Make Islam a lifejacket for the people, not a straitjacket. Take it easy! The Prophet ﷺ said, "Give glad tidings, don't turn people away!" -taken from Abu Eesa Niamatullah.As Salaamu Aaalaykum, my thoughts...
Extremely strict or extremely liberal are subjective terms. As a person with HORRIBLE habits before Islam, one of the whispers shaytan would constantly beat me with was, "you can't make it to your morning classes on time but you want to join a religion that requires you be awake BEFORE sunrise or else be sinful?" I don't remember EVER seeing a sunrise until after I took shahada.
However, as soon as I became Muslim @Isha time it was also my first prayer and I was able to wake up for all my fajrs on time. It wasn't as difficult or stringent as I thought if you make it a priority.
I wouldn't try to push someone to do my routine as it took me 6 years to build up to where I am right now and when I look to the students of ilm around me I noticed that its almost nothing compared to what I've seen them do and only Allah swt knows of the amount they do in private. I also have to remind myself that it also took them several years of practice and adjustment to build up to where they are today.
Like I recently read, motivation gets you started but habits keep you going. If we focused on establishing GOOD habits and building on them than it starts feeling like a lifejacket. I don't know where I would be without Islam. I'd probably still be wandering around lost, helpless, feeling the pain of this dunya and not knowing how to change my life for the better.
May Allah swt grant us, our families, progeny and communities hidayat and keep us on the haqq until the day we meeth Him. AMEEN.
ps AND take advantage of your Friday!
"Friday has twelve hours (or parts to it). There is one hour during which if a Muslim asks Allah anything, Allah will give it to him, so find it during the last hour after Asr." (Reported by Abu Dawud #926 of Sahih Al-Sunan