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15 Things Happy Families Do Differently

15 Things Happy Families Do Differently

Family life can be challenging at times. There are so many people’s feelings, lives, and emotions to consider along with your own. Not to mention, you expect them to be considerate of you! But creating a happy family doesn’t have to be a big chore or cause a lot of fights. Call a family meeting and gather around your computer screen to read these fifteen tips and find out what happy families do differently.

1. They each choose to be part of the family.

Families don’t work if certain members don’t want to be there. Being a family is like being a team – you’re together for better or for worse. Each member needs to make a conscious decision to be a part of the family, and that means to do their part, being considerate of everyone else in the family.

2. They build strong social ties.

Families are teams and need to stick together, sure, but they also need to build strong social ties. Don’t just wave at your neighbors as you go by – stop and have a conversation! Attend church or community organizations together and make friends from the same central location. Know each other’s friends – at least their names and defining characteristics, so you not only know who your family is spending time with, but can ask questions that go deeper than, “Did you have a good time?”

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3. They stick together through the good and the bad.

You can’t ditch your family just because the going gets tough. You might think your parents are getting too intrusive and want to hole up in your room, or your kid might be getting on your last nerve, but you have to stick together and work it out. You can’t call yourself a family only when things are good.

4. They are allowed to be true to themselves.

Just because you’re all a part of the same family doesn’t mean you all have to be the same person. If your oldest child is into soccer, don’t force your youngest to play too, especially if they seem more into art. While doing things together, like going on hikes or vacations, is always beneficial, don’t force anyone to have an interest they don’t feel naturally, just because the rest of the family does.

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    5. They make quality time for each other.

    Speaking of going on hikes and vacations together, spending quality time together as a family is crucial for happiness. You can’t feel happy as a family if you’re never together! Quality time doesn’t have to mean that you’re out spending money at a game or museum. Quality time can be as simple as having dinner together once a week, or cleaning the house together every Saturday.

    6. They go out of their way for each other.

    You’ve seen the movies where the bigger brother sticks up for his sibling who’s being bullied. It’s heartwarming, right? That’s how families are! They stick up for each other. They go out of their way for each other. You have to love each other every day (regardless of how unlovable some members may seem at times) and sacrifice your own feelings for the good of others.

    7. They take responsibility for their own happiness.

    You can’t depend on anyone else to make you happy. This goes for friends, partners, and family. You have to be able to find happiness in yourself before you can bring anything to the family. Depending on others just means you’re putting unreasonable demands on them, and potentially damaging their own happiness. If every member of the family focuses on keeping themselves happy, then that’s all they’re bringing to the table – happiness! Think of how enjoyable family dinners can be when no one is moping and everyone is smiling.

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    8. They keep promises.

    You can’t depend on anyone if you can’t depend on family. If you’ve promised to sit front row center at your child’s holiday performance, you better be there. If you promised your parents that you’d improve your grades, you better study hard! Keep your promises to family so they’ll know you’re reliable. On the flip side, also make sure that you’re making promises you can keep. Don’t get in over your head and find yourself floundering to prove yourself to a family member.

    9. They are patient.

    Don’t expect everything all at once. Change takes time, and family members should understand this and be patient. It might take time for your child to realize he needs to fold and put away his laundry. It might take a few reminders before everyone picks their damp towels up from the bathroom floor. Losing your cool and yelling never helps; be patient and kind and you family will want to change to help out you – and the family as a whole!

    10. They forgive.

    You might have to grovel to get your friends or partners to forgive you when you slip up, but families don’t hold grudges. These are the people who are with you day in and day out. They know you better than anyone, and they know you’re human. Everyone makes mistakes, so family, who truly loves you, is going to understand a slip up and forgive you and keep loving you.

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    11. They use caring words to communicate.

    Families don’t use harsh words to cut each other down. They don’t fuss or nag to get their points across. They use caring words to communicate. This fosters an environment of love and support in the home, so everyone knows that they can speak their mind and be heard without starting a fight, as well as being able to take anything spoken at face value, not as a hidden critique.

    12. They share their emotions.

    It’s natural to want your own space in your home, but don’t close yourself off too much. Happy families share their emotions. This will help create a happy home because each family member will know how the others are feeling. If there is good news to be celebrated, it will be shared. If there’s a problem that can’t be overcome by one person alone, that can also be shared. Your family is your best support system – take advantage of that, and be there for them.

    13. They are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.

    Families support each other. They rally behind the others when they have a tough test or major presentation. They help build each other up when confidence is needed, and keep each other from falling too far if something doesn’t go as planned.

    14. They all pitch in.

    There’s more to family life than a chore chart – though that can be important, too! Family members need to pitch in regarding all aspects of life. If everyone has assigned chores around the house, one member won’t feel like all the demands fall on their shoulders. Pitching in can also include anything from being available for emotional support to helping find car keys on a busy morning.

    15. They practice gratitude.

    When your family members pitch in, remember to show some gratitude! Just because you’re all related and live together doesn’t mean you can take each other for granted. Always let your family know how much you appreciate them and love them.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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