There are a few major reasons why we might do less good in the future, and they often work together. The first, and most common one, might be a failure of willpower. Just like going to the gym, doing the right thing can sometimes be hard even if we think we should do it. You might want to make a donation but also really want a little more spending money. Often we just don’t have the willpower or energy to make the choices we want to. The second reason is distraction and forgetfulness. It is easy to forget things, particularly when you have a busy life. I know a friend who kept intending to donate but kept forgetting and getting distracted for months before they did so. Another common reason is a change in life circumstances or environment. Getting new friends or partners who are not supportive of your altruistic endeavours might change them. Another change in your life circumstances that could change how much you focus on altruism is having a child and prioritizing them.
The final thing you can do is to keep in mind how much your environment affects you. If you want to continue to be a person who cares about the environment, then find friends who also care about the environment. If you really care about poverty, pick a partner who shares that passion. This will not only motivate you to keep up the good you are doing but it might also motivate you to do even more good. I certainly know that when I changed to a more caring peer group it greatly affected how much time and money I dedicated to helping the world.
Doing good over the long term is important and we can greatly increase our odds of succeeding in doing so by making a few simple changes now. For example, by setting up a recurring donation today and publicly telling others about it you are not only spreading the word about an important cause, but also increasing the chances that you’ll continue doing good in the future.