A big part of living a more intentional and purpose-driven life is the relationships we have. We are social creatures and we need other people around us to feel happy and complete. That means creating purposeful and meaningful relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

While all relationships are important, the ones that will have the biggest impact on your own personal life are family and close friends. That’s where you should start. These are the people that mean the most to you and often the ones you spend a lot of your time with. While good work relationships are also important, they don’t have to be quite as deep and meaningful as personal relationships. As long as you communicate well with your coworkers and boss for example and you get along ok, you’re good to go. With your best friend, your spouse, or your grandma, working on a more meaningful relationship can have a huge impact.

Be Intentional In Your Relationships
The first step in having more meaningful relationships is taking a look at where you’re at right now and then figuring out where you would like it to be. Do you want a more intimate relationship with your spouse? Do you want to be closer with your kids and have them open up to you? Do you want to have a more relaxed relationship with your book club friends? Once you know how you would like those relationships to be and look like you can work on being more purposeful and intentional in your interactions with those people.

Don’t Like Something? Change It
Most relationships aren’t perfect. Some are downright awful. While we can’t change people, we can change our relationship with them!

Sometimes that means setting boundaries. Sometimes, that may even mean cutting people out of our lives. Most of the time though, it means working on the relationship and having open and honest conversations. Work with the other person to come up with something that works well for both of you. Compromise and put in the effort to improve the relationship the two of you have for the better.

Good Relationships Take Work

Last but not least, I want you to realize that a good relationship takes work. This is true of your marriage, your relationship with your children, staying close to your best friend and any other close relationship you can think of. If you get lazy and start taking it for granted, it will wither and die. Don’t let that happen.

Instead, put in the work. Show your love and appreciation openly. Get up early in the morning to go for a run with your spouse, have as many meals as possible together with your family, spend the time to talk to your children over dinner instead of you or them plopping down in front of the TV. This time together is priceless. Also, make the time to go hang out with your friends regularly.

Play a board game or a fun card game with your children (no matter what age they are). My best friend is 35 and I have turned him and his son on to some board games a couple of months ago. Not only do we play my favorite games now but he is spending more fun time with his son, away from computers and tv screens.

Be intentional about your relationships and do your part to make sure they stay meaningful and strong. Yes, it takes work, time, and effort, but it is well worth it because a lot of how the relationship develops is in your hands. You have a huge influence in your circle. Use it wisely and intentionally so it can blossom. Do everything in your power not to hurt or slight the people around you, no matter what mood you are in. Give them your full attention when talking to them. That Whatsapp message can wait. In today’s attention deficit society, there is nothing more nourishing than someone who is 100% with you when you are spending time together. You can be that someone for the people you care about.

Homework 

Reflect on the people you spend time with and on the ones you would like to spend more time with. Who are they? Do they serve your growth? Do you serve their growth? Do you do them good? Do they do you good? Write down 1-3 people you want to spend more time with and schedule that time asap. Is there someone in your circle of family and friends who does you no good, who might not belong there anymore? Sometimes it is better to let go of an old relationship that does not work anymore in order to be open to something fresh and new. Other times it is better to strengthen what is and make it work better. You decide. Remember, it is your choice.