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Building Community in the New Year

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2017

Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

It’s Friday night at ten o’clock and you are home scrolling through Facebook instead of out with your non-cyber friends. Somewhere in between the irony and the glass of Chardonnay in your hand, you decide to do a better job of building your real world community in 2017. It’s a popular resolution. Nielson reports that spending more time with family and friends is one of the top five New Year’s resolutions. As it should be, since strong social bonds are shown to improve your sense of well-being and even your health. This January, Modernistic has some recommendations for making that resolution a reality.

Put some time into your existing friendships.

You probably plan out your weeks, allotting a certain amount of time to work, to appointments, to caring for children or pets, to exercise, and anything else you want to make a priority. Realize that maintaining friendships takes time and effort, and plan accordingly.  If you only have a half hour a week right now, spend some time sending off postcards to old friends, or calling a close one for a short chat. These little things can have an outsized impact on relationships.

Get things on the calendar well in advance.

Set a small goal, like “I will meet the girls for a drink one time this month,” and then plan well ahead to make it happen. Instead of texting all your friends forty-eight hours beforehand, make things more fun and predictable by sending out real invitations. People will take the commitment more seriously, and everyone is more likely to have time to attend.

Use technology to as a way to create real-life encounters.

We all are online a lot, catching up with friends nearby and far away. If our interactions never move offline though, we can end up feeling increasingly isolated. Still, social media makes it easy to get in touch with people. Why not use it to invite someone over for coffee? Or, if you haven’t yet made it to your resolution of keeping a clean and orderly house, suggest meeting somewhere else like a local concert or a bookstore.

Buy a non-electronic address book.

Sending an email is easy. A handwritten letter or thoughtful care package means a lot more. Chances are you haven’t had a real address book in a while, but you can pick one up when you grab you new 2017 calendar. Collect your friend’s addresses and start filling it out. It will get you excited about snail mail again!

Make new friends who share your passions.

Just moved to a new city and looking to form some new friendships? Join a class at the local rec center or community college, or sign up for a book club. A shared interest is an easy way to bond with a new person. Maybe after chatting with someone about your mutual love for murder mysteries you’ll find you share other common interests.

Establish a family time once a week.

These days, families are overbooked. Getting the whole gang together for a family dinner can feel harder than getting a reservation at a popular restaurant. Still, carving out even a few hours every week to focus on each other will help you all reconnect and develop close relationships. You’ll enjoy the benefits for years.

Build community in the New Year by volunteering with an organization you care about.

A great way to be involved in your community is to give to your community. Sign up and do a few hours of volunteer work every month. You may want to work with animals or lead a dance class at a community center, but you’ll feel more connected to your community when you find a way to make it a better place to live. You’ll also meet fellow volunteers who share your commitment to the cause, which is a great foundation for friendship.

Create a list of trusted service providers.

You’ll want to complain to a friend when the basement floods or the cat pees on your carpet, but you also need to know the right person to call take care of the damage. When you fill out your new address book create a page with the numbers of service providers you trust to take care of your home, your pets, your kids, and your car. That way it’s all in one place for quick reference.

Be sure to include Modernistic on your list of trusted professionals. Whether it’s burst pipes or dirty carpets, our certified technicians are here to help 24/7, while adhering to the highest standards of quality. You can also experience the Modernistic difference immediately by scheduling an appointment with our easy online scheduling tool today. We can’t wait to serve you in the New Year.

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