Being intentional with friendship

What does intentional friendship mean to me?

It means being purposeful about cultivating relationship and connection with like-minded friends. It also means making time for friends even though it might not be convenient. Read half of my friendship manifesto here.

What does intentional friendship mean to you?

As an upholder, these are some of the things I do to be intentional with my friendships

  1. I decided what I needed to do to feel happy about seeing people enough, and once I had clarity, I got busy executing on it. I’m an extrovert and I want to have at least 4 friend dates a month, preferably 6.
  2. I schedule recurring friend dates to connect with some friends and I leave space to meet up with about 2 – 3 friends every month outside of those set times.
  3. I am the initiator about 90% of the time. I would prefer if that percentage was different but I’m looking on the bright side in that at least if I initiate, I actually get my extrovert fix in. I will say that I only initiate these days as much as I am comfortable. I have learnt over the last 2 – 3 years that I am enough and if I don’t feel like I’m getting any reciprocity, I won’t keep inviting.
  4. Monitoring my friend dates works for me. You can read more about my friend spreadsheet here. I’m sure it seems a bit over the top to some of you, but it really works for me, and helps me to be more intentional. Also, as an upholder, the strategy of monitoring realllllllly works for me.


Here’s how you make yourself accountable to your friendship needs. Set up recurring friend dates (first Wed of every month, or last Saturday of every month) and you’ll naturally pitch up.

To prevent your boundaries being crossed, also decide what you want and don’t want from your friendships, e.g. since my budget is Rx per month, I can’t eat at restaurants with mains of more than Rx. Otherwise you’ll just say yes and feel resentful the entire time.

Yes, a friendship is give and take, but since obligers lean towards meeting other people’s expectations first, boundaries are definitely something to bear in mind.


Questioners are the first ones to abandon friendships that no longer work for them. They don’t have problems hanging on like some of us …. but would always want to make sure that they’re in a specific friendship for the right reasons.

I know a questioner who is very specific about meet-ups. If people cancel on her at the last minute, she gives them one more chance and then stops initiating. I know another questioner who is also very clear that some friendships will probably not continue once circumstances change, e.g. work friendships.


Rebels approach friendship according to their identity. If they think of themselves as someone who makes time for their friends, for example, then they will live up to that identity. if they’ve decided that they’re terrible at initiating, then they just won’t initiate.

As a rebel, consider defining your friendship identity. Or not πŸ˜‰

If you’re friends to a rebel (I have two friends! possibly 3!), try not to box them in. They need their freedom!

And that’s it for now.

Tell me again, if I don’t know, what is your tendency?

How can you be more intentional with your friendships?

{What’s making me happier?} 11 – a story about a bath

When we looked at this house, I loved almost everything even though it wasn’t all too my taste.

One thing I knew I couldn’t live with was the 70s brown bathroom, as I called it.


However, renovating a bathroom is not something I have the energy for after this move, and more importantly, the money.

In the old house, we’d re-enamelled the bath when we first moved in and it still looks just fine, 11 years later.

So that’s what we decided to do.

When I was googling, I saw that they can re-enamel everything so we had the bath, basin, soap dish, toilet roll holder, bathroom vanity and shower done.

I can’t believe the change.

It’s like night and day πŸ™‚

Now I don’t have to think about it for the next couple of years!


When I mentioned to a friend what we were planning to do, she told me she’d rather wait and get the bathroom redone properly in two years time, rather than do the quick-fix solution now.

My thinking was that if I have to look at that brown bathroom for two years, I’d go mad. So I preferred a good enough solution for now.

I think it’s what Gretchen Rubin calls maximiser vs satisficer, a concept I’ve written about before.

So tell me, what would you do about the bathroom situation?

Are you a maximiser or a satisficer?

Are you a moderator or an abstainer?

If you look in my bin right now, you’ll see two empty chocolate wrappers (Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bubbly – mini!).

In my defense (and I need one!), the bin hasn’t been emptied for 3 days.

Create a beautiful life |

However, there’s another side to this issue – if I hadn’t bought them, I wouldn’t have eaten them.

I only eat what’s there – I would never drive to the shops just to buy a chocolate bar.

I’m a clear abstainer with chocolate. Gretchen Rubin talks about this inΒ Better Than Before.

It’s easier for me to totally not eat that chocolate (and chips!) than try to eat just a little of it.Β  With junk food, I seem to be an abstainer. Although I do think I’m more of a moderator because extreme diets just don’t do it for me.

I’m on Weigh-Less and we eat from all the food groups. This is not a food blog but many of the popular diets prohibit certain of my favourite food groups πŸ˜‰

(Interestingly, in the book, she says all dieticians are moderators!)

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

With everything else though, I think I’m a moderator. Just think about the things I say:

  • Baby steps!
  • Do things 15 minutes at a time
  • Only put 5 things on your to-do list
  • A little bit is better than nothing.
  • Even if you only achieve 3 things this month, it’s better than having tried nothing.


Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

Which one are you – moderator or abstainer?

PS I’ve been very on the fence about The Life Changing magic of tidying up largely because of the extremist nature of the method. But some of my very favourite bloggers have totally bought into the idea so I think it’s worth checking out. All in the name of research for the blog πŸ˜‰ I’ve just bought the book and will listen during August.

Better than before – maximiser or satisficer?

In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin’s stance is that the better you know yourself, the better you will be able to stick to and sustain good habits.

I agree wholeheartedly.

So let’s talk about being a maximiser or a satisficer.

A really quick way to explain the difference is to give two examples:

Say you need a pair of black pants for work.

There are about 5 women’s clothing stores who would have black work pants.

A maximiser would check out the black pants at each of the 5 stores, and then go to buy the pair that perhaps fitted best and were the best price (whatever your criteria).

A satisficer would walk into the first of those stores, and if they had black pants in the correct size for a decent price, would buy them and that would be that.

Do you know which of the two types you are?

One more example.

Booking travel.

You want to go to NYC and be near Times Square.

The maximiser would search all the possible hotels in the area until the price and location were just right.

The satisficer would search until they found a hotel in the appropriate price range in the area and book it.

Now do you know which type you are?

Modern Mrs Darcy talks about how she’s a maximiser but writes about the satisficer’s guide to NYC πŸ™‚

I’m a satisficer…. wholly and completely πŸ™‚ Yes, I’m a very efficient shopper. Also, life is too short to chase the 10%!

Which one are you? Tell me why you say so.

Coaching the Four Tendencies

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

When I was listening to the book, I realised something really cool about coaching the Four Tendencies:

I’m an Upholder. I have coached other Upholders but usually only for laser coaching where the person was clear about what they wanted to do and just needed strategies and guidance on getting there. Here’s the thing – they didn’t need the weekly accountability part of coaching because they already respond very well to their own inner and others’ outer expectations.

I have never coached a Rebel. At least I don’t think so. If you’re a Rebel and I’ve coached you, let me know – I’m so curious. That’s because Rebels do whatever the heck they want IF they want to do it.

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

I have coached quite a few Questioners and these people are usually the ones who really like me to ask clarifying questions and make them think about why they want to do something, be a particular way, etc. They like being challenged in their thinking. They like the intentions-based, values type of coaching because it satisfies the WHY they already always ask.

The bulk of the people I’ve worked with over the years though have been Obligers. This is kind of obvious when you read/ listen to the book because Obligers readily respond to external accountability and they need other people to make them accountable to get things done. That is exactly what I, as their coach, would provide, especially with the weekly accountability.

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

If you haven’t yet taken the free Four Tendencies quiz, you’re missing out.

And best of all for me, when someone now approaches me for coaching, I can have them take the quiz and they will then decide which type of coaching is best for them. Isn’t that cool?

I’m counting on everybody reading to take the quiz and let me know πŸ™‚

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Are you a lark or an owl?

I finished listening to the audible version of Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before, on the very last day of May.

I really loved it a lot and can thoroughly recommend it to all of you, because you all want to improve your lives. I know this because you read my blog.

One thing she says is that that it’s a good thing to know yourself because that informs how you make changes in your life. Strategies that work for one person will not work for another (which we all know, and that’s also the type of thing I say all the time in my books and courses).

I’ve known from the beginning of time that I’m a night owl.

I’ve even written an article about how doing things at the right time of the day… for you… will make you 50% more productive. Go read it – it’s a good one πŸ™‚

Night owl or lark | Organising
And then I ran across many other books and e-courses online (I can think of 3 off the top of my head) where the authors believe you can change your day by maximising your morning and so on.

Which always made me feel a bit of a failure because try as I might, I am not a morning person.

People said to me pre-kids, “just wait. Once you have children, you’ll become a morning person”. It didn’t happen.

I woke up 3 times a night, sometimes more, for the first 10 months of my kids’ lives, and groggily attended to my allocated baby (we were each allocated one to listen out for) but once they were sleeping through, I went back to being my normal sleep-through-anything self.

Night owl or lark | Organising
The interesting thing to me about this book is Gretchen says that there is research (!) proving that a lark will always be a lark and an owl will always be an owl.

Such freedom for me.

No more of the slight guilt that I wake up when I do and that I’m actually quite useless before 9 am.

Tell me your story.

Are you a lark or an owl?
Have you tried to live the opposite way? How did that work for you?

Power hour

I always have a notebook on the passenger seat of my car. In this notebook, I jot down my commute times to and from work (it helps me to think of it as a race… but a safe race, because I don’t speed), anything interesting I want to remember from a podcast or audio book and to-do lists.

The other day I wrote down 6 items in just 37 minutes (it was a good day!).

I pulled out the page from the spiral-bound book and walked into the building with it clutched in my hand.

My colleague asked about it and I said, “I need a personal assistant. Look at all the stuff I need to get done”

And then I realised that a lot of it could be dealt with in a power hour.

Power hour |

I heard about this concept of the power hour on Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier, and I must say I love it.

A lot of my items – four of the six – could be knocked off with some dedicated online shopping πŸ™‚ – and the other two could be scheduled in my diary or the arrangements could be made in a typical power hour.

The idea is that you don’t put things on your power hour list that you would have to do anyway, but I like the idea of just having the dedicated time to knock off some life admin.

I’ve scheduled my own power hour for Saturday evening.

Do you like the idea of a power hour? Do you currently have one? When is yours scheduled?

I conquered a new habit!

But first…

Discover yourself, a super-fun and insightful e-course/ workshop in your inbox, is now ready and waiting for you.

discover yourself

At the end of this course, you’ll have figured out your definition for success, your values, your passions, and your strengths. We’re also going to challenge your beliefs, and help you step out and live a more courageous and fearless life.

You’re going to LOVE it! Come on over to read some more.


Creating a new habit |

I’m very excited to share more about a habit I never thought I’d actually get right.

The habit of cleaning my face every night.
I’d told myself things like I hardly wear make-up (true) and it’s such a schlep (also true) but really, I was/ am lazy.

And it’s not like that was a pressing goal every day but I knew it was the right thing to do – to take care of my skin better.

When I read about the Strategy of Convenience (or is it Inconvenience?) on Gretchen Rubin’s blog, I thought about how having my gym clothes ready helps with getting to the gym on a Saturday morning, and I started wondering what I could do to make things easier for me.

I read on a blog about a lady who cleans her face with facial cleansing wipes and it sparked a slight hmmm but then a few days later, I walked by the cleansing wipes at the shops and a lightbulb went on!

So I bought a pack just to try.

I chose a pack of 40 wipes just so I’d have more than enough (enough – my word!) to create and maintain this habit.

Those wipes didn’t even get packed away so I could start that very night.

Incidentally, that was 21 March, Michael Buble’s concert night πŸ™‚

Creating a new habit |

The wipes stayed out on my bedside table and lo and behold, it was EASY to climb into bed, grab the wipes, clean my face, put on some Labello and open my book to read while I creamed my hands.


By the end of the month, I could see it was working but I wanted to do a full 21 days, then 30 days, then I figured why not wait til the end of April.

And here we are.

I now clean my face at night.

I’ve since upped my game and put the wipes in a nice glass jar so they look prettier and take up less space.

I realise this is much more exciting for me than it is for you, but I wanted to throw it out there in case anyone has the same problem.

Go get yourself a pack of facial wipes.

If you’re frugal like me, and you don’t wear much make-up, half way through you’ll realise you can use half a wipe every day. So I cut them in half. It took about 30 seconds and I’ve extended the usage.

And if you want to start or stop a habit, make it more convenient or very inconvenient.

Do you clean your face every night?

How could you make it more convenient to create a good habit in your life?

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