At the turn of every new year, we take decisions, make choices, re-examine our past and undone processes; all in a bit to ensure we have a smooth sail in the new year we have graciously found ourselves in. With years of maturity acquired, we begin to dream of impact on society, our immediate community and the world at large. These dreams become part of our yearly goals as well. Then the year gets midway and we find our expectations grossly unattained, with a colossal bunch of undone tasks, prayers and goals.
If this story sounds familiar, then don’t break a jaw! You are not alone in your thoughts and fulfilment. The year has simply gone past midday and the sun is yet to settle – meaning there is still much you can do with the rest of the months.
It is true that many people do not end up executing what they plan to do for the year. According to a research from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people fulfil New Year resolutions. So what happens to the 92% of people and their goals? If among your goals for the year is a desire to create impact in your community and you are wondering what to do to achieve those goals you set in January, here are 5 simple ways to get there before the year ends. I bet one or more of these points interpret what your heart wants to do.
Learn something new
Learning a new trade, learning a new language, enrolling in a new programme, and acquiring additional skills will help you achieve two things – you will become relevant to your community who is in need of such skills and you will have a sense of fulfilment which will rob your productivity and innovations for impact. The more you strive to learn a new thing, the more you find it difficult to be greedy with your skills. You will feel the need to pass it onto others – it is like a water reservoir, it can only get fresh water when the old content gets used. ATAFOM University gives you the opportunity to enrol in a new course in case you want to take on the challenge of adding knowledge to your credentials.
Engage in volunteerism
It does not take huge resources to enable one to be useful to their community. One of the hindrances to achieving the goal of impacting society is the persistent perception that huge capital resources will be needed. But this is not true! Volunteering is free and it is available at every corner – even the least member of a community in age and resources can do that. You will find many charity organisations in need of volunteers and you can apply; religious bodies also carryout works of charity which you can involve in; there are orphanages in need of tutors and nannies, you will certainly be of help to them. Bringing it closer home, the older men and women in your neighbourhood could require a bit of help with little purchases of groceries and chores at home – it doesn’t break a bone to be of help.
Be on the lookout for the most needy and destitute in your community
In the case where you have capital, human and other material resources at your disposal, it would be a fair deal for your community when you identify and focus your resources to the most destitute and needy of them. Through community leaders (especially in the African and other developing societies), you could identify children who find it difficult to pay school fees and meet other needs; you could also identify families that find it difficult to afford three square meals, clothing and shelter. Sometimes, it is the very little things we do that matter.
Initiate a project that meets the need of your community
Another way to make an impact is to get involved in community projects. There are always communal needs such as access to potable water, electricity, recreational centres, etc. As much as these projects are given the traditional connotation of being public responsibility, there is no harm in providing them as long as the resources are available. Those without the capital resources to get involved in sponsoring or funding community projects could use their influence and connection to attract such services to the community. Other community projects could include provision of scholarships to indigent students and if possible establishing educational institutions with scholarships or subsidies as is the case with ATAFOM University.
Let your community feel your job
What is the essence of having a regular 8-4 gig if your community doesn’t feel the impact? It is often not enough for your colleagues and clients to be the sole beneficiaries of your work. If they do, well, that is another way of creating impact and they will be content to have you as their benefactor, no doubt. However, your community looks up to your relevance as a security officer, a teacher, a doctor and as an engineer. It wouldn’t hurt if you organise community engagement and sensitise them on certain issues that relate to the kind of work you do.
Let it be that by December, you would take stock and discover that these simple ways of impact have ultimately made you a fulfilled person.