipulated and exploited. You will also tend to lose yourself in other people’s worlds while losing your own sense of self.

    1. Do what needs to be done without trying so hard to make others happy. Do something that makes YOU happy.

    1. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the negative impact your words or actions can have on other people.

  4. Difficulty prioritizing your own needs. When you think you don’t matter, you put everyone else above and ahead of yourself. If you’re regularly getting the short end of the stick, ask yourself why you continue to allow it to happen.

    1. Put yourself first for a change. That doesn’t mean you have to take advantage of anyone. Think about what would be best for you and your life and give that a try for a while.

  5. A lack of boundaries. People with high self-esteem have boundaries that they enforce religiously but calmly. If people are walking all over you and disregard any boundaries you attempt to enforce; your self-esteem might need a little work. A person with healthy self-esteem knows where to draw the line and will consistently enforce those boundaries.

    1. Begin by saying “no” more often. Prioritize your time and your life by turning down requests that don’t fit in with your plans or are too burdensome.

  6. Critical self-talk. Do you speak kindly to yourself, or are you hard on yourself?  People with a healthy level of self-esteem tend to be kind and encouraging to themselves. Those with low self-esteem tend to be much more critical.

    1. Monitor your self-talk and stop yourself when you speak poorly to yourself. Compliment yourself each time you catch yourself being negative toward yourself. This approach is not about being dishonest in your self-assessments but being more positive in how you approach and speak about them.

  7. Underachieving. Does everyone consider you to be an underachiever? Being an underachiever is another sign that you likely don’t value yourself as much as you should.

    1. Seek to improve some part of your life each day, even if it’s only in a small way. The goal is to ensure that you take action every day, no matter how seemingly insignificant that action may seem.  

  8. Difficulty giving an opinion even when asked. When your self-esteem is low, you think that your opinions don’t matter. You also want to avoid having your opinions judged by others, so you keep them to yourself.

    1. Give your opinion whenever asked. See what happens. No matter what, there will always be those who disagree with you, or fail to see the value in your contribution. You cannot allow your efforts to be abated by the opinions of others.

Low self-esteem is common, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Recognize the signs of low self-esteem in yourself and your children and do something about it. Low self-esteem is extremely limiting.

Raising self-esteem is a great gift to give yourself and the ones you love.

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Dr. Rick Wallace
9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Dr. Wallace has authored and published 24 books (25th pending), including  Critical Mass: The Phenomenon of Next-Level Living, Born in Captivity: Psychopathology as a Legacy of Slavery,” Merging Souls: Healing, Hope, and Restoration in Modern Marriage, and “The Mis-education of Black Youth in America.” He has written and published thousands of scholarly and prose articles and papers, with the overwhelming majority of his work surrounding the enigmatic issues plaguing blacks on every level. Papers that he has published include: “Special Education as the Mechanism for the Mis-education of African Youth,” “Racial Trauma & African Americans,” “Epigenetics in Psychology: The Genetic Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma in African Americans,” and “Collective Cognitive-Bias Reality Syndrome” — to name a few.

7 Common Lies to Stop Telling Yourself

7 Common Lies to Stop Telling Yourself to avoid accountability and justify mediocrity and inactivity.

7 Common Lies to Stop Telling Yourself

7 Common Lies to Stop Telling Yourself ~ We lie to ourselves each day. We tell ourselves that we’re going to start eating perfectly on Monday. We’re going to start a blog on January 1st. We blame our parents for our current financial mess even though we haven’t lived with our parents for the last 20 years. We live in a culture in which accountability is shunned.

Maybe we believe if we only had a swimming pool, we’d finally be happy, and that happiness would last forever.

These are all lies that we tell ourselves.

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The lies you tell yourself are the most damaging lies of all:

  1. I’ll be able to pay it off next month, so it’s okay if I buy it now. Using debt to purchase anything is a serious matter. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll brown-bag your lunch for the next month or that you won’t go out for 30 days. However, we rarely seem to stick to these promises.

    1. Debt has tremendous potential to snowball. Avoid using debt as much as possible.

  2. I’ll start on Monday. Whether it’s a diet, a budget, an exercise plan, or any other undertaking, it’s a lie to tell yourself that you’ll start on Monday. Of course, Monday might not be your day of choice. Some people really prefer the first of the month or the first of the year.

    1. If it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth starting right now. The adage “never put off for tomorrow what can be done today” has excellent validity. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing today. Putting something off for another time in the future is a form of procrastination.

  1. It’s all my parents’ fault. There’s no doubt that some parents are lousy at the job of parenting. But you’ve had plenty of opportunities to put your life back on track. When you blame your present situation on the past, you limit your future. There is plenty you can do today to make your life better. Regardless of what your parents have done, you are going to have to own your destiny at some point.

  2. If I just had _____, everything would be perfect. Once you have the money, body, job, or whatever else you think you need to have a “perfect” life, you’ll likely find something else that you have to have. There’s always another thing waiting behind the thing you currently want. You set yourself up for disappointment and despair when set finite declarations on your happiness and fulfillment. Both happiness and fulfillment are progressive journeys that last a lifetime. You must develop a lucid perspicacity of personal development so that you learn how to celebrate the process as much as reaching the milestone.

  3. I’m different from everyone else. A lot of people believe there’s something wrong with them. And it’s not just something wrong with them; it’s something uniquely wrong with them.

    1. Everyone is unique, but the similarities between people are far greater than the differences. You’re not that different, and it’s unlikely there’s anything wrong with you that can’t be managed. There is nothing that you will encounter that has not already been conquered by someone else. It may look a bit different in your situation, but the principal components will be the same. You should know that if someone else has done it, so can you.

  4. It’s too late for me. For some things, it might be too late. But it’s not too late for a lot of things. Waiting longer than you should have can make a lot of things less convenient, but that’s not the same as being too late. It just means you’re going to have to work harder or endure more inconvenience.

    1. There’s a penalty for waiting, but it’s rarely insurmountable. Did you know that 99 percent of Warren Buffet’s wealth was accumulated after his 50th birthday? You will have to be more committed, and you have less time to waver and waste time, but you can get it done.

  5. The timing isn’t right. The timing is never right, and it’s never going to be right. Do it now while you can. Each day that you wait is another day of delay. You’re not going to live forever, and life never follows your plans anyway. Just do it. There is no such thing as perfect timing. The ideal time to start is the moment you know it needs to be done. Every second that you delay starting is a second wasted. You have 86,400 seconds in each day. How you use those seconds will directly impact your destiny and the outcomes in your life.

We lie to ourselves to make us feel better. Telling ourselves that we’ll start losing weight on the 1st of the month puts our minds at ease and allows us to eat poorly until that start date. We blame others for our challenges, so we can convince ourselves that it isn’t our fault. The word of the day is accountability

The lies you tell yourself make you your own worst enemy and stop you from making progress in your life. Be honest with yourself and give yourself a chance.

~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.

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9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird

9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird

9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird

9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird

Are you an early bird? If so, good for you! If you’re not, you might want to consider trying out a new schedule. There are a lot of advantages to being an early riser.

Studies show that early birds are more productive and healthier.

It’s a great way to live. All you have to do is get up a couple of hours earlier. The benefits are worth the momentary discomfort each morning.

Still not convinced? Read on.

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See why the early bird really does get the worm:

  1. It’s healthier. Research finds that the sleep patterns of those that get up early are healthier. You might live longer by being an early bird. Spending less money on medical care is another bonus. I will not get into the details here: however, a wealth of pragmatic and empirical data illuminate the fact that early risers tend to live healthier lives.

  2. It’s more natural. Most animals are active during daylight hours and asleep while it’s dark. We don’t see well in the dark, so we’re clearly not designed to be active at night. Darkness trigger the brain to release melatonin, which helps to promote healthy sleep.
  3. You’ll be thinner. On average, early birds are leaner than night owls. Maybe it’s the late-night snacking that many night owls like to do. In addition to late-night snacking, those up during late hours are far less active than their daytime counterparts.

  4. You’re more focused. There are fewer distractions early in the morning. You can get more done by having a greater level of focus. There’s no one around to intrude on your time. You get a jump on your day.

  5. You’re in good company. The majority of highly successful people are early birds. You might become more successful if you wake up earlier and get started on your day. While there are always exceptions to the rule, most of the world’s most successful people are early risers. Harvard Biologist Christoph Randler discovered that early risers are more proactive. They are also more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently, which leads to more success, especially in the business world. A proactive mindset leads to increased productivity because you’re not standing by waiting to be told what to do next or how to handle a challenge. Instead, you’re anticipating needs, getting curious, and building confidence.[1]

  6. You can enjoy the morning. When you have a few hours before you need to leave for work, you can take your time and enjoy the morning. See the sunrise. Listen to the birds. Enjoy a cup of coffee without being rushed. Relax while everyone else is rushing to get ready for work. You can prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

  7. You get more accomplished. You could use the extra time to learn the guitar, read, write, exercise, journal, or get started on your work for the day. Studies show that early risers are significantly more productive.

    1. Most people don’t accomplish much after 6:00 pm, so early risers have a day that is effectively longer. The night owls might spend as many hours awake, but more of their hours are spent on less productive activities. The early birds are sleeping while the night owls are playing.

  1. You build willpower. It’s not easy to get up when you know you have time to sleep for another hour or three. It can be a bit of a challenge to get up earlier than necessary each day. However, you can apply the willpower you develop to other aspects of your life. A more effective word to use here would be self-discipline. Most people don’t need motivation or inspiration. What they need Is self-discipline.

  2. You’re more confident. Knowing that you have a big head start on most of the rest of the people in the world can make you feel a little smug. You can be a couple hours ahead of your coworkers while they’re still brushing their teeth. In an increasingly competitive environment, you need all of the advantages possible.

    1. Some of those coworkers will likely be working for you someday soon.

If you’re not someone that naturally likes to get up in the morning, there’s still hope. The key is to alter your bedtime and wake-up time a little at a time. Fifteen minutes each day is doable and sustainable. Or you could adjust by 15 minutes and keep that schedule for a week. The next week, add another 15 minutes. And so on.

Shifting your schedule to a couple of hours earlier will change your life in so many positive ways.

Consider how you spend the last two hours of your evening with your current schedule. Those hours might be fun, but they’re probably not productive. Imagine adding two hours of productivity, enjoyment, and reflection into each day of your life.

There are so many advantages to being an early riser that it would likely benefit you to give it a try. Avoid assuming that it would never work for you. You might be pleasantly surprised!


Garnett, L. (2021, July 25). The Scientific Reason Why Being A Morning Person Will Make You More Successful: The early bird catches more than the worm. Inc.com.

Thompson, D. (2021). Who Lives Longer — Night Owls or Early Birds? WebMD.

[1] (Garnett, 2021)

You Are Built for This!

You Are Built for This

You Are Built for This! Your Current Reality Is Simply the Result of What You Chose to Focus On!

You Are Built for This

You are built for this. It is actually very simple; what you focus on is what you will feel. A great deal of our suffering is self-induced. We have trained ourselves to focus on the negative. We have an insatiable appetite for negativity. It has become increasingly easier to complain than to shift our focus and take action.

Yes, everyone has been through a situation where someone wronged them. Some of us have scars that run deep. Here is what I can tell you: The top tier of performers is full of people bearing scars. The scars don’t disqualify you from excelling. If anything they have prepared you to excel.

Here is where the problem lies, you are confusing fault with responsibility. Because what you went through was someone else’s fault, you think it is someone else responsibility to change your condition. Let’s be clear, despite what you have been told; life is not fair. In fact, life can be rather cruel if you don’t learn how to move on your own behalf and make decisions and take actions that benefit you. Your health is your responsibility. Your happiness is your responsibility. Your condition is your responsibility. Someone else may have put you there, but it is your responsibility, and your responsibility alone, to work your way out.

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Stop waiting on someone to save you and save yourself. God equipped you with everything you need to overcome every challenge you will ever face. You are built for the battle. Stop looking for a free ride. Invest in yourself, or no one else will.

You are going to be the determining factor in whether or not you make it to your desired destination — not your haters, not your detractors, not bad luck, nor misfortune. If you work on yourself, none of those things can stop you.

The question is: How bad do you want it?

Are you willing to fight for it? Are you prepared to work day and night for it? Are you ready to confront the fear that is pushing against your desires? Are you prepared to go the distance? Are you willing to withstand the vicissitudes of life that are guaranteed to roll into your paradise just when you thought things were finally settling into place?

Secondly, protect your periphery — your circle — from energy vampires that seek to suck the life out of your dreams and desires. There are people out there who have made it their life’s work to tell others why they can’t do something. Protect your energy with every ounce of your being. Energy is the currency of the universe, don’t spend it on things that produce no return.

I told a client just last week that they were not obligated to give space to anyone who had not proven themselves worthy. Your spirit is an energetic presence; thereby, it is highly susceptible to the influence of the energy of others.

For your spirit to produce high vibrational energy on a consistent basis, it has to be free of toxic matter, which means it must be kept pure of low-vibrational influences like jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, bitterness, self-loathing, ungratefulness, and more.

Not everyone in your periphery means you well, and even those who do may lack the capacity to be a positive influence. It is your responsibility to protect your space and monitor those in your spacial and figurative periphery. You must take an inexorable and direct approach to build a pure and powerful circle. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.

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To learn about working with Dr. Wallace in a 1-on-1 Capacity, email LifeChange@rickwallacephd.link!

Free to BE Me Affirmation

Free to BE Me Affirmation ~ I am free of the need to compare myself to others.

Free to BE Me Affirmation

Free to BE Me Affirmation: I am my own person and comfortable in my own skin. I am happy with who I am and with what I am accomplishing. I appreciate others, but I avoid comparing myself to them. I do the best I can and enjoy my life to the fullest.

I know that everyone is different, so comparisons between people are foolish. The only competition I engage in is that between myself and my potential.

Therefore, I seek to be better than yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. I simply compare myself to my previous self in search of my potential self.

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I am excited by seeing progress in my life. I live my life in a way that allows me to experience regular improvement. My push toward personal growth is intentional.

I am free of worrying about what others think of me. The opinions of others are their business. I focus on living up to my own standards.

I avoid judging others and ignore their judgments of me.

Comparing myself to others is insulting and injurious to myself. I am at my best when I focus on myself instead of on the results and opinions of others.

Today, I live my life my way and allow others to do the same. I strive to be better than yesterday and hope that others are doing the same. I am free of the need to compare myself to them. My focus is on my actions and my results. I live to be the version of myself!

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What happens to my emotions and my effort when I compare myself to others? Is it useful?
  2. Why do I feel the need to compare myself to other people?
  3. Why is it unwise to make comparisons to other people?

Vision Boards: Why They Work and How to Create One

Vision Boards: Why They Work and How to Create One

Vision Boards: Why They Work and How to Create One

Vision Boards: Why They Work and How to Create One

Everyone has heard of a vision board, but many people aren’t entirely clear on what one is or what it can do for them. A vision board is a visualization and reminder tool consisting of images, affirmations, and quotes that can inspire, motivate and encourage action.

Many people find vision boards a valuable tool in their quest to be successful and realize their dreams.

A vision board provides essential benefits, such as:

  1. Motivation. A vision board is an easy, fast and effective way to boost motivation. Once a vision board is constructed, a quick glance can regenerate positive feelings and motivation instantly.

    1. Take care in creating your vision board. The right vision board for you will generate positive feelings in you.

  1. Focus. A vision board is a convenient reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish. Many people lose track of their goals before any significant progress is made. Vision boards serve as a constant reminder of your most important objectives.
  2. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you do short visualization & goal-setting exercises throughout the day. You may not even realize you’re doing it. Seeing a constant visual reminder of your goals is how your subconscious mind stays focused on your goals.

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Use these methods to create a compelling and exciting vision board:

  1. Set your goals. A vision board requires a specific intention. If you don’t know what your intention is, it’s not possible to make an effective vision board. Be crystal clear on what you want to accomplish. This is the first step.

  2. View the vision boards of others. There are so many different style designs and ideas, you’re certain to be inspired by viewing the vision boards of others. There are plenty of photos online that can spark your creativity.

  3. Decide on a format. You could dedicate an entire wall to your vision. Or make a traditional poster. Perhaps a bulletin board is more your style.

    1. There are even websites that provide vision board tools. With this option, you’ll be able to view your vision board from anywhere in the world.

  4. Find pictures that represent your goals. A vision board is visual, so you’re going to need some photos, drawings, or paintings that represent your goals. Again, the internet is the easiest way to go if you have a printer up to the task. Otherwise, you’ll have to go old school and cut up magazines or use photos.

    1. Pictures that don’t elicit an emotional response will have a limited impact. Choose wisely.

  1. Choose words, quotes, or slogans. It can be effective to include text in your vision board. Certain words and quotes can also elicit strong emotions.
  2. Organize everything. Do you like everything neat and lined up? Do you prefer the look of a collage? It’s up to you. Lay your vision board out a few different ways and choose what feels the best to you.

How to use a vision board effectively:

  1. Look at your vision board at least twice each day. Just a few minutes is perfectly fine. Clear your mind and focus on the images and words that you’ve chosen to represent your objectives.

  2. Visualize achieving those things. Imagine how great it will feel to finally have those items, experiences, and achievements in your life.

  3. Add items that appeal to you. As the days pass, you’ll have new ideas and come across new pictures and text that you’ll want to add to your vision board. Do it! This is a process and not a one-time event.

  4. List action steps you’ve identified as most effective. A vision board is motivating, but it’s insufficient when it comes to changing your life. The actions you take are ultimately what matters. Identify the actions that will make your vision board a reality and do them!

A vision board can be a powerful tool for bringing positive change to your life. A vision board is highly motivating and focuses your attention on what you want. Anyone can use this powerful tool to experience more success in life.

Attachment Theory in Relationships

Attachment Theory in Relationships

Attachment Theory in Relationships ~ What Is Your Attachment Style?

Attachment Theory in Relationships

Attachment Theory in Relationships: Have you ever jumped from relationship to relationship every few months, wondering why you can’t find the perfect partner? Or maybe you’ve been left wondering why the partners you choose are always emotionally unavailable.

What if you knew that your relationship choices and the way you attach to others had been established since you were in the womb?

Attachment theory identifies the way you relate to and depend on others. Attachment theory also shows the patterns of how we show up in our relationships.

How does the way you attach to others affect your relationships today?

Although there is a lot of nuance and variability that goes into defining your individual attachment style, there are three general styles of attachment:

  1. Avoidant. People with this attachment style see intimacy as a loss of independence. Because they see dependence or needing others as a weakness, they subconsciously tend to find fault in their relationships. Avoidants want to be close but push potential partners away as a means of protecting themselves.
  • Shift your belief: sharing experiences and closeness with others can bring happiness and meaning to your life.
  1. Anxious. People with this attachment style crave physical and emotional closeness. Because they fear they are not good enough, they often worry about being betrayed or left by their partner. Being pushed away by their partner can make these people more anxious and increase their clinginess.
  • Shift your belief: you are good enough.
  1. Secure. People with this attachment style are comfortable with intimacy. They are reliable, trustworthy, and consistent partners who know how to communicate expectations and respond to their partner’s needs.
  • Studies show secure attachment style indicates greater happiness and satisfaction in your relationships.

Do you identify with an anxious or avoidant attachment style? Research today shows that you are not cemented into that attachment style for life. Neuroplasticity is a little-known area of science that reveals that our brains are not hardwired in a way that we are locked into our personalities and behaviors for life. Studies into neuroplasticity reveal we are creating new neuro-synaptic connections in our brain every time we encounter new information. Therefore, you are not locked into your current attachment style.

You can make a conscious effort to have a secure attachment style. They are not necessarily set in stone.

If you are anxious or avoidant, you can take steps to have more fulfilling relationships and move towards a secure attachment style with greater fulfillment in your relationships.

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Consider these steps for more fulfilling relationships:

  1. Understand what you need in a relationship. Make an effort to understand your needs. Learn to communicate and express them.

  2. If you are avoidant, avoid talking down about your partner. Instead, tune in to what you need from the relationship.

  3. If you are anxious, think about what you need and be able to communicate it.
  4. Be in tune to when your attachment system might be activated. If you have an avoidant or anxious attachment style, you might confuse love with anxiety. Learn to associate love with feeling calm.
  1. Make yourself available to your partner. Be reliable, consistent, and trustworthy. Check in with your partner regularly. Be a reliable rock your partner can turn towards.

  2. Set aside time to communicate about how you feel in the relationship. How can you and your partner support each other? What do you need to be happy in the relationship?

  3. Encourage your partner. Be the support net for your partner. Encourage and empower them in their goals and dreams.

  4. Be willing to walk away if your partner cannot meet your needs. It takes two to tango. If you and your partner cannot come to a compromise to meet each other’s needs, it might indicate that you are incompatible.

Understanding your attachment style can help give you insight into how to have deeper and more fulfilling relationships.

When you take steps to understand what you need in a relationship and communicate how you feel regularly, both partners can feel secure and supported.

Relationships are a fulfilling part of life, and it helps to know you have someone encouraging on whom you can depend.

To learn how you can use neuroplasticity to help change or improve your attachment style, email LifeChange@rickwallacephd.link

The Ritualistic Path to Taming Anxiety

The Ritualistic Path to Taming Anxiety

The Ritualistic Path to Taming Anxiety

by Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.

The Ritualistic Path to Taming Anxiety is a powerful tool used to help manage anxiety at multiple levels. Many athletes are superstitious. They wear lucky socks or carry around a special bottle cap to help them win a match.

It may sound silly, but there’s some science to back up their habits. Research shows that rituals can be useful for soothing anxiety. That’s important because stress feels uncomfortable and hampers your performance. Developing a winning routine does not only help as it pertains to sports. Developing a positive routine can help ease stress, fear, and anxiety in any area in life.

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At the same time, these repetitive actions can cause new troubles if they become excessive. Learn more about how to create your own safe and effective rituals that empower you.

Using Rituals to Relieve Anxiety

Whistling and flipping coins can help you to feel more in control. However, you may want to choose rituals that carry more meaning and deliver positive side effects.

Try these strategies:

  1. Clear away clutter. Putting your surroundings in order is doubly beneficial. Moving around will make you feel calmer and your tidy desk and kitchen will help you stay peaceful.

  2. Do housework. If you have more energy and time, move on to dusting and mopping. Rhythmic activities are especially comforting. You may even save money by doing your own chores instead of hiring a housekeeper.

  3. Listen to music. Create playlists that work for you. You may prefer piano sonatas or country music. Singing and dancing help too.

  4. Pet your dog. Studies show that interacting with animals promotes healing and lowers your blood pressure. Walk a neighbor’s dog or hug a stuffed animal if you don’t have any pets.

  5. Check your posture. Take a deep breath and stand up straight. Your body will relax, and you’ll boost your circulation.

  6. Dress up. Many rituals involve clothing because your appearance can affect your thinking. You may want to wear suspenders or any clothing that is comfortable and flattering.

Taking Practical Action for Anxiety

Your plaid socks won’t carry you to victory unless you know how to play baseball in the first place. It’s most beneficial to use rituals in moderation and combine them with practical action.

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These activities enable you to take positive actions:

  1. Accept your feelings. Trying to suppress your emotions can backfire. Allow yourself to feel nervous or confused.

  2. Reframe your thoughts. You can shift your mindset while you validate your feelings. Imagine that you’re excited rather than anxious. Look for the positive aspects within any challenge.

  3. Practice self-care. Cultivating your mental and physical health will make you stronger and more resilient. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and manage stress.

  4. Work out. Physical activity is especially constructive for dealing with anxiety. Visit your local fitness center or set up a gym at home. Schedule a morning run or swim before a busy day. Do a few minutes of pushups or stretches after a difficult phone call.

  5. Make time for reflection and prayer. Spirituality can help you transform obstacles into steppingstones for personal growth. Read scriptures connected with your religion or find poems and quotations that inspire you.

  6. Keep a journal. Writing, drawing, and other creative activities help you to handle tension effectively. Use a journal to process your feelings and identify patterns that you want to change. You might want to explore other arts and crafts too.

  7. Consider counseling. What if your anxiety is severe or you become so dependent on your rituals that they start to interfere with your daily life? Professional help is available. Talk therapy and medication may help you treat your symptoms and enjoy life more.

Put rituals to work for you when you’re dealing with an uncertain or challenging situation. Used wisely, they can restore your peace of mind and help you achieve the results you want.