Man how great was January? I hope you are all feeling good about finishing the Focus on Finance month and excited about our next Focused in ‘19 Month-long theme and challenges. Any guesses at this month’s theme? Cue the drumroll…February: Focus on Relationships month is here! See how we're getting Focused in '19 over HERE.
Now when we say “Focus on Relationships” we aren’t just talking about the romantic kind, we will be focusing on all types of relationships! All month long we will have challenges to help you strengthen the 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/partner and even- yourself.
Here's how this will work:
First, make sure you’ve you’ve signed up HERE so you get the calendar!
Sign up HERE, it will be emailed to you to print out or save to your phone so you can follow along! I also recommend keeping a journal or a notebook since this month can really give you some a-ha moments!
Focus On Relationship Challenges
- Month-long Unplug Challenge. I expect this to be one of the hardest challenges I could ever post on my blog EVER. For the entire month of February, 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. Exception – reading one of the books from the below reading list on an electronic device with your spouse.
- Reading List! This month one of our month-long challenges will be to read a book (or more) on relationships. There are several I would like to recommend, and they are:
- His Needs Her Needs
- The 5 love Languages
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage
- She Comes First
- He Comes Next
I want to recommend you read these with your significant other (if you’ve got one). If you don’t, don’t stress, one of the gals that works for me says they are still helpful, so I am passing that along! While these books are focused on improving your relationship with your spouse/partner they will ultimately help you understand everyone better! Not sure which book we are going to tackle first, but rent one from the library and start reading! If you are married or in a committed relationship, the challenge is to sit down and read it TOGETHER every day.
- “Long Lost Week.” This week we are rekindling old long-lost relationships! This can be 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. (See #5 for more details)
- Invite someone over 1x per week, all month long. As talked about recently, inviting people over is the best way to create deeper relationships with friends. Make it a month-long challenge to invite someone over at least 1x per week for the entire month. It could be a neighbor for root beer floats, an entire family for dinner, a group of friends for a game night, or that cutie you've been eyeing…invite them over and cook them dinner! Open your home and do it at least 1x per week, all month long. You will need to do this on the day that works best for you, but I put a few reminders throughout the calendar in case it helps.
- “Touch-Base Challenge”. Referring to the relationships talked about in #3, every day for 7 days the challenge is to make it a point to “touch base” with a long-lost someone or another in some way – even if it's just 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!
- Family night – One of the best ways to strengthen relationships with your immediate family is to have quality time! I'm a FIRM believer in having “family night”. Pick a night of the week where – no matter what – your family will sit down together, even if only for 15 or 30 minutes, and will do something together other than watch TV. You could play a game, read a book out loud, or learn about something together. For us, our family night is on Monday, that's why it's on the calendar for that day. Decide TODAY what that day is for you, and make it happen – no matter what! For your first family night have everyone in your family write a letter to someone and send it through snail mail. It could be a grandparent, friend, or find a pen-pal for your kids.
- Girl's (or Guy’s) Night Out with friends – 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!
- Family Date Night every weekend – Family time is important! Every weekend pick one night (or day) and have a family date night. Brainstorm together and plan some fun activities that interest you as a family. Need some ideas? Well you’ve come to the right place! Board games, the bowl game, going to the park, go hiking, go to a museum, bake together, have a dance party! Just to name a few!
- Couple date-night every weekend – I can’t ever stress this enough- date nights are important! If you’ve followed along with us for awhile you know what a priority Bubba and I try to make date night, it just makes everything better. 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. We will be sharing some date night ideas so make sure to check back in.
- Love Your Love week – It's Valentine's week, after all…let's show some love to your hunny!
- 7 in 7 challenge – This challenge is SO fun and consists of 7 random acts of love in 7 days. Not just buying them the same ole’ same ole’ Valentine's gift, but think creatively too. Dig deep and show them you love them, using THEIR love language (read up on the Five Love Languages if you don’t know which one you or your spouse are).
- Galentine's Day – Take the time to acknowledge your non-romantic relationships in your life, your ‘Gals”. 🙂 You can keep it as simple as a phone call, send a card or as elaborate as hosting a Galentine party!
- Valentine's Day – Make it something truly special this year. We'll give you lots of ideas how, so keep checking back!
- Kids & Family Week – If you have kids, this week is all about them! 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.
- Dinner Together Challenge – Every day this week make it a firm, unyielding point to sit down and have dinner together…EVERY NIGHT. 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!
- Happy President's Day! Find out now if you have this day off of work, so you can start planning ahead for #16.
- 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!
- Allowance Program – This week we will be teaching you some amazing ways to help your kids get financially fit. One of those ways is to nail down a consistent system of paying your kids, and figuring out what THEY should pay for, and what YOU should pay for. Pick a day this week to start implementing your new program.
- 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.
- Nothing Negative Challenge. For one week our challenge is to say NOTHING negative. AT ALL. 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? Saying nothing negative, degrading, or self-deprecating about OURSELVES. Draw a big black X on your hand to remind you all week long!
- Last chance to invite someone over, February is ending! Hurry and make plans to open your home to someone.
- Family Night “10 things” activity. For Family Night tonight 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!
- Take notes of things you want to improve upon further next month, or any other notes that come to mind!
- Get excited for March, “Focus on Fitness” month!
There you go!
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 exited about?
Now…go hug somebody!