New Year...New You?

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The hectic holiday season has passed, and by now you're wondering what to do with all of your post-holiday free time.

One option is to go back to your old and comfortable routines of 2012, or you can make it a personal challenge to better yourself this year by achieving new goals. Goals can range from increasing your PT, finishing your PME, completing a degree, excelling in your AFSC, or just being more productive in your work section. But, as we all know, making self-improvements takes energy, motivation, and most importantly, a clear end-state; otherwise known as goals. Goals can be achieved if you have the desire and a plan.

Below are a few simple steps for achieving goals:

First and foremost, write down your goals. Statistics indicate that when people write down their goals they have a significantly higher success rate than people who don't. Your written goals don't have to be elaborate, just make sure they are specific, realistic and attainable in a reasonable amount of time.

Next, develop simple milestones to keep you on track. These are your personal check points along the way to ensure success. You can keep it simple and create weekly or monthly milestones. Then, when you successfully reach a milestone, treat yourself for the hard work and dedication.

Also, find a wingman who will keep you on track and hold you accountable for your actions. For the greatest chances of success, choose a friend or family member who will be direct and give you honest feedback, as opposed to telling you what you want to hear. Also, select a wingman who will provide positive support when you need extra motivation to continue.

Finally, incorporate your goals as part of your daily routine. Each day, make it a point to take positive steps in the right direction. Over time, these smaller positive steps add up and will push you closer to your goals.

In the end, you and only you can determine how you want to proceed in 2013. You can maintain the comfortable "status quo" or you can take the challenge and make yourself better.

The choice is yours, how will you proceed?