February 2022

In with the new

It seems impossible that we are already into February, but here we are.

The new year has come and gone, and with it, for most of us, the resolutions we made.  Do you make New Year’s resolutions and did you stick to them?  If so, you are one of the few.  In fact, only eight percent of us keep to our resolutions, according to survey after survey

After the celebrations of Christmas, and the rather hazy ‘Twixmas’ week between Christmas and New Year, when no one knows what day it is, it’s easy to be clear about your goals.  What went well last year?  What went badly?  What should I change?  What am I going to achieve this year?

Then, all of a sudden, our normal routine kicks in, and all our good intentions go by the board.  There’s just no time.  Life gets in the way.  So it’s natural that most of us rather quietly forget our New Year’s resolutions in February.

A great philosopher** once said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”.

What does this have to do with volunteering?  A great deal.

It’s can be hard to be a volunteer

It can be hard to be a volunteer, and even harder to be a volunteer group co-ordinator.  Often there is always more to do than time to do it.  Perhaps you want to introduce a fabulous new administrative system.  Maybe this is the year when you’re going to get twenty new volunteers.  Probably 2022 is your time to finally attract that large group of 30-40 year olds who will rejuvenate your Good Neighbours group and sort out your social media.

It’s easy to have those plans when life isn’t getting in the way, and very hard to put them into practice when it is.

So don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t allow yourself the luxury of feeling frustrated.  Planning is good, and every day is a new opportunity to make a little more progress.

Meanwhile, the daily routine of life matters, and every day of following that routine, you are making a huge, positive difference to every single person who you drive to the hospital for their vital appointment; everyone who you sit with for an hour, bringing a little light and joy into their life; every person whose garden you tidy, whose shopping you deliver.

Rejoice in the everyday

So rejoice in the everyday routine.  Be proud of the things you and your colleagues do for others every day.

Make a little progress in the big plans, and you can ask the support team at the Good Neighbours Network to help, guide and encourage you as you work towards their fulfilment, one baby step at a time.  Our daily job is to be here with professional advice, and to be your cheerleaders.

Good luck, and, every morning: Happy New Year!


* If you have kept to your resolutions this year, (1) well done and (2) please share what they were and how you managed it

** The great philosopher was John Lennon, in whose honour please find below his much-loved song “Imagine”.

If you run, or are looking to set up, a local volunteer group in Hampshire, Good Neighbours Network can help.  We provide free hospital parking permits, free Enhanced DBS check admin, a free Task Manager programme, and free advice, at the end of a phone or email, on all aspects of running a local volunteer group.  Get in touch!

If you are looking for volunteering opportunities, or need help, we can point you in the right direction.  Get in touch!

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