The new year is always a time for reflection, motivation, and goal setting. We look at what we did (or didn’t) get done the following year and make it a point to get it done this year. While some prefer the term “goals”, the most common term is “resolutions”. This can be anything from wanting to work out more to wanting to save more money. However, resolutions always have a poor connotation; they are almost always broken within the first few months (or weeks) of being made.

But fear not because we have one resolution that you can put into practice for all of 2019 without even knowing it: personal connection. With threats of a recession looming, it’s becoming more important than ever to personally connect with one another.

Here are a few practical tips you can practice all year long to establish trust, share story details, and embrace emotion — the foundations of personal connection.

Find people you can trust

In today’s society, it’s become harder to find people you can confide in. We’ve all been there where we think we can trust someone with our most intimate information only to find that they betray us months later. As a result, it can seriously shake our confidence and make us wonder if we can ever put our trust in someone again. However, not all hope is lost. You can still find people — whether its other friends, family, or even coworkers — that you feel comfortable trusting.

There is no formula for finding a person you trust. Most of it relies on your own instincts. When it comes down to it, you want a person that you feel comfortable around, someone who you know has a good character and a good heart. Avoid anyone who throws up a red flag — these are going to be the people who are most likely going to betray your trust. Establishing trust is by no means an easy task, but it is one that can help you feel vulnerable around others. 

Allow yourself to be vulnerable

One of the hardest things to do in a conversation is open yourself up and be vulnerable. Many times, we want to have a strong exterior without thinking about sharing details of ourselves with others. 2019 is the time to change that mentality. Take a chance on yourself and start sharing details of your life with others. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to unload your life story on the stranger you are sitting next to on the bus. Start small with people you trust — your inner circle.

Though you don’t have to share details of everything that is happening in your life, take the opportunity to share some high-level aspects of your life. Was there something at work that rubbed you the wrong way? Do you want some brainstorming help on a project you are doing? Did you go on a terrible date? These are some of the parts of your life that you can share with the people you trust the most. Sometimes it helps to talk about something that is bothering you rather than keeping it bottled in. It also helps you better establish and maintain a personal connection with others.

Feel your emotions

Like trust and vulnerability, allowing yourself to feel your emotions is something that is hard to do. Most of the time, we want to bottle up our emotions, burying them deep down inside of us. In 2019, do yourself a favor and allow yourself to feel your emotions. There is no shame in allowing yourself to cry once in a while — in fact, it’s a healthy release that can help cleanse you and help you feel so much better.

It’s commonly thought that feeling emotions make you seem weaker than not feeling your emotions. That’s not the case. Not allowing yourself to feel your emotions can have adverse effects both on yourself and on the people around you. If you are one to bottle your emotions, you know that eventually, one action puts you over the edge, causing all of your emotions to pour out. Instead, if you have a healthy release of your emotions when they happen, you have better control over how you feel. Give yourself the power to control your emotions instead of having them control you.

Bringing it all together

Personal connection is not an easy technique to implement. It takes a lot of self-awareness and introspection to see where you are at and where you can improve. Push yourself to find people you trust, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and feel your emotions as they happen. By doing so, you can create a better personal connection with those around you, allowing them to see the real you.

So in light of the new year, take the opportunity to make personal connection one of your resolutions for 2019.