5 Ways your New Year’s resolutions could help expand your social circle
If you haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions for 2020, don’t worry – it’s never too late to start! Sometimes these internal promises can help build new relationships by expanding your social circle. Here are some ideas to help inspire your change of habits…
By Angela Lee
Resolution #1: Become a better communicator
If you’re looking at meeting and connecting with new people in real life – in other words, not online via social media – improving your communication skills could help. Time to talk to a colleague at work you’ve never spoken to before or strike up a conversation with a stranger while you’re waiting for the bus. If that sounds too extreme and outlandish to you, maybe that’s what stopping you from being a better communicator. Sure, it will require stepping out of your comfort zone, but the results can be very rewarding.
Before you start, try visualising a positive outcome to your outreach efforts. Remember that most people actually like it when another person takes the effort to initiate a chat, so you’re most likely to receive a positive response. Don’t worry what others might think, either – just go for it.
Don’t know what to say? Simply make a list of general topics of conversation and memorise them. That way you’re better prepared should an opportunity arise. A good way to start is by being a little inquisitive and asking a question – most of us love to talk about ourselves when given half the chance!
Focus on the person you are talking to, ask questions about them, as this makes them feel like you’re genuinely interested. Nod to show that you’re listening and avoid fidgeting. This all helps to boost your charismatic presence. Finally, look approachable yourself by making eye contact and remember to wear a smile – that way a stranger is more likely to be encouraged to start a conversation with you, too.
Resolution #2: Go green this year
Sustainability and concern for our planet will continue to be the growing trends in 2020. Many of us are keen to find ways to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle, such as avoiding using plastic straws and shopping bags, recycling waste or cut down the usage of car for fewer short journeys example. But how can a passion for “green” issues help you grow your social circle?
Joining volunteer groups that support the meaningful cause is a great way to meet others who share your similar interests in caring for the environment. Not only will you make connections with new people, you’ll also be making a positive impact to the environment. For example, join groups supporting local wildlife such as Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES). They aim to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and conduct rescues and rehabilitation, with volunteers helping with community outreach and other activities. You can also sign up with the Nature Society (Singapore) and assist with the rescue and research of horseshow crabs and coastal clean-ups at Kranji Marshes or join one of their regular conservation rambles.
Resolution #3: Learn a new skill
Pick up a new talent while gaining some new friends at the same time. From learning a foreign language to getting the grips with computer coding, gaining green fingers at gardening to creating a masterpiece in oil paints, the range of adult learning courses on offer in Singapore is staggering.
Choose a topic that you have a real interest in – that way you’re more likely to stick at it while enjoying the learning journey. You’ll also stand a better chance of meeting a genuine soul mate on the course if it’s a subject you’re really passionate about.Studying with a bunch of classmates can be a great bonding opportunity as you all grapple with new skills together.
Resolution #4: Get fitter
Probably one of the most common resolutions we make each year, and often the hardest to sustain because it takes a great deal of self-discipline to keep motivated. For that reason, starting a new exercise or weight loss regime together with a group of others in the same boat can really help push you along. It also opens up the possibility of meeting new people.
You can start by checking out the latest list of sports and fitness groups at your local community club – they often encourage beginners with trial sessions in martial arts or pilates, for example. Also check out the wide range of sports and fitness interest groups on Meetup – badminton, running and table tennis are just some of the options. Or head down to the Singapore Sports Hub where FLEX fitness sessions aim to help young adults exercise effectively while making friends.
Resolution #5: Go to more social events
Time to switch off Netflix, play fewer computer games and get out more! Hanging around at home all the time and being solitary is never going to help you meet new people. Try to get out of the habit of saying no when somebody suggests you join an event. The shyness and fear is really just in your head – you’ll never know how enjoyable something will be until you show up and see for yourself. A great way to start is to join Spark Connections campaign which offers specially curated events, services and workshops for eligible individuals to make new friends while pursuing their hobbies and interests. You can participate in anything from dining and board gaming to karaoke and art jamming. Best of all, singles will receive $100 credits to offset costs of the events they sign up for.