The beginning of the year is full of promise and good intentions. You may have vowed to give more of your time to causes that matter. But if you've not entirely made the progress you wish by this point in the year, you're not alone. One fitness company even tracked user data and dubbed January 19th "Quitters Day" because that's when people were most likely to give up on their goals.
However, all is not lost. You can jump-start your resolutions at any point in the year. Here are some ways you can get back into the volunteer groove.
The first step is to look at the resolutions you set in the first place and ensure you're still committed to them. If so, think about why they were challenging for you. Were they realistic? Did you overestimate the time you would have to devote to them? Finally, consider the challenges you encountered trying to reach your goals and adjust as needed. And if you find that you'd like to set new goals or resolutions, you can do that, too. (This quiz might help.)
Once you have settled on your goals, try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if you want to volunteer 100 hours this year, break that commitment down into monthly or weekly increments. Smaller steps will make your goals easier to achieve. Or look at ways to volunteer that can be measured in minutes, not hours, to fit your busy schedule.
As you work on breaking down your goals, think about the time you must devote to volunteering. Take stock of your schedule and commitments and determine how much time you can dedicate to volunteering. You may need to shift your expectations and focus on shorter or less frequent opportunities, but every bit helps.
If you've been struggling to find the motivation to volunteer, it might be time to switch things up. Check out the Create the Good® website for inspiration and new ideas. Maybe you've been volunteering in the same capacity for years and are feeling burnt out, or perhaps you haven't found the right fit for your skills and interests. Trying something new can be refreshing and may reignite your passion for giving back.
Accountability is vital to staying on track with your resolutions. Consider enlisting a friend or family member to hold you accountable or joining a volunteer group that meets regularly. You can also track your progress by keeping a journal or using an app that monitors your volunteering hours. Knowing that others are counting on you can be a powerful motivator to keep going.
Remember to celebrate your progress, no matter how small. It can boost your confidence and help you stay motivated. Maybe you volunteered for the first time or tried something new. Take joy in your achievements and remember that every small step counts toward your overall goal.
Keep going, even if you feel discouraged about not achieving your volunteering resolutions. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to achieving your volunteering goals for the year.