When pursuing your goals, you have to set boundaries of what you can do and can't do with your friends. It's important to be able to have that social life because when you drop everything for your goals, you lose the things that should be just as important to you. However, putting them above your goals would hinder your pursuit. In order to achieve a good balance, there needs to be some sort of guideline that the individual ought to follow. For each person, that guideline is different because the goals that individual has is different. For some, the guidelines are more lax because their goal doesn't have as much time constraint, while others will have to figure out how to balance time to focus on their goal and time to hang with friends.
As for me, my goal is to become an elite-class runner, which requires a lot of time and effort. This means that I would be spending less time hanging around with friends because of this time constraint. My goal is important to me, as are my friends, and fortunately, my friends understand the importance of my goal and what it entails. At times though, it seems a little too much. I have to schedule my hang out times around my running schedule, or vice versa, and at times, I have certain friends who don't plan ahead and do things on the fly. Although it may be good for most people and add the excitement to their lives, to me, it can be a wrench thrown in the formula.
Today, I had all day in which I could have hung out with friends, but because they were busy or something was up, I couldn't find time to hang with them and so even though in the morning, I ran 14.3 miles in 1:50:06 (7:41 min/mile average), I had a lot of free time during the day and between 2-8, had no social time and was just bumming around all day until I worked out at the gym, doing 26 pull ups, 60 push ups, and cycling for 30 minutes, followed by some stretching. I then proceeded to go to Starbucks and see if I could see some friends from 10:00, but it seemed like nobody was available. As soon as I went back home to get ready to sleep, I noticed on my facebook that a friend of mine happened to be in town and was hanging out back where I was at... I could have gone back, but I couldn't because tomorrow, I needed to wake up early and run for 30 minutes before going to church. Running is a huge priority, and unfortunately, because of bad timing and bad communication, I couldn't go and hang out.
Having to pursue my goals, I needed to make a few sacrifices. It's important that my friends understand that because if they don't, then the relationship I have with them will fall apart. Things like miscommunication or lack of communication can make that happen. Therefore, when working towards your goal, it's important to keep that communication line open, so that both you and your friends would know what's going on. The thing about having a goal is setting priorities depending on the closeness of the friendship you have, and the determination you have concerning your goal. I'm fortunate to have friends who understand the importance of my goal and my pursuit of it. They understand that I can't eat late with them because it can mess with my metabolism in a way I don't want it to. They understand that I need to sleep earlier so that I could wake up and go running in the morning.
Sometimes, the strain can be hard, but if your friends are truly your friends, they'll understand you and work with you. Don't forget to balance your friendships with your goal. When you sacrifice everything for the sake of your goal, you lose the important people in your life. Strive on towards your goal, but take those breaks to keep the personal relationships you have with the people around you.