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How to Cultivate the Friendships in Your Life

One of my PowerSheets goals over the past two years is some iteration of loving others well, and while this is something I like to think comes naturally to me, in reality I know I have a long way to go! One of the hardest parts of an ambiguous goal like "love others well"? Figuring out tangible action steps for you to make little by little progress on that goal!

When we were working on creating the Fruitful Friendships Workbook, I was pretty adamant about having a section with Tending List ideas so that you could easily transfer them to your PowerSheets Tending List each month. We didn't want the Workbook to be just a pretty magazine you flipped through; we wanted it to be practical and encouraging as you cultivated friendship in your life.

I'll share a few of the ideas below based on where it could fall on your Tending List (monthly, weekly or daily goals). I'd love to hear how you incorporate friendship tending into your goal-setting routine, too!

be-a-good-friend

Monthly Tending List Ideas

Make a list of things your friends love. I keep a running note on my phone of things my friends love or things I need to know about them. A few ideas: their favorite candy, shirt size, any significant holidays or milestones, their Starbucks or Chipotle order. The possibilities are endless here!  The times I feel the most loved are often because someone is recalling a detail about me that seems insignificant, but shows that they listen to me.

Plan a summer meet-up to bring together friends in your community! We created an entire meet-up packet to make this easier for you! Send a text, post it on Facebook, or email a group, and start making new friends in your neighborhood.

Leave an unexpected treat on your friend's porch. Whether it's a sweet treat you baked or a small gift you picked up at your favorite shop, it's sure to be a fun thing for your friend to come home to at the end of the day. Bonus if you download one of our bright notecards or punny gift tags.
thank-you-gift

Weekly Tending List Ideas

Call a friend. I've oftentimes said I am a terrible long-distance friend, but here's the thing, picking up the phone for a catch-up call or Facetime isn't that hard! Adding this to your monthly PowerSheets is a great way to stay accountable while showing your faraway friends that the distance isn't keeping you from caring about their life.

Send a gratitude note. My best tip for gratitude notes? Keep stamps and notes together and in a place where you are often sitting. For me, it's my top desk drawer or my car (in case I have a few minutes to spare). It'll make it so much easier to write a quick note of thanks or encouragement to someone.

Offer to pick up something for a friend on a grocery run. If you're already headed on an errand, why not text a friend to see if there's anything you can pick up for them and drop off at their home? A new momma might especially appreciate having someone offer to grab a new pack of diapers as they're throwing the last one away and preparing to load the baby in the car.
how-to-care-for-friends

Daily Tending List Ideas

Respond to your text messages. How often do you get a text message, read it, and then wait to respond at a "better time"? No one else? Just me? I might be preaching to myself here since I'm the worst at responding to texts (I have 5 currently sitting unread on my phone). Here's the thing: if your friend were to ask you a question to your face, would you turn away and not respond? Absolutely not! So don't treat them that way with your electronic device. I'm working hard on this, and I've added it to my PowerSheets daily goals for a few months now.

Make eye contact. Commit to looking your friend in the eyes when she is talking to you. Nothing is more distracting and hurtful than watching a friend look around or worse, check their phone when you are spending time together.

Encourage someone. Smile, and offer a genuine compliment to someone today.

Fruitful-Summer-Bundle

There are more Tending tips in our Fruitful Friendships Workbook as well as worksheets to help you set friendship goals. We created each of our companion guides to be used in conjunction with PowerSheets, so if you're not a PowerSheets user, now's the perfect time to join us!

Our Fruitful Summer Bundle is available to help you set meaningful summer goals and grow meaningful friendships this season. It includes a set of Six-Month Undated PowerSheets Workbook in White, Fruitful Friendship Workbook, Fruitful Summer Postcard Set, and Take the Leap Mini Print.

Save the date for Wednesday, May 31st when Lara and I are going to work through the Fruitful Friendship Workbook LIVE alongside each of you on Facebook! We can't wait to spend some time together chatting about our friendships. Grab your copy today so you can have it in time for our hang-out!

 

 

Show Comments (15)
  1. Brooke
    Brooke
    reply

    Great ideas, Jess! I especially love the idea about texts. I try REALLY hard to reply to all of my texts by the end of the day, but I've been slipping a bit lately, so I've added scanning through all of my texts and WhatsApps before I go to bed as a daily tending item to be sure that I've replied to everything. It's so frustrating (and can be hurtful) to be waiting for a reply that never comes, and I don't want to make my friends feel that way!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Yes! I completely agree! A friend of mine suggested turned on read receipts to hold me accountable, but I'm a little nervous to do that :)

  2. Ilana
    Ilana
    reply

    THANK YOU for this! As important as this is (and as much as it seems like it should be a normal thing that people know and do) it's hard to remember to do! Maintaining friendships face to face is common sens, but not common practice. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and return to our roots of community and connection face to face. Your blog and message are so inspiring.

    XOXO

  3. Kelly
    Kelly
    reply

    I love this! Just texted a friend to set up a facetime date :)

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      We're so glad! That's a great reminder for me to do the same with a faraway friend :)

  4. Jessica
    Jessica
    reply

    I've been struggling with how to stay connected with friends who live far away. Is the Fruitful Friendships Workbook something I could buy for each of us to do together? I have a friend with a birthday next month, and I thought this might be a unique gift that keeps on giving! Does it make a difference if she is not a PowerSheets user (yet, hehe)?

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      That's a great question! You don't have to be a PowerSheets user to use it! Xx!

  5. Caley
    Caley
    reply

    I just LOVE these lists - I need to add some to my Powersheets x

  6. Fruitful Friendships Summer Meetup!!! – Events by Coco
    Fruitful Friendships Summer Meetup!!! – Events by Coco
    reply

    […] you are craving real friendships, this is for […]

  7. LaRisa
    LaRisa
    reply

    Fruitful Friendships Workbook

  8. Nascent
    Nascent
    reply

    I really love these ideas. I got the Fruitful Friendships workbook with my bundle recently and am enjoying the tips and best practices. I am curious if anyone has a good information sheet document; where you can keep info about your friends all on one sheet? Things like favorite color, love langue, birthdays, anniversaries, favorite things, est.

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Great question, Nascent! I actually keep it on my phone Notes app! Hope that's helpful!

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