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Is it a lifestyle or resolution?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Tim Silva
  • 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Group First Sergeant
According to statistics, about 75 percent of American Society tends to set New Year's resolutions, while others will make a lifestyle change.

What's the difference? Dictionary.com defines lifestyle as "the way of life characteristic of a particular person, group, or culture." Resolution is defined as "a firm decision to do something; an answer to a problem."

A lifestyle is the way you choose to live your life. A resolution is the way you choose to live your life for a period of time (a few months, a few years or even the rest of your life) for something or because of something. The outcome is not immediately known.

Historically, the number one New Year's resolution has been to ... lose weight. Perfect, let's lose weight. Oh, wait a minute ... we are in the United States Air Force. Therefore, we should be maintaining our ideal weight. In other words, we should already be living a lifestyle of moderate exercise and a healthy diet to maintain that ideal weight. Guilty! I enjoy eating greasy pizza with a tall, cold, glass of my favorite micro-brew, or a juicy cheeseburger, curly fries and strawberry milkshake, or spaghetti carbonara, garlic bread and red wine. In addition, there are times I get in a "funk" (as Chaplain Jonathan Hurt so adequately explained a couple of weeks ago) and I choose to not work out. Thus, weight has a way of fluctuating. Hence, let's lose weight!

I have never heard of anyone making a resolution to get worse. Therefore, let's briefly analyze why we so often fail at our resolutions. The New Year's resolution is always aimed at a person's success and well-being. In addition, a resolution should be something settled or resolved as the outcome of decision-making. A resolution should be made high in spirit to radically transform a person's life. People tend to make a resolution on the spur of the moment.

I have submitted five tactics to ensure one is able to keep their resolution:
1. Make it a routine so it becomes a habit ...a lifestyle
2. Share the resolution with others ...accountability
3. Set specific goals (small chucks) measurable and achievable ...quantify
4. Vision of large impact ...success vs. failure
5. Motivation psychology ...strong and consistent motivation

That was the educational version of a resolution. I prefer:
1. Set goal
2. Make plan
3. Get to work
4. Stick to it
5. Reach goal

Since we are discussing resolutions and lifestyles and we are military members, it brings up another good point. Do we, as military members, live a military lifestyle or do we set resolutions?

Meaning of military lifestyle - clean uniform, professionalism, "in regs," proper salutes, being in shape. I will tuck in my PT shirt. I will inspect the aircraft as per operating instructions. I will not leave my post until properly relieved. I will lead by example, etc ... versus resolutions -- "since I am now a staff sergeant, I will now enforce the standards." "I will soon be pinning on major, therefore, I will resolve to start doing it by the book." "So what if I drink eight hours prior to reporting for duty?"

There are numerous resolutions we, as military members, could resolve to do better this New Year: become better bullet/EPR writers, be better supervisors, be a better Airmen/wingman, get more involved with base activities, get to know Airmen in other sections/squadrons, etc.

With the New Year only a couple of days away; will you be setting a New Year's resolution, choosing a new/different lifestyle, or are you already living the lifestyle you desire in the Air Force?

From the Shirts at Kandahar Airfield, may you and your family have a blessed & happy new year.