Happy New Year! While some people think New Year’s Resolutions are for bandwagoners, I think everyone should have at least one. Goals are SO IMPORTANT and a person without goals is like a ship without a rudder, just aimlessly sailing through the ocean waiting to crash into whatever land it happens to find.
If the beginning of January is the only time you set any goals for yourself, I say good for you! Setting small goals once a year is better than having no goals at all.
While you’re thinking about the changes you want to make in your life this year, here are 5 resolutions that every military spouse should add to their list . . .
1. Improving Your Health
Let’s get the painfully obvious one out of the way first, shall we? It’s no secret that the vast majority of New Year’s Resolutions revolve around the idea of eating better/working out more/losing weight/etc., and I think this is great! I’ve had a spectacular healthy journey myself (you can read about it here) and if a fresh year is what it takes for some people to find motivation, that’s okay! Your health is extremely important and I think it’s even more important for military spouses to focus on staying healthy & fit. Our husbands aren’t the only ones who can stay in amazing shape, right ladies? ;)
2. Saving or Investing More Money
While money is a sensitive topic, I feel like this needs to be said. Learning how to manage and grow your income is extremely important, especially for military families. It’s a sad reality that our service members aren’t paid much for what they do, and it’s an even sadder reality that most Americans don’t receive any sort of real financial education outside of maybe one semester of economics in high school and whatever money habits their parents have passed down to them. In fact, stats are showing that “a quarter of service members rely on food bank programs to make ends meet” (source). Even if your goal is to start small by saving or investing an extra $20 or $50/month, every dollar adds up. For more information about how to rewire your financial blueprint or invest wisely this year, checkout the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I learned a lot from it and you might, too!
3. Getting Rid of Clutter or Junk
Minimalism is the best way to go for military families! As much as we move around, the less junk we have, the better! While you certainly don’t have to take minimalism to an extreme, committing to cleaning out your garage or your storage closets or even your own closet will make a huge difference the next time your spouse gets PCS orders. For help on where to start or to get a little push of motivation, checkout The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
4. Improving Communication with Your Spouse
Military life can be especially stressful on relationships and us military couples have to work extra hard sometimes to find our patience! (Can I get an amen?!) This year, try resolving to improve your communication with your significant other so you can grow closer to each other instead of growing apart. Some ideas to consider might be starting a weekly date night tradition (meaning just the two of you with no distractions—that includes technology!), reading devotionals together every night, planning a getaway where you can spend quality time together, or even attending some counseling sessions (most military bases offer free counseling to military families). If you and your spouse are currently separated, try communicating about things that matter when you’re able to talk or set up weekly Skype dates if possible. Since I’m sure you’re dying for another resource, here’s a list of 7 Things You Need to Realize to Make Your Marriage Last that might help you improve your communication, too!
5. Having a Positive Attitude Toward the Military
Ouch . . . If you’re anything like me, this one hurts a little. In the very beginning I wouldn’t even date my husband because I knew he was going into the military, and this whole “military wife” thing wasn’t the life I wanted. While I didn’t choose the military life, I chose my husband and he chose it, so here I am. While I’ve (mostly) learned to embrace it, I’m not going to lie—things took an ugly turn when I found out a few years later that my husband didn’t just want to do his 5 year enlistment and get out like he originally planned, instead he decided that he wants to make a career out of the military.
Yep, a career. Like, a 20+ years kind of career.
For someone who’s extremely close to her family and can’t imagine raising kids without grandparents living close by, the idea of moving around the world every few years to places completely out of my control while enduring long distance with my husband again and again and having to put up with whatever new BS the military is throwing our way this time did NOT sound amazing to me!
Yet that is our reality, and that’s the reality of so many other families. Let me be clear, the sacrifices I make are nowhere near the sacrifices that our service members and some of their families have made. I understand that to the core of my being. However, this crazy military lifestyle isn’t exactly what I pictured for myself, and that’s why this New Year’s Resolution is so important to me.
Ladies, if you’re anything like me, we have got to stop talking so negatively about the military.
Yes, sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s ok to sit on the pitty potty and cry or scream or call your mom to tell her about how frustrated you are with the military, but we need to learn how to flush said pitty potty and pull it together sooner rather than later.
Complaining to our husbands isn’t going to make it any better. Whining on Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat about how much it sucks being a military spouse won’t help either, and our husbands don’t need that kind of pressure or negativity in their lives. They have to deal with the green weenie too, and I guarantee the suck they have to embrace is way worse than ours!
Let’s not add to their suckage with our petty complaining. Let’s decide to approach things with a positive attitude this year (yes, even the military!). I think it can make a pretty big difference, don’t you?
Cheers to the new year!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, which just means I’ll receive extra coffee money if you decide to make a purchase.