I recently posted this image quote in an edition of our weekly newsletter, The Blend. It has, by far, been the most commented on quote I’ve authored recently.
(If you aren’t a subscriber, you should be – I share an inspirational quote + message every week!)
When we talk about the Plum Deluxe mission of creating moments that matter, the core of this is all about connection — connecting with friends and family, but more importantly, connecting with yourself.
I chose the phrase “deeper connection,” but I could have just as easily used the phrase “quality connection.” The word “quality” has a lot of not-so-great connotations with it, but I think it’s clear what I mean when I say deeper connection. I could have also said “quality time” — but that’s another phrase that gets thrown around and has a nice shine to it, but often isn’t followed up with the deeper, meaningful connection that it should.
Today, I want to talk to you about spending time with family and friends and how to create quality time moments that matter.
Create the Space
Like the quote graphic above says, the first thing required for quality time and deeper connection is space. This could be literal space — some fluffed pillows out on the back deck chairs and a hot kettle of water, for example — but for most of us, this is scheduling time in the calendar for quality time. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen! Put date nights on the calendar for your partner/spouse, schedule adventure time for the little ones if you have them, and set aside sacred times for personal growth and self reflection.
Don’t worry about stamping out serendipity and creativity — you can allow that to happen in these spaces. But create the space! I also want to re-emphasize creating space for yourself; you have to nourish and take care of yourself, too, otherwise you’ll start to feel like you’re just running around trying to have quality time with everyone (and “running around having quality time” doesn’t sound like very much fun to me).
Set the Intention
Intentions are powerful, and I suggest you set the tone for your quality time. A friend of mine has “Adventure Time Tuesdays” with his kids (his day off) every week; obviously, the intention is clear: to have adventures. You could have a simple intention with a friend, “I haven’t seen you in awhile and I’d like to just catch up and know how I can support you and remind you how much I appreciate you.”
Having some thoughtful conversation starters at the ready is another great way for setting the intention for a gathering. Other useful intention setters: picking a specific activity that supports your intention (hiking for health, backyard BBQ for fun conversation, bowling for getting your mind off things, etc.)
Quality time shouldn’t feel like a chore, though writing an entire article about how to have more quality time certainly makes it sounds like deep connection is work. And it is. Making great friendships, having loving partnerships, or enjoying thoughtful connections with colleagues and acquaintances does not happen by magic.
But, that does not mean it has to be heavy and hard. Lighten it up and have fun. Plan quality time experiences that truly will be enjoyable. Tip: know your love language and know others’ love languages and plan experiences to match!
Last but not least, take a moment to be grateful for the deep connections you have in your life. Rely on them for support on the lows and sharing your highs. Be grateful for the opportunity you do have for quality time; in a world where many have struggles, we’re truly lucky beings!