It’s Not Too Late To Still Make New Year’s Resolutions

Christmas is long over and while New Year’s has passed, it’s not too late to make resolutions and change your life.


Image by SierraSunrise via Flickr

While the holidays are long over, and so is the excessive chatter about what everyone wants to improve on in the upcoming year, it’s still not too late to strive to be better. When selecting your resolutions, aim to pick ones you’ll actually keep as only around 10 percent of people that make them actually follow through on them.

Selecting Volunteer Opportunities


Try picking goals that realistic and practical, and try to accomplish them in small steps. This will help you achieve victory easier. For typical getting healthier resolutions, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, make smaller goals like to buy more organic produce and meats for your meals or to exercise by doing dance aerobics four times a week.  Other good resolutions include trying to meet more people and giving back to others by volunteering. Again, you can think small by volunteering a 2-week volunteer vacation versus for six months at a time.

Actually you could very easily combine the last two as you select a place to volunteer at and meet some new friends. Consider your interests and talents as you decide how you want to help others. Do you like working with children or young adults? Think about volunteer teaching in Thailand as you could assist a number of age groups by volunteering in the schools or universities.

By volunteer teaching in Thailand, you can teach the English language to the natives, allowing the students to have a better chance of success in higher education and later careers.  Many children don’t get the chance to experience to properly immerse themselves in the English language so your time is very needed.

Working with kindergartners

This experience will allow you to  have so much fun while perfecting your understanding of the Thai language and teaching young children the basics of the English language.  While working in the Bangkok slums with over 100 disadvantaged preschoolers and kindergarteners, you’ll be helping with everything from planning games to teaching them simple songs and how to make animal or vehicle noises. You’ll learn a great deal as well as young children are never shy about correcting your speech.

English Education Volunteer


This opportunity allows you to experience some of the Buddhist shrines and temples, as well as some well-known schools. Depending on your preference, you can get placed at a school with 100 students to upwards of 1,000 students. They also take your grade preference into consideration. Generally, you’ll spend between 15 and 20 hours a week in a classroom with an actual Thai instructor. It’s up to you if you want to follow their lead or actually formulate some of your own lesson plans. In addition, as a big part of this experience is speaking English, remember to greet your students and talk to them in the hallways and at lunchtime as it’s good practice and builds relationships.

Teaching English to Buddhist Monks

This would be a totally new experience because besides assisting in education, you’ll be immersed in a different culture inside the temples. Throughout your 20 hours a week on-site, you’ll the option of participating in group mediations, reciting mantras,  and trying local cuisine at lunchtime while conversing with students and teachers. Because of the amount of novice monks, the teachers need volunteers like to assist them in teaching secular topics like English.

While you can’t better yourself or change the world in a day, it’s never too late to begin the process one step at a time. Resolutions like making more friends and giving back to others work no matter what time of year it is.

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Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!