New Year’s resolutions are incredibly common, but so is not keeping them. Many people make their resolutions, adamantly vowing that they’ll keep them this year, but then they give their goals up after a week or two. While most people may think of exercise when they think of New Year’s resolutions, a lot of people also make a resolution that they’ll volunteer more, start doing so somewhere, but then abandon it after a few weeks. It’s fantastic for you to make your resolution to volunteer, but it’s also important that you’re invested in the cause. Nonprofits gain and then quickly lose many volunteers in January, so make sure you’re committed to volunteering. Here are some ways you can hold yourself accountable and keep that resolution.
Find the right place
One way to keep yourself committed to volunteering is making sure you’re pursuing an opportunity at an organization that you feel passionate about. Instead of volunteering at the first place you find, take time to do research and think about a cause you feel strongly about. Then, locate places that relate to that cause and talk to current volunteers to see what their experiences have been like. If you find a place that you genuinely like, you’ll be more likely to keep your resolution.
Craft your schedule
A common reason people avoid or stop volunteering is because they feel that they don’t have enough time. Instead of taking this attitude, make it a priority to sit down and find time to volunteer in your schedule. There have to be a few hours in your day that you can give to working for a cause. If you really can’t find time, then find a volunteer opportunity that lets you work from home or in the car, such as making phone calls or communicating electronically with people.
Make small goals
Making smaller goals for yourself will motivate you to stay committed to working toward your larger goal of volunteering more. If you have a set breakdown of what you want to do, you’ll feel like you’re making progress and can keep moving forward. Make goals like: go to an orientation session, talk with a current volunteer, do research, go to first day of volunteering, etc.
Track your progress
Once you make your goals, keep track of them, either with a list or layout you’ve made, or on a spreadsheet. You can even buy a journal and write about your experience with volunteering, then look back on it if you feel discouraged or too busy. You’ll see how far you’ve come and can read over how positive you feel about volunteering and will be driven to keep doing it.