Weight loss, self-care, and professional growth are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions. In general, many people set resolutions for self-improvement, with the goal of being happier and healthier twelve months later. However, not everyone will spend the New Year’s resolution to focus on themselves; some people want to use the fresh start as a chance to improve the lives of others. If you want to create a philanthropic resolution to stick to, try following these tips.
Make Your Goals Realistic and Detailed
As with any goal or challenge, the most doable New Year’s resolutions are the ones that are specific and, above all, achievable. Decide how you’re going to practice philanthropy. If you’re donating money, how much, and to which organizations? If you’re donating time, where will you volunteer, and how many hours will you put forth? Understand that small changes in your weekly behavior, such as a few hours spent at an animal shelter or a few cans donated to the local food pantry, can make a world of difference over the course of 52 weeks!
Volunteer Alongside Others
Accountability is a major factor in helping individuals achieve goals. Working in groups incentivizes individual achievers to actually achieve. Statistics have proven that even just verbally communicating your deadline can be incentive enough: “if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.” Find groups of volunteers and philanthropists on sites like Meetup or through your local library. You can even start an initiative at your office and find common ground with coworkers from all different departments.
Read and Learn About Philanthropy
Subscribe to YouTube channels centered around giving back. Sign up for newsletters about volunteer opportunities. Follow users on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites whose lives involve a certain level of philanthropic giving. Invest your free time learning about the world of charitable giving and philanthropy to help open your eyes to the many avenues of philanthropy. There are plenty of resources out there that teach the different sects of philanthropy and highlight the practice’s historical roots, but the aptly-named Learning To Give site is a great place to start.
Incorporate Other Related Goals
Perhaps one of your potential New Year’s resolutions is to be more social. What better way to grow your social circle than by meeting and working alongside fellow volunteers? Or, if you want to save more in the coming year, set aside some of the money that you would have otherwise spent, and donate it instead. Whatever the case may be, it’s advantageous to combine your resolutions, interlocking goalposts like the teeth of a gear. Look at any potential overlap between your various goals, and see if you can’t combine them into an ultimate plan of attack for the New Year.