Like many, annually I would be swept up in the excitement of a fresh New Year and unabashedly proclaim my resolution at the turning of the calendar. Typically, it would superficially center around losing weight, getting into shape, or some iteration of this. With determination, I'd tackle my goal with zeal. However, once back to the day to day rigors of life, my best intentions would inevitably fizzle out like a New Year's Eve sparkler.
A few years ago, failure to achieve my resolutions flipped to success. So, what happened? Did I have a divine epiphany? Did a self-help book finally sink in?
None of the above. I simply took the focus off me and switched to making a resolution for the greater good. Each year, I now choose to do one simple action that will make a positive impact on a cause.
The cause I chose is to make my impact on was the environment. Buying local, riding my bike part-way to work, and “zero food waste” are all actions I’ve incorporated into the way I live sparked by my New Years’ resolutions. It started with one and each year I’ve been able to build on the previous years’ action. Interestingly, my goals have had a positive spillover effect on my personal life that I didn’t anticipate. I've reduced spending on frivolous stuff and become healthier through these choices.
It's much easier to do something for a higher purpose, someone, or something else than yourself. And it feels good. It's more rewarding than trying to achieve a personally focused goal. Don't make it complicated or strive for perfection. Start by asking yourself what is important to you? Is it animals, the environment, people?
Choose one thing, one simple action that fits into your regular routine. The more seamlessly the action is incorporated into your life, the more likely it will stick. Something you can do daily forms a habit that becomes second nature. And you don’t have to make it all or nothing. Originally, one of my resolutions was to eat vegetarian once a week. This morphed into becoming a full-time vegetarian once I had experienced how simple it was to do one day a week.
Motivation comes from not wanting to let others down - the beneficiary of the cause, your family, your local, or global community. The best part, there’s nothing more heartwarming than feeling like you are doing something good - leaving the planet a better place than you found it.
So, scrap the personal resolutions and look to make your positive impact this 2018!
Are you a business, individual, or foundation that would like to be strategic about your giving, social responsibility, and impact? Or a charity that would like to innovate, scale and become fiscally sustainable? Not sure where to start or what to focus on? Contact Nicole and the VortoVia team for a consultation.