Our very important friendship to-do list for 2016

Real talk: New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. Things always go great for a few weeks (maybe, days) but then they just have a tendency to fall apart. This year, I’m taking a different approach to making resolutions and I’m dedicated to keeping the only resolution I’m making. Here it is: In 2016, I’m going to try to be the best friend I possibly can be to my BFFs. Because they deserve the best best friend!

It’s not that I’ve been a bad friend — it’s that my friends are so incredibly important to me, and I want to make sure they know that I love and appreciate them every single day. To get me in the mindset of being the best bestie I can be, here are a few ways I’m planning to stick to my resolution.

Send your friends cards for no reason at all.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that everybody loves to get mail. I’m a firm believer in the “just saying hi” greeting card. Have you browsed the card section at Walgreens lately? They have every sentiment from quick 99-cent hellos to decadent Papyrus cards covered with sequins and feathers. You don’t have to send cards every week, but keep an ear to the ground for when they might need a surprise pick-me-up the most: an upcoming test, a big presentation at work? Card time.

Be a great listener.
There will be days when you need to have an hour-long phone session or meet up for a glass of wine or crash on the couch and eat cookie dough, and you’ll just need to talk about you. Your besties will be there for you. Likewise, there will be times when your best friends will need you to sit and listen to them vent or cry or gush. The best friendships are two-way streets. Make a conscious effort to be the very best listener when that’s what they need.

Lift them up when things are good, and catch their falls when things are bad.
Celebrate your friends’ highs and be there for their lows. As a best friend, you’re there for the good, the bad, and the ugly. You also wear a lot of hats. If a friend gets a promotion, you’re her biggest cheerleader! If your friend is going through a bad breakup, offer a shoulder to cry on. They’d do the same for you.

Start a book club.
Have you ever read a book at the same time as a friend? It’s really fun! It’s a small thing, but it makes you feel closer, especially if you don’t live near one another.

Celebrate National Best Friends day.
National Best Friends day is a day dedicated to doing whatever is special and sacred between you and your BFFs. It’s not until June 8, so you have some time to plan this one out, but just picture the possibilities: shopping, traveling, lounging, making friendship bracelets. Whatever you love to do together, today is the day to do it. If you can’t wait until June, try celebrating it on the eighth day of every month!

If you live in different cities, make it a priority to visit each other.
Chances are at least some of your #squad is spread across different cities. Why not visit? This is your opportunity to see different cities like a local; you’ll have a built-in tour guide AND hotel. Because I’m almost certain your best friends would let you crash on their couches. (Who am I kidding? They’ll almost definitely let you crash in bed with them, just like old times in high school.) It’s fun to see your friends in their elements, and helps put context around where they’ve been calling or FaceTiming you from.

Go on a BFF vacation.
While it can be difficult to get everyone’s schedules synced, it’s worth the effort — best friend vacations are really special. If you can swing it, it’s fun to meet in a totally new destination that none of you call home base. Nobody has to host, and everyone feels like they’re truly on vacation! If you start saving now, come spring, summer or fall, you’ll have some nice funding to fuel your travels. Where to? Road tripping across the U.S.? Backpacking through Europe? Beach bumming in Mexico? It doesn’t matter where you go, because you’ll have the best travel companions.

Make a big deal out of their birthdays. Like, huge.
Not everyone is a birthday person, but almost everyone likes some kind of recognition on their birthdays, big or small. If you’re in the same city, follow her lead and spend the day how she’d like. If you’re in different cities, maybe you could plan a visit, or at least be there in spirit. Send a card, send flowers, call ahead to her favorite cupcake place and pre-pay for a red velvet. Do what you can to make her day special.

Call just to say hi.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but calling your friends just to say hi can be hard. If there’s something big you want to talk about but know you only have 5 minutes to talk while you walk to the subway, sometimes that phone call gets pushed back — and inevitably, pushed back again. Make a pact to call even to say hi or leave a quick voicemail — it makes you feel closer to your friends, even if you didn’t get to talk for that long.

Keep a jar of your favorite memories.
Whenever you have a special BFF moment, write it down on a slip of paper (with the date!) and put it in a jar. It’s a small act that will pay off in a big way over time. At the end of the year, open the jar and read your memories together. Even better, make copies and surprise your friends with their own jars at the end of the year!

Related reading: 

30 questions you should ask your best friend

Things you can only get away with if you’re best friends

Featured image via Shutterstock

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