The area of life I would like to talk about is the family – a husband/wife or two partners and their children. Or maybe you don’t have any little ones and your whole family is you plus a pet-friend. The exact set-up isn’t important – what matters is that you consider yourselves a family.
The question is, how much time and attention do you pay to your family life? A global survey conducted by Sage in November 2015 reports that over a third of those questioned sacrificed family time for their businesses. Are you one of those people?
When you’re making a plan for the day, drawing up a to-do list or setting goals, do you make space for your loved ones?
Below, I would like to share a simple plan to improve your family life:
Choose one day per week as Family Day. On that particular day switch off your phone, leave your laptop to one side and forget about home commitments. This day should be for you and your loved ones. You might try to plan ahead how you would like to spend this time. Find some nice places and activities you all like and write them down in the diary. Or maybe your family will have their own ideas. Just make a plan and when the day comes you’ll know exactly what to do.
My Family Day is Saturday. I’m doing research to find some interesting places and plan some activities for us. Some of the possibilities I’ve come up with include an adventure trail in a national park, walk by the beach followed by lunch of fresh fish, and a visit to some lovely village or open-air museum – the list goes on.
Choose one hour per day (even half an hour is better than nothing) as Family Hour. It could be the evening meal together when you share the day’s happenings. Or a bedtime story ritual with your children. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to set the time, as if you’re writing a business meeting or fitness class into your diary.
In my family, we have our dinner together as many days during the week as possible. It gives us time to talk about the day and what we’re expecting for the day after. During the evening, my husband prepares bath-time for the younger children and me a bed-time story for all three.
Create at least one tradition/ritual for your family: a birthday, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or something of your own. I’ll share with you how we celebrate in my family. A birthday is a special time for the birthday person for the whole day, from waking up until bedtime. Everyone in the house gives them a present, and we have a special meal in the evening with a birthday cake that is always baked and prepared by me. At Halloween we all dress up, make sushi, switch the lights off and do some funny fortune telling games. Two weeks before Christmas we write letters to the Santa with a wish list of Christmas presents. Then we leave them out for the night, along with a cake, a glass of milk and some carrots. These are to give Santa and the reindeer a chance to rest before they take the letters and leave some sweets in return.
Be creative and have fun with it!
The idea is to give you a chance to improve your family life. If you’re still reading this I presume this is what you want. But – it doesn’t happen in a day or a week. You need to work on it and build the connections with small, simple, everyday steps. These will create a strong foundation for your future.
If you plan to stay in this world for a long time, then one thing is 100% sure: your career will finish and money will stop having meaning. What will matter most to you will be your family. Don’t wait until this moment, when they will already have started living without you. Because for the rest of your life you would like to have them next to you, bringing happiness, fulfilment and love.