Friends and Family
- Make quality time with family. There is time . . . and then there is quality time. Make sure that you are fully present when you spend time with your loved ones. Constant distractions (both in your head and physical distractions) rob both you and them of the quality time together that you all deserve.
- Listening is more important than talking. Make listening the most important thing you do when you are with others. Don’t formulate what your response while someone else is talking . . . just listen.
- Hold a family meeting. Structured communication time can really help families to work out both schedules and feelings. They don’t have to be long . . . but don’t underestimate the value of regular family meetings.
- Reach out. Make it a goal to reach out to someone who you do not see everyday every week. You will be surprised how amazing reaching out can be.
- Give someone a hug. A genuine hug can lift spirits and give energy. Give someone a hug today!
- Have family meals together. Do it whenever you can . . . and try to make it fun. Meals don’t have to be fancy or complicated . . . it is as much about the time together as it is the nutrition.
- Turn off the TV. Aim to have at least one or two nights per week where the TV is off at home. This cultivates both talking and reading . . . and both are a welcome change for most relationships.
- Be outside. Relationships can be cultivated anywhere, but there is nothing quite like being outdoors with someone to build relationships. No computers, no tv, no video games . . . whether it be sidewalks and buildings or trees and sky . . . being outside with others is important.
- Apologize when you need to. An honest apology goes a long way toward healing and creating positive relationships. But be careful . . . don’t use the words “you” or “but” in your apology . . . it doesn’t count if you do!
- Play a board game together. Yes, pull out the old-fashioned board games and have fun.
- Write a handwritten note. For all the benefits of technology, there is nothing quite like receiving a hand-written note in the mail. Send a birthday card, a thank you note, or a "just because" note.
- Do a random act of kindness. Surprise someone when they aren’t expecting it. Or do something for a stranger. You will be surprised how amazing it is.
- Let your compliments be plentiful. Look for the good in others . . . and let them know when you see it.
- Maintain a positive disposition. Refrain from needless negative griping. Share your honest feelings, but don’t belabor the negatives in life. Intentionally focus on the positive aspects in your life.
- Plan a family outing. Sometimes just getting out of the house is a great revitalization for your family. Prepare a picnic lunch and visit a local park. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. Take a walk through the woods and talk with your kids about what is going on in their lives. Visit a zoo or museum to spark their enthusiasm and discuss what interested them most.
- Enjoy homework time. Spend quality time with your children and light the fire of learning by sitting with them while they do their schoolwork. Don’t do it for them . . . but be there for questions and moral support. Watch them and soak up the wonder of them learning how to learn.