Girlfriend Goals: How The 50/50 Friendship Challenge Will Make Your Relationships Much More Fulfilling

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Girlfriend Goals: How the 50/50 Friendship Challenge Can Make You Much, Much Happier
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Prior to becoming a life coach for women and an author, I was a stay-at-home mom for several years with my two children who are now both attending colleges on opposite coasts. Although close in age, my children are very different learners. They attended two different schools throughout most of their K-12 education which meant that the decade between my late 30s and late 40s was spent in a car.

Their schools were never close in proximity nor their hours of attendance complementary enough to allow for smooth transitions from one school to the next, which meant my children and I spent hours waiting in the car at one school or the other.

When I look back at that time, I realize that while I managed to exercise, enjoy a mom’s nights out each month, and squeezed in a date night with my husband every once in a while, I wasn’t living with intention throughout my 30s and 40s, I was simply going through the motions. Now, at age 51, I’ve made the conscious decision to live each day with intention. 

When you’ve lived so many years absent a practice of intention, you’ll find the irony that it takes intention to get to intention. A lot of people spend countless hours trying to figure out what they want out of life when designing their intentional life.

I’m going to save you some time and tell you what your ultimate goal in life is so that you can start living with intention today. Your ultimate goal in life is what everyone is seeking: Happiness. But how can you achieve happiness? 

RELATED: How To Master The Art Of Being Happy In 15 Steps (Or Less!)

The simple answer is through relationships that you cultivate. There are social foundations to happiness. High family satisfaction levels and regular social interaction provides for more daily positive moments. The recognition of the importance of happiness is now found in college classes.

I recently completed a certification course in happiness which was taught by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. In the certification course that I completed, most of the studies on happiness that were shared throughout the course circled back to the importance of human connection and the importance of relationships. 

I took the lessons that I learned from my Happiness Studies to heart. I began to reflect upon and recognize the vast importance of the relationships in my life. I made it my mission not to allow another year to go by where I did not take the time to sit down one on one with each of my girlfriends to share the meaning that she brought to my life.

I proceeded to make a list of 50 women and met with each of them over the course of one year. Some women on the list were longtime friends; others were relatively new acquaintances. I was intentional with whom I chose — purposeful with both the questions I asked and the dialogue that I hoped to have. I listened carefully to the words shared with me, and I spoke to each woman from my heart. I let go of my own ego. I was there to be both the teacher and the student.

This project of mine has become so powerful that it has evolved into not just a personal endeavor, but a movement — the #5050friendshipflowchallenge.

RELATED: 10 Types Of Friends You Need In Your Life

During my 50/50 Friendship Flow Challenge journey, I discovered that the gift of each meeting — often brought my girlfriends to tears of gratitude, and a deeper connection with my girlfriends was made. I realized that while we talk to our friends, we never talk about our friendship. We fail to tell our friends how important they’ve been in our lives. 

Through this practice, my relationships with my girlfriends did not just become stronger, the practice also strengthened my relationships with my family and community, as I began to focus on the gifts that each relationship brings. 

I encourage you to take the challenge. You don’t have to meet with 50 people, you can choose to meet with 5, 10, or 20 friends — something manageable during the course of a year. 

The 50/50 Friendship Flow Challenge: 

  1. Set a date. One on one - either in person, video chat or on the phone.

  2. Set your intention and let go of ego. 

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  3. Share your admiration and your observations. 

  4. Ask questions. 

  5. Finally, write it down, take a photo, keep a journal, and capture the moment. #5050friendshipflowchallenge

The reflection piece, step 5, is the most important. As you record your meetings, it will be impossible not to feel gratitude for the people in your life as you begin to recognize that everyone who comes into your life is both your teacher and your student.

And when you live in gratitude, and experience more positive interactions with people daily, you’ll find your daily life being filled with happiness.

RELATED: Why Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Mental Health, Relationships & Happiness (Plus, 5 Simple Steps To Get Started)

Shari Leid is the author of The 50/50 Friendship Flow: Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1992 and graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 1995. A former litigator, she currently owns and operates An Imperfectly Perfect Life, LLC, a professional life coaching business serving women, helping guide them towards recognizing their power.