Our relationships are one of the few things we can take with us! With a little focus, creativity and effort, we can increase and deepen our relationships with the ones we love. Join our February challenge and watch love grow!
The month that never ends, (talkin' 'bout you January) is over and with it comes the month of love! Who conquered their finances last month!?! We're excited about our next Focused in '20 month-long theme and challenges. The month of love brings us… Focus on Relationships month!
Now when we say “Focus on Relationships” we aren't just talking about romance. We will be focusing on all types of relationships! These challenges will help you strengthen relationships you have with ALL the important people in your life from your friends, your family, your kids, your colleagues and neighbors, to of course, your spouse and even yourself.
Alright, who's ready for a little extra lovin'?
FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS MONTH
Step 1. Print the Focus on Relationships Month calendar – if you're not already on the mailing list, SIGN UP HERE to get the February calendar emailed to you. The easiest way to stay updated to do is to get on the email list and follow along on the blog, YouTube, and social media. I'll post lots of helpful tips and how-to's there!
Step 2. Follow along! Each week there is a theme to help you focus on others. Then of course, we always suggest wrapping up the week with a simple date or family night to help keep you focused on the people that matter most.
Step 3. As always, adapt the calendar to work for your needs and help you get the most out of the monthly challenge.
We highly recommend keeping a journal or a notebook since this month can really give you some a-ha moments!
FEBRUARY CALENDAR & CHALLENGES
We all know that February is one of those times we really focus on loving our spouses, but we want to encourage you to be more intentional in all of your relationships! Here are a few ways to get started, every week this month:
Invite people into your home! It's a great way to create deeper relationships with friends. It could be a neighbor for root beer floats, an entire family for dinner, a group of friends for a game night, or a double date with another couple. You choose how simple or elaborate to make it!
Have a dedicated family night. When it comes to family, love is spelled T.I.M.E. I'm a FIRM believer in having a weekly family night. Pick a night of the week where your family will sit down together, even if only for 15 or 30 minutes, and do something together (other than watch TV).
You could play a game, read a book out loud, go to the park or museum, bake a treat, have a dance party or learn about something together. Just to name a few!
Couple date night EVERY weekend! We can't stress this enough – date nights are a priority for us! Whether it's getting fancied up and going to a play, doing a group date with friends, or grabbing a frozen pizza and having a picnic in your living room, do something together without kids. I recommend trading babysitting with a friend so you don't have to pay for a babysitter all weekend. Here are some fun (and cheap) date night ideas!
Our goal this month is to make a greater effort to connect, with everyone. That brings us to our BIG challenge…
THE UNPLUG CHALLENGE
This may be one of the hardest challenges we've ever posted on the blog… EVER! For the entire month, challenge yourself to unplug from ALL technology (including your TV and phone) when you're in the presence of another person.
- Checkout line at the store? Leave your phone in your pocket and strike up a conversation with someone else instead.
- Kids in the room? No TV, computer, or phone.
- Out to dinner with your spouse? Keep the phone away the entire time. Use times when you're completely alone to catch up on your DVR, social media, etc.
For your first date night of the month, start reading a book with your spouse to help strengthen your relationship! If you are married or in a committed relationship, the challenge is to sit down and read it TOGETHER every day.
We love The 5 Love Languages, but here are a few others you might enjoy:
- His Needs Her Needs
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage
- She Comes First
- He Comes Next
The only exception to the unplug challenge is reading one of the books from the above reading list on an electronic device with your spouse.
LONG LOST WEEK
This week we are rekindling old, long-lost relationships! A friend you haven't talked to in a while, a distant family member you never see, or someone you had a falling out with that you need to mend things with. These relationships are your main focus this week.
Every day for 7 days make it a point to “touch base” with a long-lost someone or another in some way. Send a text, email, Facebook message, or card in the mail. Think of a time in your day where you have nothing really to do (brushing your teeth, driving in the car, doing your makeup in the morning), put a reminder note in that area, and do it then! Perhaps it can become a habit you carry on! These small connections may change someone's life.
GIRLS OR GUYS NIGHT OUT
Time to reach out to those long lost friends! Kidding, kind of. I know so many of us get busy taking care of our families that spending quality time with our friends can get put on the back burner. This week grab your friends and put something on the calendar.
I personally like to do this during the week since the weekends are reserved for my family. It doesn't matter whether it's morning coffee, lunch or a weekday dinner. Just get out and see those friends! We will talk about this more in depth this week!
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE WEEK
It's Valentine's week, after all!! Make plans to do something special this week for and with your sweetheart. Challenge Time: Do something to show your spouse love every day this week! Think creatively to come up with 7 random acts of love! What can you do each day to show them you love them? Not just buying the same old Valentine's gifts! Dig deep! Show 'em you love 'em in their love language!
LOVE LETTERS CHALLENGE
Our mini challenge this week is to write and send letters to friends or family so that they have a little love to open up on Valentine's Day! This is a fun family activity that we like to do every year.
PSA: Friday is Valentine's Day! Take your lover on a date!
KIDS & FAMILY WEEK
If you have kids, this week is all about them! An easy way to make a point to spend time together every day is to eat dinner together every night! We all have to eat… might as well be together.
It doesn't have to be a fancy meal, and it doesn't even have to be homemade (though I always recommend that). But make sure that when you're eating, you're sitting down and eating TOGETHER. We'll give you fun dinner games and conversation starters to help!
If you don't have kids, then focus the attention on your future family (setting goals, deciding now what your beliefs and philosophies are), or on your current family situation.
FAMILY FUN DAY
If you have the day off on President's Day, plan a full day of fun family activities! Again, these don't have to cost much – if anything at all. Just get organized, plan ahead, and don't waste a single moment of the day!
MAN IN THE MIRROR WEEK
When we think of relationships, we rarely think of the relationship we have with OURSELVES! This week is all about getting to know ourselves better, and learning to love ourselves a little more.
We're issuing a pretty hard challenge this week – positive self-talk ONLY! Nothing Negative! If we have something negative to say, find a way to turn it around and make it a positive. The most important part of this? Pay attention to your thoughts, too! Draw a big black X on your hand to remind you all week long to keep your words and your thoughts happy!
10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT…
For Family Night this week, have every person write 10 things they love about each person in your family. Then take turns reading the list out loud to the person the list is about! Sometimes it's hard to hear nice things about ourselves, it makes us feel awkward. Well, this week we are embracing the things we are good at and people love about us, and this is a great exercise to help!
It's going to be a great month filled with strengthening relationships, and most importantly, disconnecting from technology to make room for human interaction and connection. Which challenge are you most excited about?
Now…go hug somebody!