Friends are the family you choose for yourself.  No matter what shape, size or location of your family, it means different things to everyone. It’s a very cool encompassing term.  In my case, my family is spread all over the globe. While I live in the US, most of my relatives live in Australia. We have adopted our American friends and neighbors. No matter if your family is blood-related or really close friendships, it’s important to pay attention to those relationships and commit to investing in them routinely.

 

There are three ways to be more committed to a family focus:

 

Establish Traditions.

Now in your family, you might have dinner together at a certain time of the week, or year. Or maybe you do something special for your holidays. Perhaps you celebrate someone’s birthday ina particular way. Establishing family traditions gives everyone something to look forward to. It creates amazing memories and provides great memories for when you’re not together.

 

Create Daily Tasks.

That’s right. What could you do daily to remind your loved ones they’re important to you? Perhaps you could send a text message saying you’re thinking of them. Or, it could be as simple as calling someone or face timing. Megan, my best friend,  is an amazing mother. She is someone I admire who runs multiple businesses. In addition to it all, she is a mentor to many by investing time in the education of others. Best of all, she is the mother of two of my beautiful goddaughters. To ensure she remains engaged with her family, she’s created daily routines to help her daughters prepare for each day of school. She pays attention to their meals by planning ahead and ensuring they always eat together as a family. This is a tradition lost by many families in the chaos of school, work and commitments. Daily tasks can help create routines so you can spend less time working and more time focusing those that matter most to you.

 

Schedule Connection Points. 

Consider the easiest ways you can connect to various loved ones. For instance, my husband and I speak every day on the phone, no matter where on the planet we are. We’ve had a rule for 29 years of marriage that we connect on the phone, no matter what. Perhaps you could connect over FaceTime with distant family, or text messaging with friends. Either way, be mindful of how to best connect with various family members so you stay in touch. Consider Folding Time in your day, such as calling a family member while driving to and from work. Perhaps you could send a little not first thing in the morning to someone you care a great deal for. Maybe write little notes for your children to pack in their lunches when they head off to school. Either way, give intentional attention to those you love with little connection points that shows how much you care. It’s one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever be giving someone, is the gift of being present.

 

When it comes to paying attention personally – focus on your family. Establish traditions, create daily routines and schedule connection points. Want more ideas? Watch this video for inspiration!

 

Let’s connect on social media. You can follow me on Twitter or see my adventures on Instagram where I share stories every day. If you haven’t checked out neenjames.com, go and find out more about our latest book, Attention Pays. I’m so excited to hear what you would add to this list. How can we focus on family more, whatever family looks like for you?

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