Every December, I learn a lesson the hard way …

Time is finite.

Beyonce and I might both have 24 hours in a day but there are still only 24 hours in a day.

Does your December look anything like mine?

My calendar quickly fills to the brim with holiday parties and vacation travel and family commitments and I find my head spinning trying to get everything done.

There’s something this annual holiday-time-crunch teach us about relationships too.

No matter your relationship configuration, you only have so much time to spend with others and attention to give to others.

Spend your time and attention with intention

A helpful first step is to know what’s important to the people who matter most to you. A framework called “5 Love Languages” can help you get a handle on how you—and others in your life—like to receive love. For me, physical touch is most important to me followed by words of affirmation. Peter’s primary love language is quality time.

That means if I want to show Peter that I love him, I better spend some quality time with him!

If you’re not careful, your time and attention can get pulled away from those that you care most about by

  • chasing new flings
  • social media
  • television
  • constantly reading/watching the news
  • drugs
  • partying

New flings and keeping up on social media and hitting the party circuit can all be fun ways to spend your time — absolutely indulge in them if that’s something you want more of in your life. But do so with intention.

Set aside time for social media and time for your family. Build 15 minutes of reading the new into your morning routine and trust that someone will tell you about any breaking news you need to hear about. Make going out a special occasion rather than a rush you can’t stop pursuing to the exclusion of deeper relationships.

I really truly believe that love is abundant

That there’s enough love to go around for your family, your friends, your husband or wife, your partner or playmate… but I also know the reality of time.

If there are people in your life that matter deeply to you — act on that feeling. Don’t just assume they know it. Or decide that since you’re married that should be enough. Give them the same time and attention you give your other interests. If you don’t, do you really value them?

So this week, think about how you can spend just a little more time and attention on the people that matter most to you. Hit reply and let me what that stirs up in you.

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