Networking is a great multi-purpose tool. With a little finesse, it can even help you to reach and maintain your resolutions.
Here are the most popular resolutions according to Statistic Brain listed in order of popularity. I’ve followed each resolution from their list with a tip on how networking can help you succeed in achieving these goals.
1. Lose weight
Networking is all about meeting people and developing relationships, right? So spend your time talking with people (conversing uses about 50 calories an hour) vs hovering near the refreshments. Also, it’s much easier to meet people when you aren’t juggling a plateful of food.
2. Get organized
Use networking to help you to do these things to be better organized:
A) Set goals for your networking
B) Plan out your calendar for when, where and how often you will network to help reach your goals.
C) Pull together and update the tools you need for networking (e.g. update your marketing materials, gather your business cards).
D) Create (and use) a follow up plan. Use your calendar again to plan out your follow up.
3. Spend Less and Save More
When you are smart about planning out your networking, it pays off. Your new relationships result in referrals that bring in revenue. Networking luncheons can become a business or professional development expense (a much better investment than grabbing lunch at a drive through!).
4. Enjoy Life Fully
Some of our biggest joys come from our connections. Through networking, you are exposed to people who have a wide variety of interests and who can introduce you to great new experiences.
5. Stay Fit and Healthy
Instead of coffee or lunch meetings, invite your new contacts to a “walk and talk.” During great weather, a lake or park provides fresh air and exercise. In inclement weather, walking indoors at a mall will suffice (just avoid getting tempted in the food court). An indoor track is a great option if you have a membership and can bring in a guest. Golfers have already figured this one out.
6. Learn Something
You can meet the best resources and experts through networking. My favorite networking happens in events that provide workshops or presentations based on what I’d like to learn. It brings me together with other people who are interested in the same topics and that makes for even more meaningful connections.
7. Quit Smoking
This one is simple. How many networking activities have you been invited to that involved or allowed smoking? Case in point. When there isn’t the opportunity to smoke, it helps to keep you from doing so. If you get a case of the nerves on the way to the event, take some deep cleansing breaths and chew some minty gum on the drive over. The people you meet will appreciate not having the scent of lingering smoke and you will have replaced the temptation with a more rewarding activity.
8. Help Others
Networking allows you the great opportunity to be a resource and help others along the way. Share encouragement, insights and useful information with the people you meet. Not only will you be helping them but when you serve as a resource, you become more memorable. And if you are interested in volunteering, some volunteer experiences work out to also provide the opportunity to meet new people and to expand your network who care about similar causes.
9. Fall in Love
While I don’t recommend business networking as the way to find romance, I will say that you’re more likely to meet that special someone by meeting new people than by sticking with people you already know. Plus, expanding your network helps to keep your life dynamic and interesting. It demonstrates that you are motivated and independent—both attractive traits.
10. More Quality Family Time
When you are highly selective and set boundaries for where and when you network, it helps you to not take family time for granted. For example, I rarely accept an invitation to networking events that conflict with the evenings I have with my kids. When I’m spending time with them, I’m mindful that our time together is a choice and a priority.
What resolution can you use networking help you to achieve?