sometimes all it takes to make small improvements that can lead to significant change is just to keep them at the top of your mind. for example, the nutritionist i met with a few weeks back asked me to write down everything i eat until our next appointment. of course the point is to help me see where my eating habits can use improvement, but really, just having to pay enough attention to what i put in my mouth to be able to write it down (not to mention the fact that i know she is going to review it all) has completely changed my eating habits for the better. this may invalidate its use as a measurement tool, but it's effectiveness as a learning tool more than compensates for the loss.
which brings me back to the point of this post (yes, i promise there is a point) and it's this: that just making the conscious decision to assume my boyfriend is acting with the best intentions, to be nicer to him, to make the extra effort, to talk more about the things that matter, and to be more available has already made a difference. today, a day i know he's completely swamped at work, all it took was a quick IM telling him that i wished we worked closer so i could bring him lunch. it reminded us both of good good memories and hopefully made his day a little lighter (i know it did mine), all of which helps improve both compassion and connection. all good stuff.