Hooray! It’s a New Year, which means that a lot of us are mapping out resolutions and hoping to knock off important personal goals in 2015.
There are obvious objectives that seem to always land on the list, for example, eating healthy, learning something new or be more open-minded. Also, there might be a handful of really specific achievements that you want to accomplish, which is awesome.
But, what if you’re a new military spouse?
Military life can get a little overwhelming and confusing at times, so that’s why I put together a special resolution list for myself last year tailored to the fact that my husband and I were going to be at a completely new area to us. Now that I’ve been a part of the military community for an additional year and have additional insight, what if you’re a newbie that already knows the area or in need or more broad spectrum goals?
That’s why I wanted to share some important overall goals with you, especially if you’re brand spanking new and have no idea where to begin. Let’s get you started on the right foot!
1. Prioritize for 2015 and Beyond.
Military spouses quickly realize that life can change at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, it gets so unpredictable that you may feel like you can never really plan anything. Whether it is PCS orders, an unexpected TDY or the dreaded deployment, it starts to get really disconcerting to actually write in important plans on your schedule. That doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore the long term. There are ways to map out the perfect plan for you.
It helps me to write everything down on paper and actually map something out. Starting the year with a solid structure could help you with any detours or bumps in the road because it will allow you to think through the change and work toward a new path. For example, my husband had a follow on note in his orders overseas that his next assignment would be in Texas. I was pretty pumped because it meant I would be closer to my parents. I looked at neighborhoods and other things that would help us with the move…but, it changed just a couple short months before he was to leave overseas that we were going to Virginia. Yikes! I applied all the other research I did with finding a home and adjusted fire to this area. Yes, it was extremely frustrating, but I could only imagine how much more work I would have done if I didn’t do a thing.
Ask yourself: Do you want to start school this year? Or maybe volunteer? Or switch careers? Or anything else that matters…jot down ideas and also plan as a couple too.
2. Be You in 2015.
Military couples are the experts of compromise and having to adapt with what the military throws your way. Honestly, I’m still learning to go with the flow and realize that it does take experience to feel comfortable. You must remember that there might be certain instances when you feel like you’re losing out on your personal goals, but that isn’t the case. We have to use that adapting skill to update our path. So, be sure to keep your wants and desires high on the list because anything is possible with the right mentality. When I left my single life, I found a career path that worked for me with telecommuting. Perhaps establishing a side hustle would be good too!
Ask yourself: What steps can I take in 2015 to reach my long-term professional and personal goals?
3. Save Moola.
Finance isn’t the most romantic subject, but it really should be up there on your goal agenda. My husband and I took it seriously and came out with an arrangement that works for both of us with these tips in mind. Starting your marriage with a solid financial plan will ensure that you are set for any hiccups that come your way. In addition, put together a kick-ass savings plan. If you’re in need of a one, try out the 52 Week Saving Plan. NextGen mapped out 4 ways for you to put the 52 Week Savings Plan on auto-pilot.
4. Embrace a Staycation with and without Your Spouse.
Aside from finding your “me time” and couple’s activity, use some of that money that you saved for a legitimate vacation together and a girls getaway (or staycation). If you didn’t have a honeymoon, make this the time to have the trip you two deserve. Trust me, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t have any time away from your duty station to have fun. There are ways to make it work.
Vacationing with your spouse is wonderful, but be sure to spend real quality time with your friends too. When I married my husband I left amazing roommates and also wonderful people in my home state. Women that literally (and figuratively) had my back. I’m extremely lucky to be driving distance from some of them and the others I work really hard to visit when I get the chance. Those friendships are what made me who I am today and I never want to take them for granted. But, I do understand the struggle of distance and time, especially as a newlywed. If seeing them in person is completely out of the question, arrange a Skype date with a bottle of wine at hand. It will be like they were there in the room.
Ask yourself: What fun goals do I have planned for myself in 2015? How can I save money now for a vacation I want to take in October?
5. Find Your Balance.
The sky’s the limit! Spend some real down and dirty time evaluating what makes you happy. For me, I absolutely love spending time with my husband doing brand-new activities. Mountain biking new areas, hiking new trails, exploring new cities are a sampling of things that really bring out the best in each other. We have fun, create countless amazing memories and actually have the military to thank for our adventures. Personally, my career is also what makes me tick. I enjoy what I do in the office and find fulfillment in it.
Ask yourself: What brings me fulfillment? What goals will lead me to love my life even more?