We start every year with the best of intentions, and without exception, every January I say I’m going to be better at keeping in contact with people. In the past, this has translated into me trying to stay abreast of birthdays, embracing new social platforms and deciding to instant message or ‘poke’ people for no reason at all; I didn’t ever find the right combination of digital and paper resources to comfortably nail this broad but reoccurring New Year’s resolution.
Since moving from the UK, I have set more specific intentions to build and maintain my U.S. network. With clarity, I made the liberating decision about the tactics that would NOT form part of this strategy and have found new ways to share with and be inspired by new people in my life. Whatever the year and stage I am at, the resolution may have changed but really, it’s all the same; connecting with people is how I experience joy, increase my resilience, and achieve personal growth.
If you err on the side of the extrovert, you know only too well how much energy being around others can give you. To exchange thoughts, challenge and stretch norms or find fresh insight when you connect over mutually stimulating subject matter can be incredibly powerful. If you are more of an introverted personality, that connection may be found in less raucous settings, where you have the time and space to think deeply or make a one-to-one connection that sparks an idea or solution. Either way, that connection is vital to health, wealth and happiness.
As a Leadership Coach, I help people make meaningful connections. Nurturing specific relationships and finding value in new connections can lead to opportunities not previously thought possible. For professionals spending more time working remotely, engaging with a community of like-minds can be the human connection needed to build a sense of belonging and personal fulfillment. In today’s world, creating a successful collaboration or connecting a human need to an idea can hold more value than ever.
If you don’t have a resolution that relates to you achieving a sense of connection with someone or something this year then now is the chance to add one to your list; these intentions have the potential to expand your horizons and ignite something new for you personally and professionally. But, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that loose, floppy, flabby resolutions lack the glue to keep you inspired by and wedded to their outcome. To make the most of this year’s intention to connect, take a moment to reflect and consider the following:
What are your needs? Knowing what you want has a mutual benefit and gives purpose to every interaction you make. Whether it’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons, deepen your knowledge, or increase visibility for yourself; be specific and clarify what ‘from’ and ‘to’ you want to create for yourself? Not knowing where you are at the start of your journey is more than unfortunate; like using a GPS without reception, it can be damn-right exasperating and completely overwhelming.
What type of connection would help you feel fulfilled? Think about forming connections for personal, professional and mutual benefit. A connection can be inspiring, provide security, or offer light release. If the solution lays in strengthening an existing relationship, be prepared to give before you receive. Don’t be afraid to begin by forming a deep and meaningful connection with yourself through self-care, it will make you stronger in the long run.
The New Year is the perfect opportunity to start as you mean to go on. To give up some vices (again) to be kinder, more patient and do more of the good stuff (or at least try to). But before you run off with a list of resolutions you’ll have forgotten by March, stop for a moment and ask yourself what’s out of alignment and what kind of connection you actually desire this year. It takes strength to think about what you really need in life and courage to go after it, but why ‘poke’ someone when you can truly engage with them? The result can be as stimulating as it is valuable.