Set a No-Fail Resolution to Donate More

The holidays are over, and a new year has arrived. Which can only mean one thing: all over the country, millions of Americans are setting New Year’s resolutions that they won’t keep. It’s become a cliché of sorts that even as self-help books and gym memberships are selling like hotcakes, media outlets remind us of the dismal stats surrounding the goals we set this time of year. You’ve probably heard that something like 80 percent of resolutions fail by February and only 8 percent of people will achieve their goals by the end of year. Though we try to hack our brains and bodies to overcome these heavy odds, the cliché persists year after year. The fact is, while some of us will finally quit smoking or run a marathon, for the rest of us it’s time for a different approach.

Despite the annual think pieces about what makes a good resolution, the ten most popular goals of 2019 are the same ones people have failed at in years past. And while it’s possible that our failures are due to lack of willpower or perseverance, research shows it’s the goals themselves that might be the problem. So what kind of resolution should we be setting?

The best goals, meaning the ones we’re most likely to stick to, are ones that are meaningful to us and are based on our personal value systems. They also provide an immediate reward, like that first five pounds lost on a new diet, or the post-workout endorphins that make you feel on top of the world. Add in a hefty dose of accountability from a community of like-minded friends or colleagues, and you’ve set yourself up for a nearly guaranteed-to-happen goal. And one resolution that hits all three of these criteria is setting a giving goal to donate more money to your favorite charities.

But as with any goal, declaring it at the beginning of the year isn’t the same as following through. You need a plan to make it happen. And even better if it’s a plan you don’t have to think about on a daily basis. Enter reoccurring donations. Just like you set your monthly bills to autopay, you can set up reoccurring deposits to fund your Pinkaloo Modern Giving account. Whether it’s on a monthly basis or every paycheck, you can set it and forget it, building up funds until you’re ready to distribute them. You can schedule reminders in your calendar each quarter to distribute the funds to your favorite charities, revisit your budget, and make sure you’re on track to hit your goal. When February rolls around and everyone around you is falling off the resolution wagon, you can be confident you’re well on your way to achieving yours.