A few weeks ago I decided to take a few little steps to making my friendships more meaningful and appreciated. I’m so lucky to have a loyal, solid group of friends in my life. What better commitment could I make than to be a better friend?

I’ve put together a few non-formal vows to help myself achieve this:

1. Say yes.
All too often I respond to invites with “maybe”. I almost feel inconvenienced by friends when they ask what nights I’m free after work, or how my schedule is looking for the upcoming week. It’s completely irrational and stupid of me. Gratitude and kindness should be present at all times when a friend wants to make time in their own lives for me.

2. Commit to ONE set of plans at a time.
Regrettably, I’m one of those people who double books and lumps social events together as often as I can to try to appease as many people as possible. Due to my instinct to reply with ‘maybe’, I frequently overbook my nights and mash people and plans together. Not only is it inconsiderate to my friends, it also takes away from the personal connections I would otherwise be more conscious of making if I were only with the one person instead of the two/more I’ve had tag along.

3. Get in contact for no particular reason.
Over the year I’ve gotten progressively worse at responding to texts, emails and messages and we all know calling is practically a dead form of communication nowadays. When I do contact people it’s usually to make plans, confirm them or ask favours or advice. I rarely send spontaneous messages like I used to back in high school anymore. The average person checks their phone 150 times per day. Yet I can’t find the time to text someone a ‘good morning’? I can do better.

4. Show up.
Even when a friend does manage to get me to say a definite ‘yes’ to a set of plans, I’ve pulled the infamous last-minute reschedule too many times. After a long day of work, or even just the looming threat of an early morning I’ll dread any plans I’ve committed to for the night and ask to cancel, then beg forgiveness. I always have a great time when I force myself to get over that hesitation hump and later chaste myself for dreading the plans in the first place. Minds as well just skip the whole guilt of bailing and just stick to the plans regardless of my sore soles or aching shoulders.

So, that’s about it. There’s my over all plan for committing to be a better friend. They deserve the best of me and I’ve slacked long enough.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.