Top 10 Military Spouse New Year's Resolutions

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My love for resolutions is closely related to my love for checklists. For me, they are the perfect way to decide to do something and then get it done. And I am not a person who makes resolutions idly. If I say I'm going to do something, I intend to do it.

I write it down.

I put it on one of those glorious checklists.

I schedule it into my month.

My military life resolutions for next year aren't just for me this time around. They can be for you, too. Want to join me? Here, in no particular order, is what I'm going to tackle and why:

Top 10 Military Spouse New Year's Resolutions:

1. Exercise more with my service member. Exercising is literally part of my husband's job, and it's something he enjoys. Last year we did a ton of running events on our base together -- but by "together" I mean we both were there at the start, followed very quickly by him running faster than I do and meeting me (eventually) at the finish line. This year, however, I am resolving to exercise WITH him. We can take some CrossFit classes together. He can slow down his run time and (maybe, probably not) I can speed up mine.

2. Put away the bitterness. I recently wrote about my military bitterness and then later how I am choosing to be grateful despite it. This year I am going to focus on the positive parts of my military life. When bitterness starts knocking on my door, I am going to recognize it for what it is and move forward without it. Join me, won't you?

3. Be happier. When I read Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" I knew she was onto something. "Be happy" is a much bigger, non-defined goal than anyone can hope to achieve. But what about identifying specific areas in which you can up the happy and taking those one at a time? Yes, that is something I can (and will) do.

4. Prepare in advance for the PCS. Military moves can sneak up on you in the night. And then, before you know it, you're a month out and all the clutter you are now going to move with you because you didn't take the time to get rid of is making you panic. The details and possibilities of your new duty station are a mystery because you're so busy getting ready to move that you don't have time or energy for any reason.

Not this year. This year I'm going to be ready for that PCS when it comes a-knockin'. I'm going to control the clutter in my house on a bi-monthly basis so that when the time comes that isn't something I have to worry about. I'm going to do my homework, make my PCS binder, and be in control of as many details as possible. And I am going to love every minute of it.

5. Kiss like he's deploying tomorrow. The cutesy slogan is fun. But this year I resolve to take it to heart. It's easy to take your spouse for granted. But what if he or she was deploying TOMORROW? I want that feeling of precious time all year round.

6. Take time to be still. I am a busy, busy, busy lady. I hate being still -- because there's always SOMETHING that needs to be done. But this year I resolve to take still time just for me. Sure, I'm still busy. But I know that the things that are really priorities always make it into my schedule. So I'm going to schedule in regular still time.

7. Use the resources available to me. One of the truths of military life is that if we don't USE all of the great resources that have been given to use they are going to GO AWAY. What is available on your base that would make your life easier but you don't even KNOW about? Hit up your MWR website. Check out your community services office. Research childcare options. And resolve to use some of this stuff.

8. Keep in touch OFF social media with forever friends. This coming year I'm going to try something new. Once a week I'm going to send an honest-to-God birthday card to someone. Using the Facebook birthday calendar I have already written into my day planner the person I need to buy a card for. I'm going to hit them up for their mailing address, write a personal note, and drop that bad boy in the mail. The entire exercise might cost me $5 a person and 15 minutes of time. But the reward? A personal connection and warm fuzzy feelings for them.

9. Say "yes" to volunteering. Most of the volunteering I do is actually voluntold ... like the FRG. Actual volunteering -- you know, of my own free will? It doesn't happen very often. I think it's the effort to get there and make it happen that I have a hard time with. Once I'm there, it's great. But finding childcare, hauling my rear to the location? Ugh. I hear, however, that volunteering can be rewarding when you make time for it. So this year I'm going to find some volunteer opportunities on base that are MY choice.

10. Be the change I want to see. Complaining about military life is easy. Complaining feels good. But complaining is not particularly constructive. So the next time the military ball is awful or the FRG is falling apart instead of complaining about it, I'm going to do what I can to help. Join me in being the change we want to see, won't you?

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