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What are you doing right now?

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Linda Ochs
  • 386th Expeditionary Medical Group
Too many times throughout my career I have either been in a position where I was not taking care of myself and my future, or witnessed those around me following suit. As I have matured and become wiser, I now know those methods were erroneous. I have since come to realize that we each need to take care of ourselves for our future, our careers and our health right now!

"I'm so excited!" an Airman 1st Class expressed about his impending promotion to Senior Airman in two days. I watched his face light up as he talked about the pay raise which prompted me to ask "So what kind of retirement plan are you investing in?"
"I put money in a savings account," was his reply.

"Oh geez," I thought, "so he's already wasted nearly three years of investing in a Thrift Savings Plan and Roth or Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts."

This Airman heard about these accounts but never really looked into them thinking he will do some research and figure it out later. You must start investing in your retirement RIGHT NOW!

As an A1C I was completely motivated to get my Community College of the Air Force degree. I did CLEP tests, took classes at night and on weekends and attained my CCAF as a Senior Airman. I felt like I was entirely too busy to start on my Bachelor's degree. As a Staff Sgt. I was busier than I'd ever been and thought the same rationale about making Tech. Sgt. and pursuing my degree then. Then as a Tech. Sgt. I started to supervise more people and the work load increased. Now as a Master Sgt. select, I find myself at the same crossroad. I'll take classes when there's more time. If I would've taken one class per semester I would have a degree RIGHT NOW!

How many of you have asked a comrade if they were studying for the weighted airman promotion system and heard, "well it's my first time so I'm not even going to try to study."
Then there's "I'm a crammer, I take leave the week before and cram."

"Between work and taking care of my family I just don't have the time or energy to study."
So they put it off until next cycle when they will have more time in service or time in grade or more time to study. You can make a plan, purchase materials and commit to a schedule for studying RIGHT NOW!

We all know smokers or someone trying to get in shape. Nearly every New Year at least a handful of Airmen I know devises a resolution to quit smoking or start a workout regimen. Then when they relapse they wait until January 1st to try again! Put the Marlboro's and Whoppers down! You can sign up for Smoking Cessation or Fitness classes at the Fitness Center RIGHT NOW!

Life gets in the way back home and time is constantly working against you. While you are deployed, use your time wisely. The Air Force leadership tries to help us achieve our goals whether they are financial, educational, health related or career progression oriented. Utilize the programs and tools provided and encouraged by leadership for us to pursue. Take care of yourself. Ask Finance about TSP or SDP, talk to an education counselor about pursuing a degree or certification, consult with your Chief, Superintendent or Shirt about study techniques, and ask your wingman or supervisor to help you achieve your fitness or health goal. Your leadership, family, friends and fellow Airmen want you to succeed, but you are the one responsible and have to be the one to get moving and stay moving. I leave you with a quote from Lao Tzu, "Time is a created thing." To say "I don't have time," is like saying "I don't want to." Ask yourself you want to take care of yourself? RIGHT NOW is the time to do so.