Our loved ones are obviously an important part of our lives. While you probably see most of them on a regular basis, are you really spending quality time together? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” according to a John Lennon song.

We often get so busy in our everyday lives that we forget to spend real, fulfilling time together. So how can you make quality time to spend with your loved ones?

Reevaluate Your Priorities

Take a look a your life’s priorities as well as your family’s. Do you all have crazy schedules where you can’t fit in any quality time together? Reevaluate what’s important and necessary in those schedules. Is there anything that you can all drop from your regular routines? Perhaps you can all scale back some items.

Maybe you can rearrange some of your priorities in order to spend more time with loved ones. For example, can you go into work earlier and leave earlier in order to eat dinner together before the kids go to bed? And what about the kids’ schedules? Maybe they can let go of a few activities or rearrange play dates so the family can play a game at home together.

Spending quality time with loved ones is important. Life passes by too quickly to ignore opportunities to connect with those we love.

Another idea is to choose a specific day or date and time to get together. Designate a special “quality time day” once a month where everyone drops everything so you can all be together. Spend the entire day as on a trip or engaged in an activity like boating or hiking. Spend a day at the park or zoo. There are tons of options. If an entire day won’t work, shoot for an evening of pizza and games or jigsaw puzzles. Aim for an activity where you interact, rather than just sitting on the couch watching a movie.

Add Special Little Moments

Although it’s nice to have large blocks of time together with your loved ones, it’s not always possible. And while it’s wonderful to spend time together as a groups, that’s not always possible either. In this case you need to grab special little moments whenever and wherever you can.

For example if you are driving the kids to school, turn of the music, iPads and Smartphones. Have a conversation, ask each other questions, tell silly jokes. Make it a ritual. Years later you will all come to treasure these little, yet meaningful moments.

Observe your daily routines and see where you can fit in some moments of quality time. Get creative! You can even fit in quality time without actually being present. Leave a note in your child’s lunchbox. Put a note on your spouse’s pillow. Send an “I love you” text to your mom every morning at the same time. While you may not be physically spending quality time together you are still creating quality moments that mean a lot.

Respect Each Other’s Time

When making quality time for others, be respectful of everyone’s time and personal boundaries. While getting together is important, it shouldn’t become a chore or something that everyone dreads, including you!

There may be time when you want to get together and some loved ones choose to opt out. While it may be disappointing for the group, respect their decision as an individual. Perhaps they need their space or privacy and will be available some other time. Besides, who wants to force someone to spend quality time together? The quality won’t be very good if a loved one is there unwillingly. Try to avoid judgment and appreciate the family members who do choose to participate.

Spending quality time with loved ones is important. Life passes by too quickly to ignore opportunities to connect with those we love. Whether it’s a few minutes or many days, choose to spend some quality time together!