This article is written by guest author Paul Sanders.

When it comes to work, money, or physical exercise, it may be simple to set goals and achieve them. But, when it comes to meeting and making friends, it’s often not so simple at all. You can’t just say “my goal is to be friends with so and so”, or I plan to “make 10 friends in the next 90 days…”; it doesn’t feel very natural and intuitive. This article is designed to help you solve this problem and show you an effective way to draw plans and strategies to improve your social skills, meet new people, make friends, and build a social circle.

Why Most Socializing Advice Doesn’t Work, And What To Do About It

Most socializing advice doesn’t work, because it focuses on the techniques, instead of a lifestyle change. Now, I do teach many social skills and techniques that work great on their own, but if you don’t make them part of your lifestyle, you won’t get the best out of them.

Change can be hard because if you have to remember to do something, then you probably won’t be doing it for very long. If meeting people takes too much of your will power, you won’t do it so often. This is why I had to come up with easier ways to meet new people and make friends. I created a set of habits that just blend in with other areas of your life.

The key here, is to switch from “doing” your socializing, to having it be part of your life. Here, I want to share with you 3 of my most effective habits for making friends and building social circles.

Instant Change #1 – Attend Monthly Events To Meet New People

In this day and age, if you’re not constantly making new friends, you’re actually losing some. People are constantly moving, changing jobs, changing interests, and getting into relationships, and this will get them to disappear from your life. You need to keep up by constantly making new friends.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to find local communities or clubs, where people get together regularly. Look for groups and clubs based on a business area, a sport, a hobby, a social cause, a singles club, or just general networking. Attend some of their meetings to see which ones are most interesting to you. After that, start going to their events, at least once a month, twice a month is even better. Then again, don’t make this “something you do when you have time,” put a reminder in your calendar with the event dates, and consider it part of your life.

If you want to make this “stick” to your life even better, then try and join the organizing team of that community. When you become a contributing member, it’s much easier to stick to the habit of attending. People also will gravitate towards you to get to know you. It’ll put you in a great place for connecting with new and former members.

Just this technique alone, of joining the team, can boost your social life to levels you could only dream of.

Instant Change #2 – Take One Hour Per Week To Reach Out To People

This instant change is about taking one hour, weekly, to touch base with new and existing friends. You take one hour, and do nothing but contact people, by phone, text, an online social network, or other.

This is important because your friendships weaken if you don’t nurture them from time to time. It’s also important because you have to follow up with the new people you meet; otherwise those friendships will never be created.

The challenge here is that we get distracted in our busy lives and forget to contact people; then we regret it afterwards, when we do have time to socialize, but there is no one we can call, as we’ve been ignoring everyone for so long.

The solution is to ritualize: Make a weekly reminder in your calendar, to take one hour and touch base with people that matter to you. I prefer to do this on Tuesday evening, but you can choose a time where you don’t have anything else to do, and dedicate one hour for reaching out to people.

When it’s time to do it, ask yourself questions like:

  • Who should I contact?
  • Who do I want to meet in the coming days?
  • Who did I meet recently and want to evolve the relationship with a little more?

Your instinct will remind you of people you should contact.

Instant Change #3 – Go Out Weekly

As you start meeting more and more people, set a time within your week that would be ideal for meeting with them. It’s very important that you don’t just do this once in a while or just when you remember. Instead, make it a habit, and put a weekly reminder for it.

If you’ve set out your weekly “reaching out hour” on Tuesday, put a reminder on Thursday to plan a social activity for Friday or Saturday, and suggest to people via messages, calls, or email.

Don’t wait until you want to go out to suggest that people come with you, do it one or two days in advance. As you get to know them better, you can suggest plans with shorter notices. For example, best friends that live in the same city can call each other and make a plan to meet in the following hour.

Bonus Tip: Make the people you know meet each other! This will create a little social circle where people contact the whole group to hang out. This means that they will start to call to hang out as well, and you will no longer be the one doing all the work.

What To Expect Next?

You can pick one of the habits above and play with it, adopt it, and see what it can do for you. But if you adopt the three of them, they kind of blend together and create a powerful machine that constantly gets you to meet new people, stay in touch, make friends, and build social circles.

You won’t know what happened, and you won’t understand where all these friends have been hiding all these years. People will start calling you to make plans, and there will be no shortage of help, support, fun, and interesting adventures with friends.

If you want to learn more techniques for meeting new people, I recommend that you get on my Free Social Skills Newsletter. In it, I’ll show you the best techniques and strategies for meeting and making friends. I’ll also share with you new tips for having amazing conversations, that instantly make people want to get to know you.

About the Author

Paul Sanders helps people Overcome Shyness and Loneliness, Master Conversation and Social Skills, Make Friends, and Build a Social Circle. Start Here: Free Social Skills Newsletter.