2012: A Fresh Start

Courtesy of http://www.decibelmagazine.com

2012 is right around the corner! This ultimately means Monday will be the busiest gym day of the year.

January: mine enemy. But as cold, dark and vacation-less as it might be, the approaching month offers an opportunity for everyone to start fresh with their resolutions and goals for the year. My list includes  being a better friend, being healthier and volunteering more. Cliché? Yes.

In fact, “volunteering to help others” made the top 10 New Years resolutions again this year. This is fantastic news for The Salvation Army! Volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization. Without them, we couldn’t serve 30 million Americans throughout the year with social services, disaster relief, and Christmas charity.

Let’s be honest: making the resolution to help others is the easy part and who doesn’t love writing a solid ‘to do’ list? It’s the DOING that’s difficult. Here are a couple tips for making and keeping resolutions from www.mygoals.com:

Create a plan and create it immediately: A good plan will tell you 1) What to do next and 2) What are all of the steps required to complete the goal.  You only have a few days of January to “harness your motivation”, after which, most people forget their resolution list!

Research where you’d like to volunteer and figure out the days and hours you’re free to do so. Consider dedicating one day per week or per month to helping your community. Your local Salvation Army is most likely in need of volunteers. Give them a call to learn about their needs throughout the year and then plan your schedule accordingly.

Write down your resolution and plan: A good way to stay accountable to yourself is to document both your plan and your experiences. Consider jotting down a few notes after each volunteer opportunity about the ways you helped and about how you feel. Recalling your experience will help you feel more inclined to do it again next month.

Think year round: Resolutions can quickly fade if they’re merely an emotional decision rather than a lifestyle choice. Planning a set time to volunteer weekly or monthly will help you to stay on track throughout the year.

There’s no better resolution than that of improving the lives of others. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at your local Salvation Army, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org and search by your zip code in the upper right corner.

Happy New Years, Everyone!