8 Steps To Improve Your Social Life: Start A Village

Here’s the way it goes when it’s time to shake up your social life; it’s your day off and Susie was supposed to meet you for a movie but she broke up with Bob…again and now she’s fetal position until Groundhog Day or – you and the wife planned to limo to the local nightclub with Kanye and Kim but North did not win cutest baby at her prep pre-school so everyone is cranky, especially Kanye. And now, so are YOU.

This can only mean one thing; it’s time to shake up and/or start a village. I did it just last week as I realized that while I’ve had the supreme luck of having a good number of gals shape my world the past couple of years, I now am experiencing the supreme challenge of getting together with them.  I pondered this and wondered if just setting stable meet times might bring the women into the wild where they’d enjoy a break from their routine and I would selfishly enjoy their company. The idea blossomed further when I considered doubling up the socializing with grabbing some healthy benefits as well and voila! A new hike club was born.

My new village centers around hiking and is for ladies only as the friends I wanted to grow or reconnect with are the gals. The village is yours to create so only follow these guidelines as a template if you wish and then make your list and get started. *I will give personal examples at the end of each point.

1) Identify The Members. Decide whom it is that you’d like to spend time with and start there. It could be ladies, guys, moms, dads, families w/ little kids, parents of teens, boys, girls, co-workers, church group, singles, grandparents, or any other group. Narrow down the group you want to grow and let that be your beginning. *I chose ladies that would like to hike locally.

2) Spread The Word. Make a Facebook group and then announce it on your own Facebook and/or begin inviting people to join the group. Check your settings, as the group can be “public”, “private/unsearchable” or “private/searchable”. *I made mine “private/unsearchable” but set the group to allow any member to add any gal that she wishes and then I encouraged members to feel free to do this.

3) Make A Plan. If you are setting up a hike/camp/backpack/sports group, consider asking a friend to give you feedback on structure and/or feel free to enlist someone to co-create your group if it’s something that requires that two people participate to be a success i.e. tennis. *I took a friend on the first hike and she provided great feedback on logistics.

4) Keep It Simple. Make a doable meet commitment and spell out the plan and pin it to the top of your group page. *I made twice-weekly meet times and kept the time and location of both hikes identical. I am figuring on keeping it this way for a period of time so that the social enjoyment is maximized and any learning curve related to where to meet and parking details etc. is minimized.

5) Keep It Light. In other words, come into the plan with joyful energy. People have very crazed schedules sometimes and may not be able to join regularly. Make certain you create the group around an activity that you love so that if no one shows, you are still happy. *My first hike consisted of one gal and we had a blast. I hike alone frequently so the idea of a no-show day is something that is not a problem for me.

6) Consider A Donation. My advice is keep it very reasonable but the reason to even consider a donation is because you are committing to maintain the group and create the activities so this will help ensure that you feel your contribution is valued. *I set up a “$5 suggested donation only” for each hike and made certain to stress that anyone who had any challenge in this arena should not let it stop them from attending as it is voluntary.

7) Photograph The Fun. Pull out your phone or camera and take some photos. Distance shots – with your activity as the main focus – are lovely. *On my first hike, I took long shots of my gal pal on the hike and this really gave an idea of the beauty and vastness of the location. I posted them to the group so everyone could see the trail.

8) Adjust As Needed. If something is not working, don’t fret. Just make a change. Shift the schedule if you need to or the number of times you meet. *I realized immediately that initially making the two weekly hikes identical made more sense than two separate locations. This will hopefully give members a chance to come together easily and without constant checking of directions and info once they’ve attended the first time.

Finally, don’t let a challenged social life drain your enthusiasm and excitement. Start a group that likes to camp or hike or play tennis and get the word out. Whether you meet twice a week or once a month, the endorphin boost to your psyche will have you happy you made the effort. Rock on and get started, your village is waiting.

If you wish, feel free to share/like and tweet. Always grateful. 🙂

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