Goals 2014: Want To Know How Volunteering Helps You Improve Your Morale?

Would you say your communication skills were above average?  Do your emails have clarity and purpose?  How about your clients, do they always engage with your messages, taking the necessary action as a result?

If you answered ‘Yes’ research suggests you probably accomplish a lot in your work, by getting your message across effectively.  I believe you will also gain if you spend some time as a volunteer, using those skills to benefit your community.

By offering your existing skills to a project you inevitably highlight your learning needs; this can lead you to acquire new abilities, gain confidence and benefit others in the process.  Your morale increases when your skills are being put to good use (OECD data suggests in the UK people spend 2 minutes daily in volunteer activity, compared to 6 minutes in Australia and 8 minutes in the US.  That’s just a snapshot of the positive energy being generated globally through volunteer effort).

Using Skills Well Benefits You & Your Community

Using Skills Well Benefits You & Your Community

In the short term by volunteering you will be affecting and improving the lives of a range of clients, prompting them to take action and make a difference in their own, plus others’ lives.  From my experience in England Community First (#commfirst on Twitter) projects and panels benefit from volunteers, like you, who can communicate effectively.

There are plenty of other voluntary projects you could offer your communication (or other) skills to, depending on your location.  Your local voluntary action co-ordinating organisation should be able to signpost you to a list of outfits in need.

So, when will you take the first step to put your skills to use for others’ benefit?  Doing this helps you find renewed purpose and confidence, which can feed back into your work and make you a more valuable member of staff.

Want to find out more about goals you can explore, relating to your work and life?  Then visit the Archive section here, or take a look on Facebook and Google+ too.

That’s What Friends Are For

Goal Setting

Goal Setting (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

If you were to picture yourself sitting in your rocking chair, in your twilight years, what would you imagine were the highlights of your life?  Could they include your:

–       Big detached house in the country?

–       Fleet of fancy cars?

–       CV chock full of high-flying jobs?

If so you might want to think again.  Research conducted by Dr Gregory Bonn, a lecturer in psychology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia provides compelling evidence that ‘close and enduring relationships are considered central to life satisfaction’.  According to the coverage in the Independent newspaper, material achievements are not too high on the list of Things That Make You Happy.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/money-cant-buy-you-the-good-life-8508265.html

 

Interestingly the survey findings also indicate that ‘Having a worthwhile career was rated as more important to a good life than having a successful one’.

 

There is a segue from the Independent story to one on the BBC news website.  It seems that the University of Chicago has researched the flip side of the ‘happy relationships equal happy life’ paradigm.  Their findings suggest that loneliness can lead to physical as well as psychological harm.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21517864

 

If that is sound information then it is timely, especially for the so-called ‘leftover’ women in China.  Their ambition and drive for early career success seems to have a downside.   According to BBC coverage, if these women mis-time their career peak they risk being viewed as too old for marriage.  The bad news is that over 25 may be ‘too old’!.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21320560

 

I wonder if these findings establish any useful goal setting principles?  One’s purpose in life fuels goal setting, so perhaps it is important that some goals relate strongly to building and maintaining healthy relationships.  These might take precedence over goals involving gathering material possessions.

 

That makes sense.  When goal setting we think about what we want to Be, then to Do and last of all, to Have.

 

Maybe the attachments to the key people in one’s life are more powerful and lasting than the links to physical possessions.