In a time when we can e-mail, text, tweet or FaceTime, our society can somehow feel more disconnected than ever. This month, catch up with those you love!

“Social media is all about how many followers you have, but for a fulfilled life all you need are a few strong relationships,” says author and life design coach Jullien Gordon. Each New Year, Gordon offers a free guide to help dreamers get focused (available at The theme for 2016 is relationships, and he encourages users to write the names of 30 people they want to reconnect with and a deadline to complete the exercise. Gordon knows how precious life is after being on vacation in Paris with
his wife and daughter during the terrorist attacks in November. “Crisis can bring us closer together,” he says. “You don’t want to wait for an emergency to bond with those you care about.”


Send a Save the Date
Commit to hosting a social event for friends, family or coworkers and announce your event, even before it’s planned. The excite- ment of others will keep you motivated to follow through. “Potlucks are the way I stay connected to my community,” Gordon says.

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Trade in Likes for Calls
The next time you are in line or have a few minutes to spare, use your phone to have an actual conversation instead of only scrolling through social media. And if you’re loving a pal’s style or sense of humor on Twitter or Instagram, get together IRL with a Skype date or a meet-up.

Be Honest
Get better acquainted by answering truthfully when someone asks how you are and revealing more of who you are to others, even if it’s just talking about the new series you can’t resist. In a recent study, Netflix found that discussing movies and TV shows are the top two icebreakers for a first date.

Share Your Passion
“Most people could grow a business with everyone in their phone, but when we start a business, we often don’t call everybody in our phone,” Gordon says. Skip small talk when catching up with friends and share your vision for the future. They may hold the key to your big break.

This feature was originally published in February 2016 issue of ESSENCE.