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What are friendship goals? How to make the best of your besties

August 1, 2022 - 19 min read

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What are friendship goals?

Why are friendship goals important?

The many types of friends

How to achieve friendship goals

Examples of friendship goals

Never underestimate the importance of true friendship

If you’re here, you might be wondering, “What are friendship goals?” Maybe you want to make more new friends because you just moved to a new city. Or, you could be trying to figure out how to deepen the relationships you already have. Either way, friendship goals can help. 

Take a moment to think of your favorite memory with your best friend. These memories make life special. However, being a good friend can be time-consuming. As you enter adulthood, relationships that were easy when you were younger are more difficult to maintain.

Your schedule might get booked with work, family obligations, or household chores. Not to mention, somehow fitting in self-care. With all this on your plate, spending time with friends requires effort, planning, and communication.

While it seems like a lot of energy, strong friendships are crucial for maintaining your social health. Health is multifaceted — it’s not just about your physical well-being. In fact, human beings need meaningful connections to stay healthy. We all need our friends for advice, support, and fun. 

If you don’t focus on your friendships, you could find yourself in social isolation. That can have dangerous effects on your well-being. With the potential increase in our levels of loneliness since the COVID-19 pandemic, you can see why your social health needs to be a priority.

If you’re feeling lonely or just too busy for your friends, you may need to set some friendship goals. Goals have the power to help you make positive changes in every area of your life, and your social life is no different.

But what are friendship goals? What are some examples? And how can you set and achieve them?

We have all the answers you need, so let’s dive in.

What are friendship goals?

Friendship goals are goals you set for yourself as a way to improve your current relationships and build new ones. These goals will lead you to create a plan to actually accomplish what you want from your social life, rather than aimlessly hoping for change. 

For example, if you’re already part of a tight-knit group of people, you might set goals to spend more time together. Or, if you just moved to a new city, your goal might be to find new friends with whom to plan activities.

These relationship goals work in tandem with other aspects of your life. This includes your values, beliefs, personal goals, financial goals, career goals, and fitness goals. They all work together to help you grow as your Whole Self.

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Why are friendship goals important?

Once you know what friendship goals are, you might be wondering why you should bother with them. Here are some benefits to consider.

1. You’ll feel more satisfied with your friendships

Having a vision for your relationship will help your mental health and well-being — good friendships are shown to increase your sense of belonging, self-confidence, and self-worth. That means that when you achieve your friendship goals, you’ll feel much more satisfied with your friends and your life as a whole. 

2. You’ll forge deeper connections

Friendship goals will help you nurture and improve your current relationships. They’ll lead you to plan meaningful activities and build new memories together. That will give you more time and more reasons to get to know each other better. Ultimately, these deep connections are the ones that will be there for you when hard times come, just as you will be for them. 

3. Your current plans will be more meaningful

If you’ve ever planned a dinner party, gone on a group trip, or organized a party, you set a friendship goal and achieved it. But goals are so much more than that. When you’re conscious of your friendships and what you want to achieve, the world will open up to you. Do you really want to save up for a solo trip to France, or do you want to plan that trip with your roommates from college?

BetterUp can help you build meaningful relationships. With some extra support and guidance, you can build the social skills you need to form deeper connections.

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The many types of friends

You’ll likely have different goals for different types of friends — and that’s normal! You have a unique relationship with each, so your goals will differ based on how you interact with them.

Here are the common types of friends you might have in your life. Think about your relationships to see where people fit and what role they play in your life. You can also consider whether you’d like to try to change the nature of those connections.

1. Your go-tos

These are the folks you call first when you want to hang out. They’re the first people you tell about good news, and they’re always there when times are tough. People in this group are who you want for the rest of your life. 

These strong friendships are rare, so at least one of your goals should focus on showing them gratitude. You might also try to improve communication, have deeper conversations, or clarify boundaries if you need some space. Think about what you need from them and what you can give.

2. The in-betweens

These friends exist in that ambiguous space between “I want to keep them around” and “I don’t want to spend a lot of time with them.” 

As you think through your goals, consider whether you want to deepen your connection with any of these individuals. If not, you might need to let them go in order to focus on the friends you really want in your life. This is your chance to evaluate your relationship with these people. 

3. The loose connections

These are relationships that have a minor impact on your life. Maybe they’re a gym buddy or someone you attend concerts with from work. Perhaps you just like each other’s posts on social media and text every once in a while.

They’re fun to be around, but you probably only have one thing sustaining the relationship — maybe it’s Instagram, a mutual friend, or the fact that you live in the same neighborhood.  

This person could also be an old friend. Maybe you were close in high school. But as you grew older, you went your separate ways and no longer shared the same interests. If these individuals aren’t adding value to your life, you might consider focusing your energy on your other friends.

How to set friendship goals

You can already see how different friend types will require different goals. You have the power to decide the future of these relationships.

Here are some tips to guide you as you set your friendship goals.

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1. Look for what makes a true friend

Make sure you understand the difference between bad and good friends. Your friends should: 

  • Be there when you need them
  • Talk the talk and walk the walk
  • Be trustworthy
  • Communicate well
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Remember the little things that matter to you

These qualities are key to long-lasting friendships.

2. Don’t compromise on your values

It’s important to find friends who share your beliefs and values. You’re bound to disagree on some things, and that’s okay. But it’s challenging to support someone against everything you stand for. 

Make sure that whatever your friendship goals are, you feel respected. Anyone who pressures you to change your core values or beliefs is a bad friend.

3. Know what you want from your friendships

When you know who you are and what you want, you’ll find people who share your goals and values. This common ground is a great place to start a friendship from. 

For example, if you’re an introvert who prefers quiet activities, you’ll want friends who respect your space and won’t drag you to noisy venues. Or, if you love to go to the gym, you can probably find your new besties at your evening workout class. 

4. Make choices about the people in your life

Think about your friends, their type, and whether you want to change your relationship with them. 

You can promote someone to your go-tos or remove someone who drains your energy. Your goals should maximize your good friendships and minimize the bad ones. Identifying if anyone has toxic traits will help you decide who should stay and who should go.

How to achieve friendship goals

Like all goals, you should approach your friendship ambitions with the SMART method. This is an acronym for goals that are:

  • Specific: you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable: you’ll be able to know when you’ve achieved your goal
  • Achievable: you can complete your goal with the resources you have
  • Realistic: your goal fits within the context of your life and purpose
  • Time-bound: you have a clear deadline for your goal

Keep the SMART method in mind as you create your best friends goal list.

Examples of friendship goals

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Now that you can answer the question, “what are friendship goals?” you might not know where to begin. We put together this list of friendship goals to help you out. Take a look at these examples and start working towards your friendship goals today. 

Best friend goals

These are goals for people you consider your BFFs or whom you want to become your close friends:

  1. Be more compassionate and understanding
  2. Tell them more about you
  3. Schedule regular time together
  4. Keep in touch over long distance with regular phone calls or video chats
  5. Have open and honest conversations about how you’re feeling

Adventure goals for your friendships

Here are some bucket list adventures you might want to experience with your friends. These can bring you closer together:

  1. Take a road trip across the country
  2. Become roommates in a new city
  3. Go skydiving

Friendship-related fitness goals

You might have met some people at the gym or want to exercise with your current friends. Working on mutual goals can bring you closer together. Here are some friendship goals for staying fit:

  1. Run a half-marathon together
  2. Hit the gym three times a week for a month together
  3. Compete on the same team in an amateur soccer league

Book club goals

If you’re part of a book club with your friends, try out these goals. They can help you learn something about each other.

  1. Read an entire series, then watch the movies from that franchise
  2. Take turns reading books that were important in one of your lives
  3. Challenge your friends to write a one-page personal essay about a book

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Spiritual/religious friendship goals

You might have friends based on faith or religious practice. Here are some goals that can reinforce your relationship.

  1. Raise funds for your religious community
  2. Discuss your faith to discover what you believe

Practice meditation together and share your experience

Workplace friendship goals

It’s common to have a best friend at work, or at least someone you can count on being in meetings with each week. In fact, strong workplace relationships are proven to increase job satisfaction and productivity while lowering stress and turnover

A Gallup survey showed that 84% of American employees don’t feel a job can be great unless they have great workers. Plus 67% of those surveyed have at least one close friend in the workplace. It’s no wonder that having a best friend at work improves engagement

If you haven’t clicked with anyone on your team yet, Here are some goals to build trust with your colleagues:

  1. Go out for drinks after work or have virtual happy hours to connect
  2. Host them at your house for a dinner party
  3. Have each other’s back in the office — don’t gossip
  4. Find common ground and shared interests to talk about on your coffee break
  5. Suggest a meet up outside of work or on the weekend 

Never underestimate the importance of true friendship

Let’s come back to where we began: What are friendship goals? That depends on who you are and the friends in your life. Your goals will vary based on your values, existing relationships, and with whom you want to spend time.

The main lesson here is that you have to be intentional. Setting goals for your relationships requires you to know what you want so that you can make changes accordingly. You can’t expect to have authentic friendships if you aren’t your authentic self.

You might need to show gratitude to the people you love, make more time for your bestie, or drop the friends with whom you no longer connect. No matter the case, friendship goals will help you achieve what’s best for you.

If you need more help with your relationships, BetterUp is here. We can give you the tools you need to stay socially connected and share your best self.

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Published August 1, 2022

Madeline Miles

Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.

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