The closing days of the year always bring out those feelings of nostalgia. We take a little time to think about those people that have been the most influential and meaningful in our lives. These could be family, friends, or colleagues that have burrowed their ways deep into our hearts. We look back and think about how blessed we are and grateful that they share part of their lives with us. I take this time as well to reflect and appreciate all those in my life that have brought about such joy, companionship, and personal growth.
This year is a little different. I’m a bit frustrated with myself because I need to be more aware and appreciative of all these people throughout the year. I do not need to wait until the end of the year to step back and express my eternal gratitude for all that share in my life. Those that are closest to me, I express my feelings with them throughout the year. The highs and lows as they are my closest loved ones and friends. However, there are many more people that inhabit a circle of influence and friendship that I am a little less generous with my time and feelings. All these people are hugely important to me, and I need to take time to connect more regularly and at deeper levels with them throughout the year.
One of my goals for this New Year will be to set time aside each month to connect with all my loved ones and friends in a more meaningful way. I plan to achieve this through a few simple steps.
First, I have blocked out time each week to spend 1:1 time with my wife and each of our children. I am not sharing these time blocks with them, so I will ask them shortly before to see if they would like to go out to dinner, complete their errands, share in their interests, or go for a walk-and-talk. I think this will be a little more spontaneous for them instead of me just sending calendar invites for the next year 😉.
The second group is my close friends that I see regularly. I feel I connect well with them already, so this is more about improving the quality of our time together. Not just chatting about work and career but spending our time together as friends with a more profound sense of connection.
A third group are my good friends but not ones that I see every week. Here I need to take time out to reach out to them with a phone call, email, or setting up a time to meet face-to-face. Again, I want to try to make the time I have with them more impactful by focusing on each other’s lives versus the typical superficial work and family conversations. I think changing the tone of the discussions will be a little more challenging for me as I am not the most open of individuals.
The last group of people are valuable to me but do not fall into the good friends’ category. I speak or see them only a few times a year, and I value their counsel, perspectives, and friendship. This is a group that I need to put effort into reaching out to more regularly. Once more, I’m going to leverage my calendar and book time in advance to make these outreaches.
I pray and expect that by the end of 2020, I will have a stronger connection and a more meaningful relationship with my loved ones and friends.
I wish everyone a wonderful new year.