What’s in your New Year’s resolution Baltimore?

Hey there!

A new year, a new decade has snuck up on us once again, therefore it’s time to establish some goals for the new year…an official NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!  Of course, there are the typical goals that we set:  get in better shape, eat healthier, keep better touch with family and friends (I bet cell phone companies are happy about the number of minutes used and texts sent in January!), etc.  Personally, I’ve never made a formal resolution because well, I never really believed in it.  During the holidays when we had a week off, I gave the notion of writing down my goals for the year some more thought and I was like really what have I got to lose?  All these years I probably wasn’t being as productive or true to myself and that was without writing everything down, maybe it’s time to turn the tides a bit and give this written resolution bit a try. 

So of course, I started off with the basics to help break things down:  be a better grad student, lose weight, eat healthier, do a better job of keeping in touch with friends.  I progressively built on those and stated that I want to read for leisure (not just a textbook…ick!), specifically, one book a month.  Then I started thinking about what I want out of life – I want a house, to be at a certain income level, find love, to be a good public servant…essentially establishing more long-term goals.  Long-term goals are great because they can easily be revised and your can start making baby steps in the near future to help reach that bigger pot of gold that’s waiting in the wings 🙂    

Then I started thinking about the public servant piece a little bit more.  I’ve been shying away from volunteering a lot because of family and school commitments and I felt that I should give an organization my all if I decide to volunteer with them.  However, I realized that just because I can’t volunteer 5-10 hours a week with one or two organizations doesn’t mean I shouldn’t volunteer period.  If it is my fundamental belief that small incremental changes lead to further progress practice, shouldn’t I practice what I preach?  There are plenty of places where you can search out short and long-term opportunities and honestly one of the best resources to check out is Business Volunteers Unlimited AKA BVU.  There’s clearly a lot of talent here in Baltimore, a lot of driven individuals, and a lot of organizations/people needing our help.  Wouldn’t it be ideal if all just a did little to help our city, our region? 

Recently, I signed up as a tax preparer through the Baltimore Cash Campaign.  The Baltimore Cash Campaign offers free tax preparation at various centers for families making less than $49,000 a year and individuals making less than $25,000 a year.  I have to a attend a couple training sessions for about 8 hours and then I have to commit to 8 hours of actual tax preparation between February and the infamous April 15 deadline – that’s it!  I have a business background, passion for helping, and strong customer service skills, so this is the perfect fit for me.  Not to mention, I can still volunteer amidst my prior commitments.

So what do you say Baltimore?  Keep the basics in your resolution, but think on a larger scale and contemplate how you can incorporate some kind of service into your new year’s resolution.  There are plenty of opportunities out there – you just gotta go out and find them!  Visit BVU’s website:  www.bvumaryland.org to start!

For now, this is Ankur….

Signing off!

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