Is it too late to talk about New Year’s resolutions? I mean it’s January 8th as I write this, so we’ve kind of already skipped into the new calendar year. Yes, I know we are halfway through the Rotary fiscal year but if you think of New Year’s resolutions on July 1 you really do need to get a life. For me, New Year’s resolutions are fraught with peril because I’m too old to be reminded that I can’t keep the commitments that I make to myself. (I’m much better at keeping commitments to others…I hope.) And I’ve reached the point where I simply avoid anything having to do with forward-looking statements about health and exercise. I may or may not eat better this year, and the same goes for working out. That’s all I have to say on those subjects.
If, however, you are looking for some Rotary New Year’s resolutions, I am happy to oblige you with a list of ten for you to consider. I have carefully thought through each of these suggestions and think they pass the test of being doable. Meaning that you could consider any of the following for this year and actually have half a chance of actually doing it. So here you go….a list of ten Rotary resolutions you could commit to doing during the 2019 calendar year that is guaranteed to make you feel better about Rotary, not to mention feel better about yourself.
Ask someone you know to visit your club
Yes, you’ve been meaning to do this for year’s now. How hard could it be? I’m not talking about cold-calling a stranger. Just casually mention to a colleague, friend, or family member, that you would be honored if they joined you for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or Happy Hour, next week for your Rotary meeting. What’s the worst that can happen? Hysterical laughter? Rage that you had the temerity to ask? Your friend has some kind of psychotic breakdown while considering your invitation? You can do this! Twelve months to ask one person. Geez…talk about setting the bar incredibly low.
Recruit a new member for your club
This is a much higher standard for a Rotary New Year’s resolution because if you don’t play your cards right, you might have to invite more than one colleague, friend, or family member to visit your club. This commits you to continue asking until someone says “yes, I would love to join this Rotary club.” I know from writing about this last year that we add 13% – 14% of new members to Rotary every year. So someone out there is asking people to join Rotary. You could be one of them during 2019!
Volunteer for a club project
It is sometimes annoying when your club members interrupt a perfectly good meal or great conversation with your Rotary buddies by asking for volunteers for local community projects. Even though you decided long ago that you’ve done enough hands-on volunteer work for a lifetime, this year resolve to spend a little time helping others by doing something other than writing a check. You and I both know that this one will feel really good if you choose it for your 2019 resolution. If you haven’t volunteered in a long time, have medical staff standing by in case your enthusiastic endorsement of a club service project causes someone to go into shock.
Get on the club’s leadership team
Why not resolve to join your club’s leadership team if you haven’t already done so (and even if you have). Go ahead and volunteer to be a committee chair, or God forbid, get in the queue to be club president. Taking a leadership role in your club starting in July will give you a whole different perspective on Rotary, not to mention your Rotary club. And for the first time you will enjoy feeling the pure adulation, encouragement, enthusiasm, friendship, collegiality, and hero worship that your club members save for those who choose to be club leaders.
Join one of your club’s committees
OK. If becoming a club leader is too big of a stretch as you ponder 2019, why not just hop on someone else’s committee and try it out? Your good ideas and general wisdom about life and your community will be welcomed by all concerned. And you will find that being on the fundraising committee, the membership committee, the club service committee, or “other” committee, just might be more fun than bitching about the job that others are doing on your behalf.
Give more than $100 to the Rotary Foundation
I know you’ve heard that Rotary clubs can win awards if everyone in the club gives $100 each year to the Rotary Foundation. But really….isn’t it time to raise your game? Why not resolve to give….wait for it….$200 to the Rotary Foundation this year? You could give $100 to the Annual Fund and $100 to Polio Plus, or all $200 to either. You may or may not be able to take a charitable deduction for your gift if you use the new humongous standard deduction, but you will feel really good about this gift regardless of the tax benefit.
Join the Paul Harris Society
You might as well resolve to stop drinking soda, go to the gym four times a week, and stop eating fast food. But if you are considering a resolution to change your support for the Rotary Foundation this year, why not go absolutely crazy and join the Paul Harris Society? A contribution of only $84 per month gets you into this amazing group.
Read Rotarian Magazine
It comes every month and it looks really good on the coffee table. You mean to read it, you really do. But first you have to check out the newsfeed on your smart phone, the local sports in the daily paper, and watch an hour or two of CNN or Fox News (but not both for heavens sake.) So another day goes by and you haven’t read it and soon you will receive next month’s issue so what is the point of reading the one that’s been sitting around for several weeks? You can do this! Repeat after me…”I resolve to read the Rotarian Magazine each and every month this year.” See? Not so hard.
Go to your District Conference
You’ve never gone to one before and no one you know is planning on going this year. So what? Resolve to go to your District Conference this year and get a taste of the scale and grandeur of Rotary. Who are all of these people? What do they do in their Rotary clubs? What are they excited about? What good ideas can you borrow/steal for your club? Go ahead. Eat a little hotel food, bring your spouse, and connect to a world of Rotary a little bigger than just your Rotary club. Who knows…you might even find yourself going to a Rotary International Annual Convention. This year it’s in Hamburg, Germany. I’m betting you’ve never been there.
Give your club President a compliment
This is a layup, but why not resolve to do it at some point in the next six months (if you want your compliment to apply to this year’s club President)? You would be amazed at how appreciated your comment will be, regardless of what your compliment is about. It turns out that being a club President isn’t always easy, and a kind word from you about just about anything is sure to make the day of the person who volunteered to lead your club this year. Not sure how to give a compliment to a Rotary club leader? Try this: “Hey (fill in the first name of your club President), I just wanted to tell you that I think you are doing an amazingly good job this year. Thanks for everything you do.” NOTE: Have tissues handy as they may break into tears.
Have a safe, happy, and prosperous 2019 everyone! And thank you for reading the Ready, Fire, Aim Rotary blog. It’s much appreciated!
For more on Rotary New Year’s Resolutions, check out the Ready, Fire, Aim Jan 1, 2014 post, Rotary New Year’s Resolution – Have More Fun.