Real Simplereaders reveal strategies for finding meaningful moments in the course of their busy lives.

By Real Simple
Updated April 06, 2010
Aaron Dyer

I surround myself with friends who don’t care that my house is messy or that we use paper plates. It’s nice to have impromptu get-togethers for people who truly enjoy each other’s company and couldn’t care less about which fork to use.
Karen Berry
Longview, Texas

I’ve changed the way I talk about the things I want to do. Rather than saying, “I’ll make cookies if I have time” or “I’ll try to exercise,” I now say, “I’m going to bake cookies this afternoon” and “I’m going to exercise today after work.” Instead of leaving these things to chance—and what my day will allow for—I make them happen.
Kristin Gibbons
Waukesha, Wisconsin

My husband and I have only one car, and so we drive to work together every day. For that one hour, we focus on each other. Far from being a hassle, this shared time has made our marriage stronger and happier.
Caitlyn McCown
Alpharetta, Georgia

Hitting the gym before work gives me extra time at the end of the day to do other things that are important to me—like taking a walk in the park with a friend or venturing to a new restaurant with my sister.
Bette Armstrong
New York, New York

Every month, our family spends one weekend going “unplugged.” We decline social engagements and turn off the computer, the phones, and the TV. Then we enjoy time together. Unplugging takes some planning, but it’s possible if you make it a priority.
Christina Curry
Ferndale, Washington