Spend quality time with loved ones

Dec 24, 2012 at 4:18 a.m. ET

Work comes and goes, but your family and friends are forever. Make time for what’s important and use these tips to spend quality time with your loved ones.

family time cooking

Involve them

The easiest way to spend quality time with loved ones is to involve them in your day. Let your kids help you cook or clean, especially the young ones who think it's a ton of fun. If you have places to go and a teenager who's learning to drive, have her be your chauffeur. Need to go on a marathon shopping expedition? Ask your mom or your BFF to tag along. If you work out, ask your hubby to join in on your daily routine. Not only will it allow you to hang out and spice up your workout, but it also may spice up your love life, too.

Cooking with kids >>

This works the other way, too. Include yourself in plans your loved ones have made and get involved with their hobbies and activities. People are busy these days, and sometimes you just have to be busy together.

Plan for it

If you just sit around waiting for the perfect time to visit with loved ones, it may never happen. Instead, make a plan (and stick to it). Schedule a time that works for both of you, and keep that time slot blocked off — no matter what. If you can, make a standing time every week or month to get together. If everyone else in your life (and at work) knows you aren't available on a certain day each month, you'd be surprised how likely they (yes, even most bosses) are to respect your schedule.

Stop procrastinating

If you keep putting it off, it may never happen. Make spending quality time with loved ones a priority in your life. Once you know what's really important, it's easier to find a way to make it work, and you'll be glad that you did.

Put a stop to procrastination >>

Eat together

Make mealtime quality time. Make a commitment to eat dinner together at least a few days a week. Eat around the table, not in front of the television, and use the time to talk about your day or what's happening in your life.

3 Fun family meal ideas >>

family dinner

Ways to make more time

3 Ways to make time for family nights
4 Ways to find time for each other during the busy holiday season

How to make more time in your day