Happy New Year! As we enter 2018, I'm sure you've thought about your New Year's resolutions. While some of the most popular resolutions are to be more healthy and go to the gym, another very popular resolution is to volunteer and get involved in your community. At Volunteer Square, we encourage everyone to give back to their communities, but we also know that resolutions have the habit of being placed on hold, neglected, or abandoned altogether as the year moves along. We want to help you keep your volunteer momentum going all year so we put together a list of tips. Feel free to use some or all of them and share them with your family and friends as you plan your 2018 volunteering.
Tips for Volunteering All Year
1. Be Specific
Saying you want to volunteer is a very broad term. Doing what? What type of agency do you want to work with? What types of problems are you interested in solving? Just knowing what you really want to do as a volunteer will make a big difference in your commitment to your goals.
2. Create sub-goals
So your goal is to volunteer and you’ve established a specific direction. Then what? Continue creating a path for yourself on your road to New Year's volunteering in 2018. Maybe you want to volunteer in order to meet one new person every day. Maybe your goals could be work-related, such as writing one new press release every day that you volunteer. Be creative!
3. Be Realistic
As we’ve discussed often, volunteers are scheduling time around work, relationships, school, and a variety of other commitments. Commit to a specific time so that you can keep to a schedule, and more importantly, don’t overdo it! Overcommitting will make you that much more likely to get tired of your responsibilities or worse, burn out.
4. Be Self-Helping
There’s an old saying that volunteering is selfish because you’re helping yourself: Mentally, emotionally, and in terms of career development. Understand that when you’re making this resolution, much like a resolution to diet or exercise more, you’re doing this for you. That knowledge will help you keep to your schedule and motivate you to help your agency further.
5. Find a friend
Who likes to volunteer alone? Another topic of ours has been the value of sharing volunteer opportunities with your friends and family. Invite them along to keep you motivated and encourage them to make a similar commitment to yours. Volunteer agencies never turn down extra hands and they’ll be amazed at how you can bring even more people to help.
6. Have Fun
When you volunteer, time flies. Do something you enjoy and that makes you happy. Plus, remember that you’ll be in an awesome environment with energized, enthusiastic people. Of all the items on this list, this one is to help illustrate that volunteering, if you stick to it, can be one of the easiest and most fun resolutions you’ll ever make!
Whatever your goals are for 2018, we encourage you to donate some of your valuable time to volunteering. There’s a position for you at an agency that’s just waiting for you to call. Get out there and find your dream position and happy 2018 from Volunteer Square!