"We should get together!" "It's been so long!" Cut the chatter and make it happen with these tips.

What is that quote about "best-laid plans?" Sigh. We have the best of friends, and we enjoy getting together. But, life happens. And before we know it, months or even years have gone by between visits.

I worked with a woman who was a natural connector. She had more friends than I could count, and I marveled at her natural ability to connect with others. It seemed so easy for her, and here I was struggling to see an old friend for coffee. I was totally shocked when my co-worker shared that she kept a calendar to help her remember. It seriously blew my mind.

So I tried it. I became more intentional about the connections I wanted to make ... and more importantly, how and when I would follow through. I'm not there yet, but I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.

Set Reminders

Seriously. And no one will question your needing reminders. Setting reminders is one of the best ways to be intentional with your friends. When a friend tells you of an upcoming project at work, a date with someone new, or a family member's surgery, jot the date in your own calendar. On that date, text or call your friend to ask how the project, date, or surgery went.

Leave No Friends Behind

Make a list of your friends. No, really! Take the time to jot down the names of those you want to intentionally connect with on a regular basis. And then get out your calendar. Spread out your friends' names throughout this next month. You may have a friend or two on each day. On that day, be sure to text your friend(s) or even send them a note in the email.

"Sometimes, being with your best friend, is all the therapy you need." -Unknown

Make an Appointment

Okay, not really. This isn't a doctor's visit. But when you and a friend mention getting together (grabbing coffee, snowshoeing, or even hiking the Grand Canyon), take a moment right then to schedule it in your calendar. Find the best time that works for both of you and protect the time.

Random Numbers

If these ideas are just a bit too structured for you, come up with a random number each day. For each day, contact the same quantity of friends as your random number. For example, you thought of the number "3" this morning. Commit to texting, calling, or visiting with three friends before your head hits the pillow tonight.

What tips can you share about staying connected with friends? Share in the comments below.