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a volunteer managers hidden cupcake new years resolutions


New Year’s resolutions? Who keeps them? Anybody?

There’s a whole science out there that studies why we make resolutions and the deep psychological implications of why we don’t keep them. It’s called FeelGoodForOneMinuteAfterMidnightEveryYearology and researchers have forged careers observing this phenomenon.

There are so many reasons why we fail to keep our resolutions including:

  1. we have unrealistic expectations
  2. we hate being told what to do, even if we are the person doing the telling
  3. our motivations are not in sync with the resolution
  4. habits are very hard to break
  5. we don’t like change or we’re afraid of change, or we’re resistant to change or we can’t change or we don’t know how to change or we think change will actually change us and we’re pretty much ok with who we are at this point in life. (fine, I made that last one up.)

The point is, there are lots of factors working against us, even if we have the best of intentions. We make resolutions to feel good, at least for the moment. Hmmmmmm, kind of like that second cupcake hidden under the covers…

So, if we aren’t going to keep our resolutions anyway and the whole resolution thing is about instant gratification, then why don’t we just make enormous impossible, overblown hidden cupcake resolutions and feel super good for an instant, right? Yeah!

With that in mind, here are my Volunteer Manager New Year’s ENORMOUS, IMPOSSIBLE, OVERBLOWN HIDDEN CUPCAKE resolutions for 2018.

  1. The next time I’m in a staff meeting and the discussion turns to new year housekeeping which means shredding all the reports that are over seven years old and someone says, ‘I know, let’s get a volunteer to do it,” I’m going to flip the table over, spilling all the caramel macchiatos and cinnamon lattes, and storm out, fist raised, yelling, “I’ll bet you want volunteers to clean up this mess too!”
  2. I’m going to wear a Guy Fawkes mask and make my own protest sign that reads, “Volunteers are No Longer the Tools of Your Authoritarian Requests in 2018” and stand in front of my building every day until my list of demands are met. I won’t bathe, so this should end pretty quickly. My list of demands includes designating all the upfront parking spots, “For Volunteers Only, Because Their Time is Valuable Too” and renaming the office building “Volunteer Towers, The Office that Volunteers Built.”
  3. I’m going to put together a “Staff Appreciation Luncheon” this year instead of a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. The volunteers will walk around, and they will flippantly throw out phrases such as “we couldn’t do the work without the help of staff,” and “we love our staff, no really, we do.” The volunteers will all sit together at the front table, eat their lunch while chatting and ignoring everyone else and then they will excuse themselves before any awards are given out, claiming that they have “important work to do.”
  4. I’m going to rip up all my ROI reports and next time I have to present stats, I will calmly get up and say, “in lieu of standard reports, I am going to sing a song about volunteers, in hopes that you feel their value in your heart and not on paper, which really does no justice to all the intangibles they bring.” I’ll proceed to sing “You’ve Got a Friend and change the word friend to volunteer. I’ll sing every verse acapella, although I might be able to coerce volunteer Gordie into accompanying me on his harmonica, just for added effect.

The lyrics go something like this:

You just call out my volunteer name, if you know what it is, and you know wherever I am like at work or even at my own wedding
I’ll come running or maybe I’ll drive or take the bus cause the car’s in the shop to volunteer again

Winter, spring, summer, or fall or during last-minute events that you forgot to tell me about until the morning of
All you got to do is call or email or even send me a letter where you misspell my name again and I’ll be there to volunteer
You’ve got a volunteer

Ahhh, I’m not going to lie, those resolutions felt pretty darn great, at least for the moment, but I know I won’t be keeping them, except for the hidden cupcake, that is.

So, now what?

How about, we just make a resolution to work together to keep the momentum from 2017 going.

We most definitely can keep that one. Cheers to an even brighter 2018.