Well, hello lovelies! I hope your May is off to a great start so far. Here on the blog, with the start of a new month, also means a new monthly goal. And boy am I feeling good about this month’s goal!
In case this is your first time here, I decided to set myself a new goal at the beginning of each month for 2017 with the intention to uplift my body, mind and soul in some way or another. But instead of setting multiple goals, I only set one main goal with a list of action steps.
I feel like with one main goal, there’s more focus. They’re easier to commit to and each month offers a fresh new start (especially if the previous month didn’t go quite like I planned . . . ). But just because a new month is starting, doesn’t mean I forget about my goals from the months before.
Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I set one new goal or intention for myself at the beginning of each month while continuing the goals I set from the previous months.
So it looks something like this:
January: Craft the perfect morning routine
February: + Cultivate more self-love
March: + Create a better work/life balance
But last month was a little different. I was super busy with my best friend’s wedding and the bachelorette party was the same weekend as April 1st. By the time I got around to writing my ‘monthly goal’ post, half of April had already passed. So instead of setting a new goal, I used April to somewhat refine + reflect on the three goals I had set in the months prior. And I actually really enjoyed doing that + all that reflecting helped me hone in on this month’s goal.
To give you some background . . . My March goal was all about creating a better work/life balance that fit with my lifestyle. And I feel like I totally succeeded at the work part . . . But not some much the life part. I can now say that I’m able to focus on work stuff at work, and focus on blog stuff and chores at home. But last month, I realized that I didn’t really spend too much time on my friend/life balance.
Friendships are important. The last person I want to be is the girl that ignores all of her friends texts and calls because life is too busy. I’m a young, 20-something woman that feels super productive in her work life, but tends to neglect her social life.
So this month’s resolution is . . .
Make Time For Friends
In an interview with Psychology Today, world-renowned author, Brene Brown, stated that “we are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, be loved and to belong. When [these] needs are not met, we don’t function as we are meant to.” But in today’s hustle and bustle, we often put our relationships at the bottom of our priority list.
Whether it’s a new guy, a demanding job, or that new Netflix show, it’s important to find a way to make time for our friendships. And believe me — when it comes to time, I am the queen of never having enough! Which often makes me feel like a pretty lousy friend.
While drifting apart is part of the process, I don’t want to drift so far that I can’t find my way back. A friendship is a two-way street! And if a friend feels like she’s the only one putting in effort, it’s only a matter of time before she just gives up and moves on to someone who will actually be interested in hanging out with her.
That’s why this month, I want to focus on my relationships by strengthening old friendships, deepening the existing ones and even making a few new friends! No matter how busy I am (or think I am), I am making my friends and family a priority.
But in order to reach a goal, it’s super important to have some action steps in place for reaching that goal. So this is my plan for the month:
- Make the initiative: There’s been so many time where I’ve been asked to go hang out, but have completely rejected almost all invitations. But this month, it’s all about initiative! I’ve realized that friendships need to be developed and maintained. They need nourishment and attention. And the only way I can do this is by making time for the important people in my life. When I get a day off, I’m taking my mama out to lunch. Thursday night, I’m hitting up a few pals to make plans for weekend drinks. If I wanna binge watch the latest Netflix series, you can bet I’m gonna ask someone to join! Even just checking in with a friend every few days can help to nurture the friendships in my life.
- Plan ahead: With everyone’s busy schedule, it’s hard to get some ‘last minute’ get-together. An upcoming concert, sports event or even a trip to the mall. This month, I’m committing to planning time with friends ahead of time rather than last minute and taking on oath to not bail out last minute, either. And while it may seem weird to pencil in a coffee date on my calendar, I need to do it! In our world of instant gratification and FOMO, I can be pretty horrible at planning. I wait around until the last minute and have some serious commitment issues.
- Be there for them when they need me: Actions speak louder than words. And simply being there is sometimes all a friend needs. Modern life can be hectic, but a real friend makes time to offer advice or support when needed. So if a gal pal calls me because her car broke down — you better believe I’ll be her Triple A. If a friend just got dumped — I will be her shoulder to cry on. And if one of them had a little too much to drink, I’ll be there holding back her hair. Generous acts strengthen the bonds of friendship. Yes, when I show up for a friend in her time of need, I would hope she would give me the same courtesy. But what’s more, “studies show that our happiness is often boosted more by providing support to other people than receiving support yourself,” says Rubin. Essentially — do good = feel good. This month, I’m going to make an effort to really be there for my gang. Because, even if I feel like sitting at home wasting the night away watching Law & Order: SVU — you better believe, I’ll be there!
- Meet at least three new friends this month: This month, I am completely open and prepared to make some new friends. Not in a creepy way, but I plan to be on the lookout for opportunities to meet new people. I want to look into attending a few local events a couple times this month for a chance to meet new people. I’ve also been reading a lot about how important it is to find friends in the blogging world. So while I’ve never really been good at messaging complete strangers, there’s a few blogs I really enjoy reading that I would love to build enough courage up to ask for a guest post. If I’ve struck a chord with someone new, I’m totally open to grabbing contact info and following up to get to know each other better.
Studies have shown that connection is just as important as getting enough sleep, working out and eating the right food. Brown says that “a deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we are meant to. We break. We fall apart [and] hurt others . . .” Basically: we need to belong.
But it’s up to us to create and allow opportunities by reaching out to others, enjoying the company we have and be there for the ones we care about. We have to be willing to put in the time to make real connections and friendships happen.
So the next time you feel yourself slipping into a funk from working long hours or having too much ‘me-time,’ join me in this month’s goal to reach out to the people you care about! Make plans for coffee, a movie night or a weekend adventure. Just take the first step, and make it happen!
+How will you use this month to show the people you care about some appreciation? In what ways can you strengthen the connections you already have? Any tips on balancing work, life friends and a blog? Let me know in the comments below!