When it comes to relationships, despite our hearts being in the right place,
connecting with friends and family often gets pushed toward the bottom of our to-do list.
I know. I've sent way too many belated birthday cards. :(
With that in mind, I resolve to be more intentional with my relationships this year.
This will require some advance planning, a strategy too.
As I think of each person with whom I have had a long standing relationship, a good start would be to consider our communication pattern over the past few years. Has it been weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly? Has the quality of the relationship strengthened or weakened over time? Is the relationship heading in the direction that is best for all concerned? Is it time to let that relationship go?
With only so much time to spend with those I care about, I intend to devise a way to acknowledge the importance of each relationship throughout the coming year. Then again, to simply not forget a dear friend's or nephew's birthday would be a great improvement. What I need is a simple solution, a system to help me follow through with my good intentions. Here goes... I intend to do the following:
- Make a list of friends and family
- Evaluate our past interactions and define the most realistic frequency of contact moving forward (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)
- Identify how we have connected in the past and the best options for connecting with each person in the coming year (outings, phone, email, Facebook, special occasions, holiday cards or get-togethers, etc) and
- MOST OF ALL I will write it down and then post it in my iPhone and Outlook calendar. :)
WHO and WHEN Reminders via my iPhone and Outlook calendar will also include suggestions for WHAT TO DO such as send a birthday card, make a call, invite for coffee, post a greeting on Facebook or give a gift of heart jewelry from my Loving Heart Collection such as the pocket heart or a pair of sterling silver earrings with a custom card and private message.
The thought has occurred to me that I could plan ahead for the entire year and go shopping specifically for cards for friends. To have just the right card in my possession ahead of time for each friend when their special day arrives would be amazing! There are apps for that on my iPhone as well!
You may be wondering what prompted these grand plans of mine. If so let me shed a bit of light as to my WHY. My adult life has involved relocating at least ten times, and being fortunate to have enjoyed the fellowship of many lovely friends, colleagues and neighbors along the way. Stretched over time and many miles, I have a pretty long list of people that have been a part of my life. I also have some very dear family members that whether due to miles or life getting in the way, I rarely see - particularly aunts, uncles and cousins. So many people have touched my life and my heart over the years that it is a shame not to reach out more often and express that they are important to me.
I believe that our lives will be measured by our kindnesses to others. Simply put, it is all about our relationships. This year I intend to try a little harder to honor mine.
There are folks that I never want to let time or good intentions not acted upon lead to our drifting apart. I think my system will help; however, its success will be measured by how I follow-through.
If follow-through was for sale, I'd buy a case of it. How about you?