Col. David Hammerschmidt, MXG commander, official photo

Col. David Hammerschmidt, MXG commander, official photo

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif – This time of year is a time of reflection for many.  It could be where you traveled, who you saw and what you did in 2017.  Some of your accomplishments may be personal, some professional and others related to family.  Examples range from buying a car, earning a degree, or getting married!

Whatever your goals were for 2017, I hope your reflection gives you satisfaction in having achieved the goals.  Congratulations, and thank you. Your hard work has made you, your family, your peers and our service better.  As we look to the new year, I ask that you continue to challenge yourself by setting new goals for 2018, then make a plan and share your plan with someone who will encourage you to get after it!

“Undirected diligence isn’t very efficient; therefore an element of planning must go into hard work.”  Coach John Wooden – 10 Time National Basketball Championship Coach for University of California Los Angeles

Making a resolution is identifying what we want to achieve. Tying a plan to that resolution lays out how we’re going to get there. A plan also helps keep us focused on our goals. It’s this drive that pushes us to work hard to reach our potential.  Tying a plan to a resolution also helps build small victories along the way to stay motivated as you progress. If you haven’t made any resolutions for 2018, a good place to start is choosing goals that enhance your personal, professional and family priorities.

Personal - Maybe you have a goal to read more, increase your fitness test score or lose a few pounds that you “found” over the holidays.  If you want to lose a few pounds then define it, set a timeline and be specific.  Setting a goal to lose 15 pounds by April 1 is better than simply saying “I want to lose a few pounds.” Fifteen pounds by April 1 means losing five pounds a month for the next three months or one pound per week for the next 15 weeks.  Track your progress and reward yourself along the way.  Build your plan and stick to it.  You’ll be in charge of your progress and hitting your goals before you know it.

Professional – If you have a goal to earn your Community College of the Air Force degree or get promoted this year, then build a plan to do so.  Make a consistent investment of time to read and study your Air Force study guides along with your specialty knowledge test material. Studying isn’t difficult but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  It takes consistency to build a new habit pattern, and if you stick to your plan, it will set you on your way to achieving your goal.

Family – Maybe you have a goal to spend more quality time “unplugged” with family or save money for a trip to Disney.  No matter how much time or money you have, it never seems like it’s enough. Sometimes small changes in daily habits can yield significant savings.  Saving a few dollars can be achieved by making your own coffee or packing your own lunch each day. Use your money saved to set up a small automatic deposit to your vacation account that quietly grows for you and your family.  Paying for your vacation beforehand makes for a more relaxing vacation than one you’re still paying for months after your return.

As Airmen, we live by some simple core values. One is excellence in all we do.  Excellence doesn’t just happen.  It takes focus and work to be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you are today.

 “We don’t all have to be superstars or win championships…All we have to do is to learn to rise to every occasion, give our best effort and make those around us better as we do it.”  ~ Coach Wooden

We don’t have to be superstars, but if we put in the work and dedication to stick to a plan with some simple steps over time, we can achieve superstar results.

As you make your list of resolutions for 2018, I suggest you share your goals and your milestones with someone who will hold you accountable peer, spouse or a supervisor who will encourage you along the way.  This is how we motivate and inspire each other.  I am amazed and inspired by you and our Air Force every day. I wish you all a “Happy New Year” now go make a plan to make 2018 your year!