This post is the last in a series regarding volunteering. My intent was to walk myself (and my readers as well) through the planning process that would mean I could make a difference from where I’m at. Step 1 was identifying the causes for which I care. Step 2 was assessing what skills I could bring to the table (or not). Step 3 was brainstorming for concrete actions that I could take. This last post is the most difficult, as is this step – turning belief into action.
I’m a great planner. I can break down a process, determine the steps and find solutions. Where my weakness lies is in NOT planning for those unmotivated or crazy busy or “I’ve got the flu” kind of days. You know – life. I can easily get derailed and am a classic procrastinator. I could meet all of the goals I set for January on the 31st, but one of the points of this whole process is to integrate that sense of belonging to a large community and doing things that make a difference on a regular basis.
Goals for Volunteering/ Donating for Children’s Issues in January
What steps are required to bring each goal to fruition? What are the obstacles? What are the tools I need to overcome the obstacles?
Select an organization which works on children’s issues and make a financial contribution.
- This is relatively easy and perfect for next week, as I’m tired and have a busy week ahead. No obstacles, barring an internet crash.
Using grocery money saved by cooking meals and purchasing fewer processed foods to purchase food & needed items for food shelf.
- Cooking meals requires planning. I have to plan family meals for the week before getting groceries. The obstacles? Not having time to plan or cook. I need easy standbys like fresh fruit and veggies, pasta or my favorite – breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, fruit).
Teach my child more about charity by helping her to sponsor a child through the Save the Children organization.
- Another relatively easy task for next week. Obstacle? Following through beyond the actual financial donation: exchanging correspondence with sponsored child. I am hoping my daughter will be enthusiastic enough to carry this particular goal and I’ll encourage her.
Continue volunteer work through my daughter’s school.
- I have to meet with other volunteers and school officials in the next few weeks regarding the walk-a-thon I’m chairing. Obstacle? Meetings and I can get ugly. My personal goal is to stay focused, polite and attentive. I might need copious amounts of caffeine.
Research the issues affecting children and write my state and congressional leaders regarding current legislative actions.
- This will take some time and writing skills. Obstacle? Time. I need to take the time to carefully read and digest the issues. Emotions. Some issues are painfully difficult to take in. I need to break this goal down into weekly manageable segments, with letter writing planned for the last week of January.
Lastly, planning for the next month has to happen. February is my month for the elderly. I will post an update of how I did in January and outline the February plan in a few weeks.
The point of this series was to walk through the process of determining what you can do to make a difference. Your choices, abilities and financial status may all be different, but the process is essentially the same.
Decide what you care about most. Think about what you are able to do and what you like to do – your skills, your income, whatever it is. Brainstorm for concrete ideas by looking for the opportunities around you: in your neighborhood, community, schools, churches and online. Think through your lifestyle, time constraints and the steps required to make something happen. Look at the obstacles and decide what tools you’ll need to counter them.
My intent for 2013 is to be more deliberate in my contributions, both financially and as a volunteer. I have a plan. Now, time to take action.
Wishing you all a generous new year!
Tune in tomorrow for the 1st Prize entry to The Green Study Holiday Humor Contest!
19 thoughts on “The Revolution of One, Step 4: Turning Beliefs into Action”
Great series! Great plan. Love the whole idea behind a ‘generous’ year. If everyone did something, no matter how small, imagine what a wonderful world this could be!
Well, I think that’s the essence of it right there – given a little time and planning, we can all do something.
Great series, Green. In my next life, I’m going to be organized like you. For this one, I’m pretty much stuck with winging it. Still, even a hopelessly disorganized person like me has learned a lot from this series.
People comment on my planning and organization skills and I have to laugh. I was not BORN this way. Quite the opposite, actually. I should probably write a post on that sometime, so readers don’t think I’m some sort of hyper-organized freak! It’s often an uphill battle, but I am getting better at it.
Thanks for reading and commenting – I’m glad something could be gained from this series. I found it painfully arduous to write. Looking forward to being silly, vulgar and irreverent again!
A perfect New Year’s Resolution!
I’m so with you on the challenge of turning intent into action. The volunteer work I wish to pursue in the new year requires a 30 hour training before going any further. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. First step is to sign up for a two hour orientation session to even get to the training part. I’ll watch your progress and see how mine goes. Good luck!
Take that first step and sometimes the process will drag you the rest of the way! Showing up seems to be half the battle. That’s an intensive volunteer stint that you’re signing on for, but awesome!
Good luck with your intentions and have a wonderful new year!
I love that you are creating a ripple effect. Not only are you organizing yourself to take action but you are motivating others. Your writing is making a difference. Well done.
Thanks! We’ll have to see how the “action” portion of the program goes, but I think I’m moving in the right direction.
Making a difference and being generous.
I like that. I’ll try it.
I’m sure you do that anyway!
Such a great series of posts, walking us all through the steps! I feel so motivated!
Thanks so much for reading them. Good luck with your new year’s intent!
[…] How do we translate these skills into helping others and supporting the causes we find important? Tune in this weekend for the remaining posts in this series The Revolution of One, Step 3: What to Do, What to Do? and The Revolution of One, Step 4: Turning Beliefs into Action […]
[…] Winners! (and not the Charlie Sheen kind) The Revolution of One, Step 4: Turning Beliefs into Action → December 29, 2012 · 9:00 am ↓ Jump to […]
Great job so far, and you have us all cheering you on! Team Green!!
Thanks! I’ll be pretty happy if Team Green makes the January goals.
This was a really great series. I’m going to share it after the NYE hullaballoo dies down.
Your strategies are very good ones. I just finished reading “The Power of Habit,” which really jibes with what you said about the need to develop strategies for sticking to plans when there are obstacles… the more detailed the better.
Happy New Year 🙂
Thanks for you kind words and thoughts. I know nothing I have said is new, but I thought maybe taking readers through my personal goals would be a concrete way of helping them figure out theirs. Habits are tough to develop and to break, but as you pointed out, if one is prepared for the obstacles, the likelihood of success is much higher. I wish you a wonderful new year as well!