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 😉

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 I want more of this year

This is always a fun post to mindmap and then to write. It’s even more fun when I ask friends and colleagues and I hear everyone’s responses.

This year in 2018, I want more…

  1. consistent sleep

I’m getting to my sleep goal but last year I’d skimp on sleep during the week and make up on the 3 weekend nights. This year I want to work on getting more consistent good sleep.

2. good, discussable books in book club

A good book is not necessarily a highly discussable book, especially if everyone liked all the characters. Some of my favourite book club meetings have been the ones where our ratings are all over the place 🙂 My favourite fiction book of last year was not well received by 60% of our members at that meeting.

3. recurring friend dates

I put the scheduling on my January goals list and have already scheduled some recurring friend dates for the year. This doesn’t mean I’m not open to spontaneity – of course I am – it just means I’ll at least have 4 times of connection every month.

4. to deal immediately with emails, decisions, etc.

In the name of crafting the most tactful email, I have been known to put off answering an email quickly. This year, I want to make sure I have a better balance of tact and speed 🙂

5. organisation at work

I’ve gotten a bit lax with some of my work routines that I know work wonderfully for me when I use them. This year, I bought myself a separate diary to use at work and I’m doing weekly planning (I’ve always done my daily to-do list) the same as I do at home, and even monthly goals 🙂

6. more going out of stuff than coming in

I listened to Lisa Whittle on the Jamie Ivey podcast and she said that she has a rule for herself – if she brings something into her house, she has to let go of 5 things. This means she has to really, really, REALLY love the thing that she brings in. I just love this idea so much and I want to adopt a looser version of it this year.

7. more family time

Always. I’m so aware that my kids are getting bigger and I want us to enjoy our times together even more. I usually tidy the kitchen and pack my lunch for the next day while Dion does bedtime reading, but I’ve started doing a quick tidy, joining the bedtime reading and then packing the lunch afterwards.

Do tell me at least one thing you want more of this year.

PS Here’s my what I want more of post for last year

Good news – you get to choose

I have a couple of coaching spots available. If you’ve been wishing/ hoping/ dreaming for more time and less overwhelm, this is your time. Email me and if we’re a good fit, I’d love to work with you.

The first rule of time management (and life, really) is realising that you have a choice.

Often people tell me they don’t have a choice because of x, y and z reasons.

And actually, that’s not true.

You always have a choice.

Of course these choices are sometimes Super Hard but they’re always available. It also takes courage to admit that those choices exist in the first place.

Let me explain.

1. I’ve said before that I can’t go to Weigh-Less and gym on a Saturday morning. Then I realised that I was lying to myself. Technically I could do it. It’s just that it was super hard and really tight time-wise with the kids’ breakfast and gym.

But I could do it if I really wanted to wake up 30 minutes earlier.

2. A lady told me she didn’t have time to do anything for herself.

When we explored a little more, she did, in fact, have time, but she was too tired at night after the chores were done.

It’s not true that she doesn’t have a choice. She does. She could, technically, do something for herself first if she wanted to and then finish the household chores. She could even leave some of those chores for her husband.

It takes courage to admit, “I’m choosing to do household chores with my time instead of my own hobbies”.

3. Still someone else was talking to me about a work situation last year.

She said she didn’t have a choice in leaving her employment because she couldn’t find another job.

I suggested that she accept responsibility for where she was at. To stop complaining and realise if anything was to change, she had to make it happen.

If she didn’t want to go out and find something else, then she had to consciously say to herself, “I’m choosing to stay at my current company because of X, Y and Z” or otherwise realise she had a choice.

Well, this same lady sent me an email last week. Apparently I kicked her butt and she decided to go out and look for another job. She told me she was so happy and was glad I talked tough to her.

Your coaching challenge is to…

1. Identify 1 – 3 situations where you’ve been saying “I can’t” or “I don’t have a choice”.

2. Change your words and say, “I’m choosing to do __________ because of ________________” When we tell ourselves the truth, we realise that we either have to accept our circumstances or and it will empower us to change our words and start making different choices.

I fully realise that this is not a popular thing to tell you because all of us don’t like facing our stuff, but I know that in my own life, when I’ve accepted that everything is a choice, I’ve been happier doing or not doing things simply because I felt more empowered.

Where have you realised recently that you have a choice?

Lovely things to do this year

I have some routines I like to do around my birthday every year which I thought I’d talk about and link to, so that you can be reminded to do them too, if you’re so inclined.

If your birthday’s at a completely different time of year, put a link to this post in your calendar, a week or so before or after your birthday.

If you’re reading on a mobile device like an iphone, tap the square with an arrow pointing up, copy and paste the link into your calendar.

Here’s my annual birthday routine:

1. Organise a celebration. I believe that every year on this earth is a blessing so I like to celebrate my birthday every year.

2. Do a birthday review. This year I changed one or two questions but the main 4 questions are the same as my monthly review: what worked well, what didn’t work well, what did I learn, what do I need to let go of?

As a reader mentioned in the comments last year, it is a brave thing to do, to face up to things may not have consciously considered, but it’s always good to take an honest assessment of things. If you need some hand holding as you do this work, please book a coaching session with me.

3. Make a list of lovely things to do this year. This is purely a fun list 🙂

I put things on this list like books I’ve always wanted to read, restaurants to try, fun things to do like take a photowalk with a friend to take photos of the jacarandas, things I want to do with Dion or the kids, and recipes I’ve wanted to try.

So far on my list I have to (finally) buy new frames because I’ve had my current frames for about 3 – 4 years (lenses have changed, but I kept the frames).

I also have some fun books I want to read, and I think I finally need to read the Total Money Makeover. I also want to listen to Andre Agassi’s Open.

Keep checking my Instagram because I’ll be sure to post my list when it’s done.

I have a friend who schedules a massage on her birthday, another who always takes a day’s leave to “think about her life” and still another who books all her appointments like gynae, eyes, mammogram in her birthday month. Fun, thoughtful and practical.

Please tell me about your birthday rituals and if you’re not signed up to my list yet, please do so if you want the free “lovely things to do this year” printable. My next newsletter goes out on Tuesday 15th.

Have you done your annual birthday review yet?

If it has to be done, you might as well enjoy it

I’m learning more and more that everything in life comes down to perspective.

And we can either get really annoyed with things, do something about them or do the best we can.


A few examples:

1. I really don’t enjoy driving in peak hour traffic at all. And that’s a very polite way of stating how I feel.

So since I have to do it, I make it as enjoyable as I can – I listen to podcasts or audio books on the way to work.

It has to be done so that’s one way to enjoy it.

These days I actually look forward to my days in the car to listen to a current book or catch up on my podcasts.


2. Related to driving, some days I don’t have early morning meetings. Instead of still rushing into the office, I take some time and have slow mornings.

Once D and the kids leave, I make a mug of tea and go read my book for a half hour before getting ready for work. It’s such a gift in my busy day because it feels really decadent, almost like I’m on holiday.


3. I don’t know why I hate packing my lunch bag so much. It’s got to get done though because we don’t have a canteen at work and no way am I walking to the mall to spend unnecessary money on food.

So I make sure I’m listening to a podcast and I focus on how all that walking up and down my kitchen is also good for my Fitbit steps 🙂

Over to you!

What do you have to do, but hate doing?

How can you make it more enjoyable? Music? Get a friend (or kid) involved?

What’s making me happier this week (1)

Gretchen Rubin has a little 1 – 2-minute podcast on a Monday which is called A Little Happier, just a quick inspiration for the week ahead.

I thought I would do a similar thing on this blog but I’d share a couple of small things that are making me a LOT happier.

I actually have 3 for this week but I only have a photo of the one, so I’ll post the others in weeks to come.


this is the nice, bright light and bonus – it also makes cool patterns on the wall 🙂

At some point we swopped out our regular lightbulbs for the energy-efficient ones. The problem is that the energy-efficient ones were only available in a much lower wattage (?) for the fittings we had (bayonet).

A few days ago I woke up early and turning on the lamp hardly did a thing in terms of light.

That was my trigger because I really wanted to read instead of scrolling Instagram.

I went to get a proper lightbulb and I swear my happiness increased 100-fold.


Now I love reading in bed again. I read TWO books this weekend with my nice, bright bedside lamp 🙂

I’ve previously referred to these tiny annoyances as tolerations and you can read more about them at that link.

Which tolerations are you putting up with that you can fix super-quick?

What’s making you a little (or a lot) happier this week?

Which is your desert island item of make-up?

1303 M and kids best-009

I’m sharing my make-up “routine” today to show you how I keep it simple and easy, which saves me lots of time.

  1. After my face is clean, I use Olay complete care day fluid (moisturiser). I’ve tried others (I’m not sure why!) but I always come back to this one so I’m not messing around anymore. It is light, non-greasy and goes on very easily. More importantly, one bottle lasts me 6 months and only costs R90.


2. Then comes Garnier BB cream. I love this one. I’ve used another Garnier one before that left my face too oily but this one is perfect.

3. Maybelling eyeliner

4. Cheap eyeshadow on my light eyebrows


5. Lip liner – once you start you can’t stop using lip liner. It really keeps your lipstick on longer. I prefer a pencil and usually use a house brand one from Clicks. Pictured is the Smudge brand, and the Essence one, and there’s a Yardley retractible liner there too but that one’s broken already with only two applications. I think I probably have too heavy a hand.

6. My favourite lipstick is currently Rimmel’s 066 Heather Shimmer (they have two Heather Shimmer colours – I found that out the hard way!) followed closely by Yardley’s Nude long-lasting colour

And that’s it. Nothing earth-shattering but it makes me look like the best natural-looking version of myself 🙂

This is not all my make-up – I have 8 other lipsticks; some are “summer” ones, others are spares for my work bag, etc. 🙂

If I could take one make-up item to a desert island, it would be lipstick. What would your item be?

This is my previous post on make-up – I see not very much has changed 🙂

5 favourite non-fiction reads over the last year

I had a question recently about which non-fiction books I recommend.

I really had no way to answer that because I didn’t know anything about the person.

In case you feel like dipping into a new non-fiction book this weekend, here are my 5 absolute favourites over the last year.

In case you feel like dipping into a new non-fiction book this weekend, here are my 5 absolute favourites over the last year.

I just realised I’ve listened to all of these on Audible, which is definitely my non-fiction carrier of choice. if you’re not a member yet, try it out and get two free books.

1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I really, really loved this book and like I said in my Goodreads review, I think people who hated the book or the author didn’t actually read the book!

I did listen to it on Audible though and I always feel that the author’s voice comes across with their intention a lot more.

If you haven’t read it yet, get the Audible version of this memoir – she is so funny and has really good comedic timing too.

2. Overwhelmed

I said in this review that it’s the time management book I wish I’d written. It’s smart, insightful and really interesting.

I wrote one post about time confetti but I want to re-listen to my bookmarks and write some more posts about this wonderful book.

For those who like to talk about how there’s not enough time, but also who are interested in how different people make things work.

3. Smart Money, Smart Kids

I wrote a ton about this book in this post. If you have kids still living at home, the clever thing to do is to read it.

4. Better than Before

I’m like a Gretchen Rubin evangelist. If I know you even a little bit, chances are I’ve told you to go take her quiz to find out your tendency, and then I’ve told you to subscribe to the Happier podcast. Yes?

This one is going to get another listen from me; it’s just that good!

I’ve written 7 posts about this book here…

5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

You all know I love this book – I wrote a ton of posts (20!) about the concepts in here that you can access here, or by clicking the picture on the right sidebar —->>

She has a new book out called Spark Joy but I can’t talk to that one yet as I haven’t read it.

Have you read any of these books? Did you love them?

What was your favourite non-fiction book over the last year?

PS there’s always my Goodreads to check some of my other favourites.

PPS  Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

{Mindset Monday} Mottos

It’s lovely sometimes to think about things you know to be true for yourself.

Mind you, these do not always ring true for others, but they resonate for us.


This is a section of my Amazing Life workbook, my mottos.

I like looking through my workbook monthly-ish because it often reminds me of things I’ve written that I may have forgotten, like one of my favourite work mottos:

Deal with things and don’t procrastinate.


I used to sometimes wait for the muse to hit so I could use particularly beautiful language in an email and be really diplomatic, but really, people would rather just have their answers, right?

And best of all, I feel better not only because the thing is done and off my to-do list, but it’s off my mind, and truthfully, a clear mind is much more important to me these days.

If I’m really angry about something, I have another motto that I have to get completely calm first before responding, but that is usually not longer than a day.


For home, I know that I always, always feel better if I get outside and get moving, whether it’s going for a walk, going into the garden to take photos, or kicking a ball around with the kids.

There is such a huge return on my time investment that it’s always worth it.

What are some of your favourite mottos for work or home?

What I learned in April and… my May goals

I spent this morning completing my goals review for April and setting goals for May.

A Goals Night, of sorts, but on a Monday morning.

To be honest, I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a Monday morning, unless it’s at the beach 🙂


April was a great month in many ways; here are some of the things I learned:

  • A friend and I FaceTimed (?) and it was such fun. I also had numerous phone dates which is a new thing for me but it was surprisingly fun. I say surprisingly because normally I’m not a fan of the phone. I think what made it different was that I was not taken unawares, and the expectation was to sit, chat and connect. In other words, it wasn’t a sales person trying to sell me something 🙂
  • The house-buying process has changed a LOT in the last 11 years. My word, one needs hours and hours to complete application forms by hand or on the telephone, and a TON of paperwork. I created a folder and there are over 20 documents in there!
  • Seeing friends after nearly 24 years is just as wonderful as you’d imagine it to be. We had such fun that the intention is to now do something together every 2 – 3 months.


    • D and I had our 21-year anniversary. The three friends in the pic above saw the whole thing unfold and I remember Thembi (bottom left) saying, “finally!” when I told her we were officially “going out”. Ha! Fun times. Fun fact – Linda (pink dress) and I share the same birthday.
    • Show houses are so much work. We had two this month and I’m hoping that the person gets a bond approved otherwise it’s back to the drawing board 😮
    • It really is very easy to read more books. I read 9 books in April. The key is simply to spend a lot less time on social media and more time with your nose in a book. I used to have the excuse that my phone had to be right next to me so that I could activate “sleep” on the Fitbit app. That was true but they updated the app so when the device syncs to your phone, it picks up the sleep cycles automatically. Now I don’t need my phone with me anymore and this is a good, good thing. Try sleeping and waking up without it and see 🙂
    • Bullet journals are a lot of fun to read about, talk about and try out. I’ve written two posts so far – have you read them? And my third one will publish on Wednesday.

And now, for my May goals.


I mentioned before that this year I’m focussing on 3 – 4 key areas and I set goals within those areas.

What are those areas for you?

        • Health?
        • Family?
        • Work?
        • God?

This month, try to set just one goal per important area of your life to keep you focussed throughout the month.

What did you learn during April?

PS the notebook above is a Piccadilly one. I LOVE them, because they all have the same format – a blank page for mindmaps (or doodling/ sketching) and lines for writing the notes. I haven’t bought one for years, but I’ve seen the A5s at CNA for about R90, which is a complete bargain.

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