10 Ways to Make 2009 a Friendship-Filled Year
By Debba Haupert, creator of GIRLFRIENDOLOGY.com – the online community for women focused on female friendship
Every year, we host a New Year’s Day brunch. Neighbors and friends join us as we celebrate the new year and the wonderful "extended family" we have in our community. Each guest fills out an order form that indicates what you’d like on your omelet but also requests your New Year’s resolution. It’s a fun way to record our goals for the coming year and a great reference the following year to see if they followed through on their resolutions!
We’ve recorded resolutions to get pregnant and a celebrated a new baby at the following New Year’s Day brunch, as well as adoptions, life changes and a girlfriend who wanted to move to Colorado and find a cowboy (and she did!). Mostly though, everyone makes the usual resolutions--lose weight, exercise, healthy eating, and drinking less alcohol and more water.
These resolutions make us healthier and happier, and having great girlfriends does the same! The fact is: Female friendships lower our blood pressure, reduce stress, make us feel more beautiful and help us live longer! So, why not prioritize friendships as resolution-worthy?
As you consider your 2009 New Year’s resolutions, think about these ideas for making 2009 healthy, happy and filled with friends:
- Start a girlfriend group – Make getting together with your girlfriends a regular event. Start a book club, knitting group or monthly dinner club.
- Reconnect with long-distance friends – Find them through Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace or Switchboard. Make contact and stay in touch. Share photos, memories and updates with the people in your life with whom you share a past and make them part of your future. Who was your best friend in high school? Look her up and laugh about old times together.
- Establish a habit of friendship – Call a girlfriend every Sunday night or plan a regular lunch date with a local gal pal. Start a girlfriend group and send email updates every Friday so you all know what everyone is up to. Or, plan a happy hour every month and invite all your girlfriends. I promise you’ll look forward to this get-together!
- Celebrate girlfriends – Commit to sending a birthday card or calling all your girlfriends on their special day. Let them know you’re thinking of them and how much their friendship means to you. Start out by writing down all your friends’ birthdays. Check out applications on Facebook and other social media sites for birthday calendars.
- Volunteer or take a class with your girlfriends – This is a great New Year’s resolution because you’re doing good – for yourself and/or others. Plan time where you help others or learn together by volunteering or taking classes. Or give back to others in your community by starting a non-profit organization or educating others about great causes/information.
- Get social online – Start a blog about your life and your friendships. (Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad are common blogging services.) Get your girlfriends involved by asking them to contribute or at least read and comment on it. Post your updates, thoughts, activities, photos and share girlfriend advice others would appreciate. Sign up on Twitter or other social networking sites and start building your friends online. Often these friendships are just as tight as with friends who live close by.
- Meet new friends – Decide to get out more in 2009 and find new friends. Join an organization, introduce yourself to your neighbors, participate in a local charity or group. Network for work connections but also for future friends.
- Start a fun tradition – Just like our annual New Year’s Day brunch, start a tradition of having a party or getting together with your girlfriends for a fun event. Host an Oscars gala (Feb. 22) or plan a Summer Solstice party (June 21). Or find a "strange" day and celebrate it (National Hat Day – Jan. 15, No Socks Day – May 8, Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day – July 1, or Sept. 17 – Wear Something Gaudy Day!). Just make it a tradition, take photos and have fun.
- Create memories – Create a "bucket list" of things you’ve never done but always dreamed of doing. Now find friends to accompany you on adventurous list checking events. Longed to go skydiving or scuba-diving? Find girlfriends to join you and make it even more memorable.
- Reach out to intergenerational friends – Your girlfriends don’t all have to be exactly like you. Variety is the spice of life and having friends from different decades, backgrounds, neighborhoods or countries is a wonderful way of meeting new friends and learning from one another.
So, girlfriends, how are you going to spend the New Year? Try making some new friends, staying in touch with old friends and just making great memories with all your favorite gal pals!
Start the year out in a great way – with your girlfriends!
Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship.
Founded by Debba Haupert in 2006, Girlfriendology inspires women to make new female acquaintances, spend time with their girlfriends, and appreciate those friendships that are vital to women’s health and happiness. Girlfriendology.com features inspiring women in semi-weekly podcasts, contests to share girlfriend stories and provides videos, shopping, reviews, blogs and more.
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