Volunteering: Your Number 1 New Year’s Resolution

Looking back and making resolutions

How many times do we look back on the fleeting past year and ask ourselves where the time went…and no doubt wishing we had spent more of it doing what we really enjoy. In fact for many of us, one passing year may not even be that much different from the next especially if we have a repetitive routine.

bathing in a field

Happy Memories

Perhaps how successful our year is should be judged on the memories that we have made, how much we have laughed and what we have visibly managed to achieve or create. And what about that constant niggle saying that you really should dedicate time to improving other people’s lives or to making a difference?

The top New Year’s Resolutions include: travel, learning something new, helping others, being happier, spending more time with family, being more physically active & fit and eating healthier meals. Volunteering can easily tackle all these in one fell swoop, with plenty of other rewards and surprises en-route.

Here’s why you should just forget those half-hearted resolutions made early in January and then broken by February and plan your volunteering getaway instead!

You should get out more!

We tend to take the easy route and walk the path we know, to save time or to safe-guard against the unexpected. We create a comfort zone which feels secure.

However it is not the stuff that dreams or memories are made of. So many of us are stuck in the cycle of working to pay the bills, we don’t even have a moment stop to consider alternatives.

Life is too short to postpone your hopes and dreams. “Leave that 9-5 upon the shelf …and just enjoy yourself!” Grab the opportunity while you still have the passion and the energy.

Our biggest regrets are not for the things we did, but for the things we didn’t do

footprints in the sand

A new path

Take 2015 by the horns and create a new path for yourself.

Take a moment…or rather a whole string of them!

Reclaim the time you need and use it to serve your best interests, rather then letting it dictate to you. We live in a high tech society offering many time saving devices and yet our “civilization” seems to actually allow less time for people and their families when compared to our primitive ancestors.

Taking time out will magically open up pockets of time …you can organise your day completely differently or not organise it at all…just let the day evolve in response to your new surroundings.

Choose volunteering projects which feed your interests and passions. If it is time with your partner or family that you need, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities which enable you to share the adventure with them.

Shape up


Open air exercise!

It’s rather disheartening that many surveys list losing weight as the number one resolution.

Sedentary lifestyles and comfort food are largely to blame, so simply by getting up from your armchair and eliminating the need to compensate for a frustrating life should do the trick!

If physical exercise is important to you, rather than working out in a stuffy gym, you could be out in the open air and sunshine, with a real reason to give your muscles a workout.At the end of the day you can even sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours. Time and energy well spent.

If you want to improve your diet, you could choose a destination which offers fresh local produce and even find a host who could show you how to prepare tasty nutritious dishes. It´s definitely easier to make changes to unhealthy eating habits when you are away from home.

Giving something back

children and teachers in a class

Giving something back

Ironically by doing something for others we often receive so much in return. As well as feeling greatly appreciated, your life is enriched by the personal satisfaction of having made a difference, as well as gaining unexpected insights about yourself and the world we live in.

If you have any particular causes which you feel strongly about, investigate ways you can channel your concerns and start to become part of the solution.

Learning something new

Whether this is your resolution or not, travel, volunteering and learning go hand-in-hand.

You will meet new people, see the world from different perspectives, try new foods and have new experiences. There will be aspects along the way which will challenge you and your expectations, but often these are the most powerful life lessons.

There are so many fascinating projects which are happy to take on keen, but inexperienced helpers. Learning by doing is the most effective and rewarding method. You can benefit from learning skills from experts, an opportunity which is often denied to novices.
If you already have a hobby or skill which you’d like to focus more on or develop, there is scope for this too.

Check out the possibilities and make it happen!

Surprise surprise!

igloo building

New skills

You may think you know what you are in search of, but the chances are that you will return with a whole treasure trove more!

You have manipulated time: Considering all that you have seen and done during your time away, you will have the sensation that time has stretched. Instead of not knowing where the time went, you will have created countless memories and new experience to punctuate your days.

You have become younger: The chances are that the change has been as good as a rest, so to speak. You’ll feel rejuvenated “It’s never too late to get younger” and such a trip can help you achieve that.

Your “vision” may well have improved too! The chances are that something or someone will have inspired you. These fresh insights and ideas may give light to new possibilities or directions in life.

canyon couple

Canyon view with a friend

You meet someone who will change your life! Most travellers meet someone special whilst they are away, a soulmate, or someone who they develop an extraordinary bond with. Some volunteers find a new family who “adopts” them, another may find a friend for life or even a partner.

You have made a patchwork of memories to last a lifetime…

Don´t smother your dreams by making yet another unfulfilled resolution, there is no time like now…there is a world of volunteering opportunity out there ready for you…so what are you waiting for?

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