Off With a Bang: Risk Resolutions

A new year brings the opportunity to start fresh in many areas of life. For many people, this means big plans and aspirations, and often, resolutions. For some suggested risk resolutions from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, check out our infographic. According to historical accounts, the earliest recorded New Year’s celebration took place around 4,000 years ago in Babylon. When Julius Caesar reworked the calendar year to sync with the sun, he declared January 1 as the start of the New Year to honor Janus, the month’s namesake and the Roman god of beginnings.

Over time, the celebration of the New Year has become much more secular and widely popular around the world. Many traditions, including eating special foods, singing songs and making resolutions are also important on the eve of January 1st. Although resolutions are extremely common, they are often difficult to maintain. According to a 2002 study from the Journal of Clinical Psychology cited by Associations Now, nearly one-third of people who make resolutions will have given up on their goals by the end of the second week, and more than half will have fallen off track by June. Given these statistics, what are some ways you can help make your resolutions stick?

The American Psychological Association offers several tips for keeping your resolutions:

Start Small—Instead of dreaming big and making a huge aspiration your immediate goal, start with smaller mileposts along the way. If your New Year’s resolution is to put in place a comprehensive risk plan to help your nonprofit deal with risks in all facets of the organization, start with one piece.

Change One Thing at a Time—If your gut tells you your nonprofit’s values are out of sync with your actions, don’t despair. Reassess one program or function at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of changes you’d like to make.

Get Others Onboard—Talk with colleagues and stakeholders to garner support for your resolution. Simply having another person to share troubles and successes with can make the path to a positive change in risk management more manageable.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up—Remember that no one—and no nonprofit—is perfect. Minor missteps and mistakes along the way to your risk goals are normal, and don’t mean that you won’t be able to reach your goals for your nonprofit. Learn to recover from past mistakes and get your nonprofit back on track toward its risk goals.

Ask for Help—If your nonprofit doesn’t have a crisis plan or another essential risk management tool in place, don’t hesitate to get help. When you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals, there are several places to which you can reach out. For assistance with risk plans, policies and general help, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has several tools. For help with legal employment questions, a local employment lawyer can be especially helpful.

For some risk resolution ideas and suggestions from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center team, check out our New Year’s Resolutions infographic. To learn more about the topic of making your resolutions stick, check out Entrepreneur’s 4 Motivating TED Talks to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions or Forbes’ 6 Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolution.