It’s a new year.
You logged into your Facebook at the beginning of this month, ready to proclaim to the world that this year would be different.
This year was YOUR year. You would get your life right, find the job of your dreams, and stop spending hours a day on Pinterest.
Wake up before noon. Well, that might be a little too ambitious…
Instead, you saw no fewer than 5 engagements, 2 collections of gender-reveal party pictures, and a solemn post from your college freshman roommate about her dead dog.
You’re right. This is your year…
…to make new friends.
But don’t make this the year to meet people who are just like yourself. Don’t just interact with people who are already like you, or just like the people you already know.
Aim instead to make this the year you create the ultimate #GIRLSQUAD GOALS.
So, you mentioned a #girlsquad…you mean like TSwift’s?
Exactly. Just because you’re not hangin’ out with Taylor’s besties doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of having your own dreamy squad of amazing, supportive women who cheer you on—and vice versa.
Often, the turning over of a new page at the beginning of the year brings a wide sweep of changes: personal, career-oriented, etc.
Maybe you switched jobs and have moved to a new city, state, or even a completely different country.
Maybe you just finally took the leap and moved out of your parents house. Kudos to you, friend!
Whatever the circumstances of your new situation, it’s challenging and daunting and exhausting and a whole lot of other scary adjectives moving on to a different stage in life. The support and closeness of friends during these times usually makes transitions easier.
Why you need your own girl group of fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous. duh.) womenWhy you need your own girl group of fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous. duh.) women Click To Tweet
Who did you call for a second opinion when you were debating buying that cute purse in Target?
Who pulled you out of a Starbucks-soy-latte-caffeine-sugar-induced coma after a rough work week?
Or that time you got that ridiculously unflattering break-up haircut? Who was there for you?
Your girls. That’s who.
Girl friends stick with you though countless tubs of Ben & Jerry’s. They’re there to talk you out of said bad haircuts (if possible). They catch you up on episodes of your favorite reality shows. (By the way, the Real Housewives is my jam. #noshame)
And they’re there when things get ugly in life. I’m talkin’ rolling in a fetal position, contemplating-becoming-a-recluse kind of ugly. Although for introverts, sometimes the life of a recluse isn’t that unappealing, haha.
They tell you straight up when you’re being a major douchnozzle or cheer you on when you’re trying to fulfill your ultimate dreams of being a girl boss.
They pour into your life, give you encouragement, call you out on your ish, keep your secrets, cry with you, pray with you…they do it all. And you do the same for them.
Why? Because you love ‘em, and they’ve proven their loyalty time and time again. You may not be able to choose who your family is, but you can most definitely choose your best friends. And hopefully, they become like family in the end.
We’ve already established that you need a new squad, but if you’re just getting settled someplace new or at a transitional phase in your life, you haven’t yet had a chance to find those close relationships.
Where do you even start?!
Okay, see. This is where I think there should be a Tinder for making cool friends. Like, an app where you can meet other women who share your taste in makeup and gym clothes?
There should be a Tinder for making friends who share your taste in makeup & gym clothes. Click To Tweet
WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN INVENTED YET??
6 Steps to Help You Create the Ultimate GirlSquad (without coming off as totally creepy)
1 | Be open to a new routine.
Whatever season of life you’re in right now, you’ll no doubt eventually settle into some form of a routine—sleep, eat, work. Rinse and repeat.
There’s no time for socializing in this monotonous pattern of 9-5 drudgery. It’s difficult to connect with others when your life screams “Hang out? No, thanks. I have my 10 cats to keep me company. Plus, I’m at least 5 episodes behind in This Is Us.”
No. Rewind, try again.
Netflix will always be there, just like that old flame from high school that you just can’t seem to shake off.
It’s hard to connect with people when you’re subconsciously signaling to others that you’d much prefer to be left alone. Been there, done that. I’m an introvert after all. Oops. 😉
With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, make sure you’re making time to get outside and become familiar with your surroundings—both people and places.
This leads me into my next tip…
2 | Develop your current interests or invest your time into new hobbies.
On the way home from work or school, check out a local bar or restaurant that caters to your age group. You don’t have to join in right away. But on your daily commute, if a few locations around your community have piqued your interest, take the time to explore them.
If one of your New Year’s goals was to get in shape, go to your gym and ask about some classes or ask how much it costs to join. Once there, try to get to know someone new each day you’re there. It could be the person running next to you on the treadmill or the girl in your spinning class with the cute gym gear.
Love playing sports but haven’t found an opportunity to get involved in a recreational team? Go to your city’s rec center and see if there are any teams you can join and play on the weekends.
You may be used to hanging out with your same group of friends, doing the same things over and over. I know it can be hard to branch out and try something new.
It’s always worth it, though. Whatever activity you choose to do, make an effort to be present in the moment with the people around you.
3 | Use social media.
Here’s the thing: everyone and there mama uses social media. And as it turns out, a lot of restaurants, bars, concert venues, and activity centers have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts where they post about upcoming events. For example, Escape Room LA constantly updates their Twitter page and Instagram about recent groups who have completed the game. If you’re looking for a thrill—outside of eating that french fry that’s been in the back seat of your car for 2 months—get a group together (or find one that needs a member) and get your scare on.
Whatever you’re into, look to the social media accounts of some of your favorite karaoke clubs and venues so you can participate in popular shenanigans and meet people with whom you will have at least one thing in common.
Or maybe you’re a fellow blogger (hey, gurrrl! *waves awkwardly*) who uses social media to help establish a presence online. If you’ve been blogging for any serious length of time, you’ve no doubt got a couple of girl crushes who are killin’ the game and owning life. Reach out to them and suggest a virtual coffee date or a blogger collab. Activities like that are always super fun, and it’s a great way to meet people. You may even find a blogger who lives in your same city and is available for brunch or a day of shopping. You never know what may come out of your blogger friendships!
4 | Spend your time volunteering.
Not only is volunteering a great way to feel better after a bad day at work or eating too much chips and queso, it’s also an easy way to make new friends.
(Oh, and of course there’s the “helping others” part, too.)
Sometimes, all it takes is getting outside yourself and devoting your time, mind, and energy to a hands-on activity. You’ll be focused on what you’re trying to accomplish for someone else to make their day better.
Try volunteering where you know there will be plenty of people around your age.
Here are some examples of places just off the top of my head:
- The Y
- Boys and Girls Club/Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Local coffee shop/clothing store (if they need extra hands)
- Animal shelter (Bonus: cute puppies!)
- Habitat for Humanity
- Food drive/pantry
Focus on your particular interests and talents, and don’t stick with the same place each time at first. Give it your all and make someone’s life a little easier.
5 | Encourage others.
Even if you’re not a fan of TSwizzle, you have to admit, she’s acquired quite a few influential besties. They’re all extremely successful women who have their own hustle and drive.
And you know something I’ve noticed?
They’re always cheering each other on, always bragging on each other. Supporting their friends.
It’s so encouraging to see women rally around each other & be happy for others' success. Click To Tweet
That’s a pretty powerful thing. It’s SO ENCOURAGING to see other women rally around each other and be genuinely happy for another’s success. Society is constantly pitting women against each other and telling us that there’s not room for many at the top at the same time.
Well, that’s BS.
It’s NOT a competition. It’s NOT a race. And it’s NOT about sabotaging someone else’s life goals.
There is room for you. There is room for me. And your best friend. And her sister.
Put a stop to the jealousy and invest in people, not the end-game. Because when one of us wins, we all win. You’d be surprised how people are able to blossom and grow when they feel like they have the support and love that they need.
Don’t you want that for yourself? Don’t we all want that?
Be that for your sister.
People are able to blossom & grow when they have the support and love that they need. Click To Tweet
6 | Get out of your comfort zone + out of your own way.
I tried intramural volleyball my last year at college. This was a huge step outside my comfort zone. My idea of “athleticism” is precariously balancing on one foot while trying to paint the toenails of my other foot and holding the bottle of finger nail polish at the same time.
You know what? That probably falls more into the category of “yoga”, riiiight?
Basically, I’m not the most athletically gifted, but my best friends were playing, and I have this thing where I’m addicted to pushing myself past the point where I’m comfortable, so after a lot of begging from my friends, I finally gave up and agreed to play, too.
I ended up getting nailed right in the face from a spiked ball—thankfully, my nose ring was spared.
But I appreciated the challenge, and I would do it again.
All this to say, you never truly know what you’re capable of achieving until you finally step outside your area of comfort. I learned this lesson yet again just yesterday. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my InstaStory where I talked about the coffee dates that I have once a week with some of my best girl friends. We spend time together talking, laughing, sharing struggles, sharing triumphs, praying, and just using the time to really nurture our relationships and invest in other people.
It’s a growing time for all of us as we each are stepping into different seasons of life and new paths of opportunity.
I wanted to share this idea with others, but was hesitant to post a video because I can be really shy sometimes. But one of my main goals for 2017 is to get out of my comfort zone, be afraid, and do things anyway, in spite of fear.
So, I connected with people online in a way that I never have before, and it felt good. Maybe even a lil’ fun.
Now I encourage you to do the same.
Making friends can be super hard as a twenty-something (or at any age really!), but these simple steps can help make it a lot easier—and more fun. You have to make the effort and get out there. This is life after all.
Where’s the fun in it if you don’t have people to share it with?
Put a stop to the jealousy and invest in people, not the end-game. Click To Tweet
Are you currently struggling to make new connections and create the ultimate girlsquad? What have you tried in the past that has helped you meet new people? Share in the comments below and help out your fellow girlfriend. 🙂
Let’s get to know each other better: