Growing up I’ve always appreciated the bond my mom had with my godparents from New York, her friends of 30 years. At least once a year my godparents would come down to Florida and visit us. During the visit my parents and godparents would stay up all night long talking and catching up (like not sleep for 24 hours). This combined with their weekly phone calls to keep in touch really painted the picture for me as to how friends can stay close throughout the years.

Even though we have the most access to ways to communicate these days, It can sometimes feel even more difficult to keep in touch. You no longer have the need to chat on the phone for hours because you’ve been texting from time to time, catching up on Facebook and chatting through Instagram comments.  Let’s not even get into the fact that our schedules are now inundated with Netflix’s, Hulu and adulting after work. Let’s face it, nurturing quality friendships as you get older is not as easy because your schedules don’t collide like they used to and communicating through Insta isn’t enough. However, having that time with your friends is not only invaluable but every woman in her 30s needs that girl time now more than ever.

But how can we take control of planning quality moments with friends instead of only getting together for major events like weddings and baby showers?

Here are 5 tips to ensure you stay connected with friends throughout your 30s.

1. Book Club

Hear me out before you judge – it’s not the uncool format that you are envisioning, read on. In fact, this method has actually been a game changer for me and my 30 year old friends. I’ve noticed this increased desire to read more now compared to in my 20s. Not only have I become addicted to learning, but reading helps your memory and expands your mind when you are in reality TV show overload. So I brought my friends together and we decided to start a book club and identified a book that sparked all of our interest. The way we connect and chat about the book is by meeting each weekly on Google Hangouts to recap the designated chapters we agreed to read. The book club recap lasted about 30 min until we prioritized the latest celeb gossip, reality tv, career changes at 30 and more. To spice things up a bit, each week someone is nominated to select their wine of choice. Everyone in the group grabs the same wine, which serves as another talking point. If books aren’t your thing you can always talk about the latest headlines or conduct recaps of the Bachelorette, Game of Thrones or the latest Hulu series.

2. Group Chat

group chatThis seems like a small one, but it has really helped to nurture my friendships. Why, you ask? Well it’s simple, depending on the size of the chat someone always has a comment for the group – whether it’s current events to nostalgia regarding old times or invites to the weekend happy hour.

Ultimately this gets the convo flowing, keeping you in touch in times you wouldn’t normally chat.

Just remember to put your phone on silent in meetings to avoid the explosion of massive texts regarding celebrity gossip that just made headlines!

3. Monthly Meetups

To guarantee that you see your gal pals on a consistent basis, commit to a monthly meetup. Make it fun and easy to manage by electing 1 member of the group to plan and coordinate something fun for everyone to do during their designated month. Horseback riding, dinner, movies, happy hour, plays, comedy clubs, spa, concert etc. are all up for grabs. This ensures all the work isn’t always on one person plus puts an expected and planned monthly activity on the calendar each month.

4. Yearly Trips

Girl Trip! Get together with your besties at least once per year to drive, boat, fly or staycation somewhere. From a weekend to a 5 day escape is all the time you need to carve out for an epic tip with your girls. Try to plan 6-months to a year in advance to get buy in and commitment from everyone. The experience will be so much fun from pre-planning chats to times you will never forget followed by memories you will have forever.

5. Commit to Something Together

Going through something together is what friends are made for. Join a weekly Yoga class because becoming a Yogi with your friends couldn’t be funnier and what better way to keep each other accountable than hanging out and getting a sweat in?  Alternatively, train for a 5k marathon or help with community events through Habitat for Humanity or Big Brothers Big Sisters.

You can even commit to sign up for a wine club together or a beauty box subscription. These are great talking points to journey through with friends as you discover something new together.

Ultimately the goal is to commit to something that everyone likes while keeping each other accountable.

What unique ways have you found effective in order to keep connected with friends after 30?