Moving to Florida last year, I assumed that I was going to have a different opportunity to meet new people than how it started in June. Beginning February 1st, my goal was to get out of the emotional hole I’d been in since January and get out of the house more often. I’d moved down here for a reason and needed to remember that. I had questions to answer and after reviewing my journal entries, I noticed several areas that helped me figure out where I could meet like- minded people. I still needed to figure out for myself where I wanted to be and take steps in that direction telling myself, “When I’ve done the work, the answers will be clear to the questions I’m asking. I can’t sit and wait for anything. You haven’t fallen behind. You’ve moved forward. It’s just in a direction you didn’t think you’d be going.”
What I was thinking and asking myself?
On February 3rd, I starting with revising my 2018 goals list and developing my major 1-year goals introduced to me from reading Awaken the Giant Within. “All I have to do is exactly what I say I’ll do. Finish what needs to be done and I’ll have quite a successful year”, I was telling myself. I also began asking myself questions like, “Who do I want to be? What am I interested in? Where do I think those people are doing it or talking about it?” Then, I started to show up there and be open to whatever experience that was to follow.
I knew I wanted to begin writing last summer and my previous coach suggested joining a writing group. But where the heck would I find that? The library? Register for a college course again? I knew I didn’t want to do that, but when I was listening to that Art of Charm podcast about moving to a new place, I reintroduced some tips to try from the episode and remembered Meetup.com. A place where you can find people to do common interest activities with. I began to focus on what I liked to do and began searching for groups to connect with. Feb 3rd was a busy day for me as I also journaled, “I started looking at the meetup.com website and found a couple social events I’m going to show up to. One is a meditation class, the other is going to see an Eagles tribute band around the corner from where I live. Why not? 2018 is about meeting people here, so I’m getting up and going out.”
I also realized I could search meetup.com for all types of topics, including the writing groups my coach had suggested I join. After finding a couple and sharing my work, my confidence began to grow. I had been afraid to share the content of my first writing project, but the feedback I received was very positive and inspired the very blog you’re reading. I also found a great meditation group to join to improve upon the mindfulness meditation I’d learned about from an Achieve Your Goals podcast where Hal Elrod interviewed Julianna Raye in 2017.
Now, whenever I want to go out on the weekend or find a new adventure in the area, I go to meetup.com and see what groups are doing something and hang out with them. Having joined multiple different groups, I get notifications daily of what’s coming up that meetup groups are planning and can decide if I want to go or not. There’s never a shortage of fun events going I can choose from now.
On February 1st, I started researching events in the area to get me into training mode and set a point in the future to work towards. I’d become a fan of running 20k’s and half marathons back in Des Moines and longer runs seemed like a good step to get my body moving again. I signed up for the 42ndAnnual Shamrock 10 mile run in Lake Worth, FL on March 17thand the Gumbo Limbo 10-mile race in Boca Raton April 8th. I enjoy getting into deep thought and a rhythm when running, so this was perfect timing to reflect on where I was and push myself to run further each day out on the trails. I also made a point to start biking every week, looking for local parks to explore to see what Florida’s nature had to offer. I moved here because of the year-round sunshine and it was time to start taking advantage of the opportunity to spend time outside. I’m proud to say I finished the 10-mile run in 1:21:06, placing 90thout of 368; and finished the 10k in 48 minutes, placing 50thout of 643. Talk about a confidence boost running! Now I’m outside routinely 2-3 days a week running or biking and appreciating how close I am to the ocean thanks to the habit I created.
Men’s league hockey
My relationships on my men’s league hockey team began to improve once I was no longer rushing home after games to be on Facetime and started spending more time with my teammates. Bonding with that group has really made me feel like I was more part of the team and have been fortunate to hang out with them during holidays and several weekends if I had nothing going on. Focusing on building these new relationships has brought even more connections to my life, and in an area I’m most passionate about. It’s always a great feeling to have someone or a group to talk to where we can share that bond that’s created playing on a team.
What did I want to see or do?
Being in Florida, I realize there are many things that you can only do here, and I was set to get myself out to see them, planning trips to the Kennedy Space Center and the Daytona 500 was my start. I’ve been a fan of NASCAR since they built the Chicagoland Speedway in my hometown in 2001 and attending the Daytona 500 has been on my bucket list since 2010. I’ve also always been fascinated with space travel and visiting the Kennedy Space Center and the NASA headquarters to see a live rocket launch was an incredible opportunity I’d never imagined I’d get to see.
I also began to find tickets for multiple local music festivals and concerts that would host many of my favorite artists in the area. Usually going to 5-10 concerts or so a year, I knew that every major artist would not forget Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach on a tour if there was one. I figured, just go to the concerts I enjoy and be open to meeting people when I was there. As a result, the one person I’ve hung out the most since I’ve moved down here, I met at a concert.We were actually sitting next to each other and struck up a conversation that’s turned into friendship.
In addition, I had a great time I seeing 40-plus cars traveling over 200mph inches apart at the 60th running of the Daytona 500. And seeing the rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center was one of the most awe-inspiring sights I’ve ever witnessed, next to seeing the Parker Space Probe launched just a couple weeks ago on its way to the Sun. My favorite moment of the summer however is getting to high-five Justin Timberlake when his tour came through a couple months ago. I really began to feel my year shifting when I realized I was living my dream and doing the things I loved to do.
On February 8th, I began attending Young Professionals/ Chamber of Commerce events to begin meeting local business owners and motivated peopleout looking for a community to connect with. I’d gone to events back in Des Moines starting in 2012 and I still keep in touch with a couple people I’d met, so I felt confident that I would find similar success in West Palm Beach. At one of my first events, I was sharing with someone a growing desire to donate to charities, especially after the crisis is Puerto Rico last year. I began telling a story about a podcast I’d listened to where the guest started a charity that was crowdfunding to raise money for hurricane relief. An awesome good concept I thought. I actually had just started to donate what I could to Tony Robbin’s 100 Million Meals Challenge and it also sparked the realization that even if I could only give so much, when many people come together we could help more than was assume. As I finished my story, one of the members of the group let me know of a new local charity starting up called 100 Palm Beach that had a similar philosophy and was looking for members. Of course, I signed up figuring those who are involved are prioritizing charity work would likely expose me to other organizations that I may want to also be involved in. From that first experience, I knew going to networking events like that was exactly what I was looking for. I even met a few people that were up for hanging out and getting drinks on occasion.
Joining a Charity
I’ve been feeling like I needed to start contributing to the journeys of others and give back. My new connections began to reveal a mindset that if I’m going to move forward and grow, then I needed to give more than I was asking to receive. My connection to giving to my new community began with joining the 100 Palm Beach charity. The 100 Palm Beach charity brings multiple local organizations together to speak to the 100- member group about what their charity does in the community and possibly receive a $100 donation from everyone. Three are selected to present at the quarterly meetings and there’s a majority rules vote on which organization receives the money. Plus, with the meetings quarterly, I can be part of multiple groups to spread my time and resources locally. That will also help with the fact that I don’t really know many people here just yet. While giving to charity, I’m also given opportunity to network with local business owners and continue to develop my circle of influence. At the most recent meeting, I was sitting next to a gentleman that had a book on leadership with him. Being curious why he had it, I struck up a conversation. It turned out that he’d started a leadership nonprofit for high school athletes and was in consideration to speak that meeting. He didn’t end up presenting, but I did find out about a charity I knew I wanted to volunteer my time to, the ACE Leadership Academy.
Continuing My Education
On February 28th, I made my first step forward investing in continuing my education by purchasing a ticket to the National Achievers Congress hosted by Success Resources America. I knew I wanted to go to conferences to be around a more goal oriented, entrepreneurial mindset and this has been the place to be. It’s one of my values I have listed on my refrigerator, “to spend time with like-minded, motivated, goal achieving people who inspire my journey and encourage personal development.” So, registering for my first event to see Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk speak in Fort Lauderdale was immediately something I knew I should be present for. That one day event has lead me to my “a-ha” moment knowing what I wanted to do with my life going forward and after attending multiple events now, my network is stronger than I would have imagined at the beginning of this year.
What I learned
Deciding to get up and get out of my head in February feels like the real beginning of my experience of my new home here. I won’t say I’ve been totally fearless since then-, but I learned that sometimes I need to just tell my fear filled mind, “thank you for sharing”, then act anyway. I’ve been in the places I wanted to be in, so why be afraid of what’s to come? I wanted to be there. I also have been telling myself that it’s ok to quit something or not attend the next event. But I have to go to what I said I would and learn what opportunities are there and if they serve my long-term goals in life. Every time I walk in hesitant, I walk out more confident with a lesson learned of what to continue doing, or some ways I can improve my next experience. Action does cure fear, and when you find the right environment, you’ll never have to face it alone.