You’ve made a great resolution, and you’re ready to stick to it in 2015 . . . now what? Set yourself up for success by finding an online community to help you get support, stay motivated, and learn strategies for meeting your goals in the new year.
Here are 4 ways you can find one.
When someone counted a year ago, there were about 6,000 active subreddits — that’s 6,000 different groups of people coming together on Reddit because of their interest in a common thing. What that means for you is that no matter what your resolution is — to lose weight, to quit smoking, to learn to code, to give more to charity, or anything else — there’s a community of people out there that share your goals and interests. You can ask questions, get advice, and read up on your resolution to stay motivated. And, of course, help others do the same!
Using Reddit can be quite intimidating — especially if you think it has a bad rep — but here are a number of articles that will help you out:
- The Awesome Guide to Reddit
- How to Use reddit Like an Old Pro
- 6 Unwritten Rules for Posting Content on reddit
- Keep Your Karma: What Not to Do on reddit
- How to Use reddit Productively. Yes, You Read That Correctly
Run A Search
This is a simple way to find a community to help you in sticking to your resolution, but it’s an important one not to forget: just run a search on Google or DuckDuckGo for your resolution and the words “online community”, “forum”, or “discussion”. You could search for “learn statistics discussion”, “volunteering online community”, or “run a 5k forum”. You never know what you might find — forums and messages boards, email discussion lists, subreddits, social networks, and other kinds of communities are all out there.
Speaking of social networks, there are a lot of them for specific goals. There are also a number of apps that have a social component that will help you join a community.
- Weight Loss Wars lets you compete with others who are also trying to lose weight, as well as get in contact with, ask questions to, and support other people who have similar goals.
- Art of Saving provides articles by experts, blogs, and forums and discussions for those interested in personal finance.
- BetterCodes is a place where you can connect to like-minded developers and coders.
- Teamstory is you are trying to build a startup this year.
- Sobrr to just live in the moment.
Having an in-person community to support your resolution could be an even more powerful tool than having an online one when it comes to meeting your goals. But why choose one or the other? Why not have both? If you’ve found a way to meet other people who share your goals — or you just happen to know some — asking them about where they hang out online is a great way to find a new community, especially because you’ll already know someone there who can show you the ropes.
But what if you don’t know anyone who can recommend an online community to you?
Never fear! There are other options. If your resolution includes buying something — a set of weights for your house, running shoes, books, a gym membership, knitting needles, an iPad, or any other object — you can ask the employees of the store that you go to where they recommend you should look. If they don’t know, try reaching out to the owner of an online store, the writer of a blog, an expert in the field, or anyone you can think of. Most people are happy to help others learn more about what they love.
And, finally, you can also take to social media. Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social networks that you’re a part of and ask for recommendations. Even if the people you’re connected with don’t share your resolutions and goals, they might know someone who does!
Create Your Own
The final way to find an online community isn’t really finding one at all — it’s creating a community yourself. If you have a unique resolution, or none of the options that are currently available appeal to you, maybe it’s time to be a trailblazer and build something totally new. There are almost certainly a lot of other people out there who are looking for a community like you are, and would really appreciate having a place to congregate to share their goals, find support, and discover resources.
You could start a blog (either an informal personal blog or one that’s totally optimized to get traffic) on your resolution where you keep relevant information, updates on your progress, and links to other useful sites. You could build a question-and-answer site where you interview experts on the topic and people can post their questions. Even a Facebook group could be a useful tool to start developing a community around. Use your imagination! If you’re interested in it, chances are someone else is, too. Get connected!
Leverage All Your Resources
There are online communities for almost every group of people out there, whether they’re subreddits, blogs, YouTube channels, Facebook groups, or topic-specific social networks. Even if you’re embarking upon something totally new, you can use the information that’s available to you to find a group of people that you can hang out with online to help you stick to resolutions and meet your goals next year. Now get out there and find one!
What are your resolutions for this year? Do you plan on using an online community to support them? How do you recommend finding an online community? Share your thoughts below!
Image Credits: Mobile apps concept (edited) via Shutterstock, Eva Blue via flickr, Hiker looking in binoculars via Shutterstock, A business woman with a potential employee via Shutterstock, Hand pressing modern social buttons via Shutterstock.