Make new friends now who support your goals.

One frustration you will discover as you make changes in your life and get excited about goals you are setting is that many of your loved ones will not respond exactly as you would hope.

You can waste a lot of time and energy trying to win people over to your ideas and turn them into the cheerleaders you wish they would be, but that energy is better served cultivating a few new relationships with people who are swimming in the same stream.

I’m certainly not suggesting you ditch your old friends or shut out family members, just manage the relationship as it is, not as you wish it were. This is a big realization when you see it for the first time and you might be amazed by how much those knots in your shoulder loosen when you stop trying to force things and stop seeking validation from people who simply cannot provide it to you at this time.

Use meetup.com or peruse Craigslist for groups meeting locally that share your new interest. Don’t worry about being a newbie, you might run into a condescending jerk from time to time but most people will be excited to talk to someone who’s interested in the same thing as they are. Join online forums about your topic of interest and start asking questions. Look for ways to share what you’ve learned with people who are even newer than you.

Sometimes, it’s not so much that you need to find someone doing what you’re doing, but rather that you just need some exposure to fresh perspectives. If you are part of a rather insular group of friends and family, all echoing the same ideas and beliefs, you can begin to feel that they represent ‘everyone’. I recommend setting up an account on couchsurfing.org. You do not have to let people stay at your home, you can just offer to meet people for coffee when they are passing through town. There will also often be potlucks and other get-togethers. You will meet people doing things with their lives you never even thought of and that can have a really energizing effect when you are exploring your own possibilities.

Couchsurfing pillow fight! This can be you; making new friends and...pummeling them! Credit: Beatrice Murch
Couchsurfing pillow fight! This can be you!
Credit: Beatrice Murch

Let your circle expand outward and get energized by the new, friendly vibes you get back.