What is your philanthropic fitness?


I received an electronic personal fitness device for Christmas this year.  While I am still figuring out how to fully utilize it, I can say, unequivocally, that it has made me more aware of my own fitness.  The device tracks my activity, meals and sleep.  So at any given moment, I know how I am doing towards my personal fitness goals.  This is a great concept!  More than anything, the biggest stumbling block I struggle with is keeping aware of my goals that are difficult but important and making them a priority.  My personal health for  example has begun to improve because of this device.  It is a constant reminder to me to follow my plan and get the exercise and sleep I need.  As I thought about the wonder of this device,  I started to think about” the fitness” of other areas of my life and in particular, personal philanthropy.  There are many organization that I believe in and support.  However, I am not always good at keeping to a schedule.  While there is not a “Fitbit” for philanthropy, one can apply  personal fitness concepts to one’s philanthropy by following these simple steps:

  1. Set a goal – What would you like to accomplish this year philanthropically?  Do you want to begin or continue to donate to an organization you like?  Do you want to learn more about this organization?  Do you want to volunteer at this organization?  Do you want to do a little of all of these?  Decide what you want to do!
  2. Develop actions – Now that you have a destination, how will you get there?  Decide the things you will do that will move you towards your goal.
  3. Set a schedule – Make a plan with time budgeted for various activities that will bring you closer to achieving your goal.  Do you want to learn more about how an organization works?  Schedule time to visit the organization or to review their web site.  If things are important, we schedule them.  Make a schedule to achieve your philanthropic goals.
  4. Do what you say – Once a goal is set,  a plan mapped out and a schedule is developed; stick to it!
  5. Go easy on yourself – If you are like many just starting out with a plan, you will miss an action, appointment etc.  Forgive yourself and get back to the plan!

Make a new year’s resolution to build or strengthen your philanthropic fitness this year.  It will not only make you happier (studies have shown) but will also help make the world a better place!


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