Family is the most important thing in the world. – Princess Diana
Can you be successful without sacrificing your family life? Absolutely! Too often the people that matter most get the least from us. We give 150% at work and have nothing left in the tank to give to the people that matter most.
You know after a long day of work you come home and just want to veg in front of the TV. We come home spent and the kids or your spouse can’t get your attention or only get half-hearted grunts of acknowledgment. We can do better than this.
Why do you go to work? For the thrills and chills, the hustle and bustle? Maybe. But you really go to work to support your family and enjoy a lifestyle with said family. Most of the world goes to work to earn money so that we can spend that money on the people they love. At some point, work became the end result of our living and that’s why we have an ongoing debate about work-life balance.
We find balance when we adjust our priorities and put family back in its rightful position as our top priority. After all, these are the people you will be with for the rest of your life so you might as well put some effort into building those relationships.
So how do you put in a solid day’s work and still have something left in the tank to get home, make dinner, help with homework, play with the kids, tuck them in and spend time with your spouse? By making some intentional choices.
Raise your right hand and repeat after me…
I Will: Put my family first.
How many relationships have ended because priorities got confused? This means that you have to keep your priorities and values in view. Your current project or client are short-term priorities, but your family is your ultimate long-term priority. It’s not enough to know it, you have to remind them daily that they are your most important clients.
I Will: Be present with my family
This means that work stays at work. When you get home, be present at home. When you get home you shake off the day and give your best self to the most important people in your life. You have to have as much enthusiasm for your family as I have for anything else in your life. What will your family remember most about you? That you were always there for them or that they never felt as though you cared?
I Will: Make Awesome Memories
When was the last time you took the family on a vacation? According to a recent study done by Project Time Off, 658 million vacation days go unused every year. How many vacation days did you use last year? A vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic, but it should be memorable. My parents bought an RV just before I was born. We used to take 1-2 camping trips every summer and we still laugh about some of those trips to this day. My dad and I used to take the boat out and go fishing and those are some really great memories. The memories could be as simple as a regular movie night or game night. When can you create new memories?
I Will: Be [Parent, Spouse, or Sibling] of the year (or go for D All of the above)
Hug and kiss your kids and spouse, even if you aren’t the huggy and kissy type. Commit random acts of kindness like taking everyone out to ice cream after a long day at work. Go the extra mile. Change that 3 am diaper or watch that show your spouse loves but you just don’t get. Be patient and listen to the long stories and the current angsty teen problems. Reach out to your brother or sister that you haven’t spoken to for a while. Call your parents.
You can choose today to make your family your top priority. You’ve got this. What other choices do we need to make to ensure that our families come first?