For the rest of this week, I’m going to discuss the goals I’m setting for 2012 and the plans I have for achieving them.
Every single time I engage in some form of community service, I feel extremely happy about what I’ve done. I feel like I’ve caused some sort of positive change in my community and made someone else’s life better.
The problem is that it’s incredibly easy for me to put aside some of the things I could do related to community service and instead do other things. I could head over to the food pantry… or I could make chop all of the vegetables for a great ratatouille. I could pack up the children and help remove snow for elderly people… or I could go inside, make some hot chocolate, and watch The Incredibles with my kids.
Although the “right” choice here is very fulfilling, it’s often hard to do in the face of temptation.
This year, I’m simply striving to make the “right” choice more of a routine.
What areas am I focusing on?
I hope to spend some time helping a couple local food pantries with odds and ends that need done, such as restocking shelves and preparing bags.
In the winter, I’m going to pack up a shovel and do some volunteer snow removal where it’s needed.
In the spring and summer and fall, I’m going to do some volunteer work for the local parks and recreation department.
There are also a couple local charity groups that have some computer needs that I can help fulfill, so that their normal workflow can go much more smoothly.
What I’m essentially committing to is about four hours per week – on average – of such volunteer work, with a couple weeks for travel and the like.
I’ll be keeping track of this time in a spreadsheet, just so that I know I’m keeping pace with this goal. If our winter turns snowy, it’s likely that I’ll get significantly ahead earlier in the year. This does provide some breathing room for periods in the summer when there are reduced opportunities and different time constraints.
Why do this? Volunteer work makes a better community, and a better community makes a better life for those who live in it. It also leaves me feeling better about myself every time I do it. That’s reason enough for me.