5 Simple Ways to Reboot Your Family

Zen Habits

Hailing from Guam it's a pleasure to introduce Leo Babauta, who will be providing the frank community with inspiration and tactics on setting and achieving your goals each and every week, check out his blog Zen Habits

Is your family stuck in a rut? Are you bored? Do you find yourself wondering how you got so far off track?

Family in tall grass

You’re not alone!

All families go through times like these occasionally. I know I would love to be able to push a pause button and just sit, regroup and get back on track.

While that’s not literally an option, life doesn’t come with a pause button, there are ways we can get back in touch with our families. With a bit of effort it is possible to get in sync, connect and move forward in a deliberate and meaningful way as a team.

I have a great family who I love dearly but that’s not to say we get off track from time to time. I want to share with you a few things we do occasionally to get back on the same page.

1. Have deep and meaningful conversations. After being with someone for months or years it’s easy to take them for granted. We assume we know them better than they know themselves. We consider ourselves experts on their likes and dislikes, their needs and wants. And I’m sure you know what they say about assuming. The thing is people change. Their tastes change. Their hopes and dreams evolve. Their outlook on life has likely changed significantly to what it was 15 years ago.

The simple act of sitting and talking about things that matter can do wonders to deepen the understanding we have for one another.

2. Be present. This probably isn’t the first time you’re hearing this on Zen Habits. When we’re distracted by cell phones, email, work, presentations, TV etc. it’s difficult to really appreciate what’s going on around you. Think about it – if you’re at work trying to have a conversation with your boss but he/she is constantly checking his/her email, phone messages and waving at everyone that walks past the window, how would you feel? Frustrated? Unimportant? Discounted?

You can only fully experience something and give someone your undivided attention when you don’t have the temptation to be somewhere other than where you are in that moment. Your family is no different.

3. Do something fun. Block out a chunk of time and do something fun with your entire family. Go for a walk, ride your bikes or go skating. Do something none of you have done before like rock-wall climbing, yoga or badminton. Team activities where you have to work together to succeed are great ways to promote trust, increase the sense of belonging and unite you as a team.

4. Plan for the future. Think as long term or short term. Maybe you want to plan your summer holidays or what you will do once you’re done school. Maybe you want to plan a little further out and think about retirement or early retirement if that’s in the cards. Planning together gives a sense of longevity to the relationship and gives you something to work towards together.

5. Invest in your family. Take the time to really put your family first. So many of us simply pay lip service to the phrase “family is my number one priority” yet very few of us actually live it. Investing a bit of time and energy in your family can tighten that core unit, make everyone feel safe and secure and raise happiness to levels you only imagined.

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  • Nos4R2D2 says
    I need to Ctrl+Alt+Del End Task on my life!
  • Aims says
    I love Leo! He always inspires me to be a better person!
  • Millie says
    These tips are both inspiring and practical. I didn't really think my family was stuck in a rut, but when I read over these tips, I realise that we are definitely not making the most of the time we spend together. We are all only on this earth for a short while, so best we start making the most of it!
  • Kiwi Gas says
    Nobody says on their death bed "I wish I'd spent more time at work". Spend more quality time with your loved ones - you'll never get those precious hours back again.
  • barnes10 says
    The daily grind of work, bills and responsilibites wears you down. You always need a laugh so I think it's important that Families have fun together. Get out and enjoy life together and don't take things so seriously.
  • Cindy says
    I have to admit I have been one of those "stuck in the rut" routine type things! I've found mixing things up with random weekends away (which don't have to cost the earth)! with the kids! and totally believe in "date" night! gives you something to look forward to outside of the normal day to day grind of work, bills, kids etc. Life is about living....why strive to have everything and never have the chance to enjoy it - not eveything is about keeping up with the "jones"! Live...laugh....because you never know what tomorrow will bring!
  • Kim says
    We make sure one day in every weekend is 'family exercise' time. Irrelevent of anyone's sports during week, Sunday is a time we get out and go walking/bike-riding. It is a really good routine and quality time. On really grotty days we go swimming, 10 pin bowling or mini-golfing.
  • Prettyboy says
    Stay positive and remember to spend quality time together, even though you might not like what your partner enjoys.
    I had to watch those Twilight movies with her, and they really sucked, and she watches every single bit of sport I can find on TV. See it's all about compromise and sharing what makes each other tick.
  • Dylan says
    I wish we had of had a more active lifestyle when i was a kid
  • Rebecca says
    It is so important to ensure that as a family, you set aside time to do things together. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are of travelling to places and doing things with my family. My philosophy on being a parent involves creating long standing memories for your children, that they will remember and cherish and encourage them to be well rounded, useful members of society. By sitting back and taking stock of the family situtation, this can be acheived.

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