Don't get caught in the grind

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jeremy Hooper
  • 39th Medical Support Squadron commander
We all live very busy lives.  Our jobs, children, personal and social relationships consume pretty much all of our time.  Our electronic devices keep us locked in to what everyone else is doing and before you know it, our days are completely filled with activities from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed.  Unfortunately, unless the planet slows down its spin on its axis, days are only 24 hours long.  If you combine all of these factors, you now have a problem of being extremely busy, which in turn makes it hard to ensure your life is moving in the direction you want it to go.  To quote the movie, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  The complexity of our lives makes it hard to "look around." 

We all talk about proper life balance and part of that is taking the time to self-assess and make sure we are exerting our energy in the right areas.

This lack of "me time" affects our goals.  Our goals can either be for our careers in the Air Force, financial, education, travel, health, etc.  Are you taking the time to assess, adjust and make sure you are meeting them?  The daily grind and sheer busyness of our lives can easily take over and make it easy to forget about pausing for an evaluation on where your life is heading.  Before you know it, months and even years can pass and steps haven't been taken to either meet your goals or adjust them based on new factors and life influences.   Of course, even with well laid out plans, uncontrollable life events can get in the way of your plans. 

The world is constantly changing and this can force your plans off track, but if time is dedicated to adjusting your efforts on a regular basis, you can still reach your goals. Furthermore, have you developed a starting point and taken the time needed to develop a five- year-plan and a 10-year-plan for your career, family, or finances?  Do you have ideas established on where you want to be when you are finished working and retired?  When is the last time you thought about developing a long term plan?  Devoting some time to developing your plans, not just for your career, but also for your personal goals helps you achieve more. 

An easy way to get focused is to take just a few minutes to make a list of what you want to do.  Then you can prioritize what you need to get done and maintain some focus.  We all hear stories from people older than us complaining if they had only done something different in their lives they would have lived a happier life.  I venture to say they didn't spend a small amount of personal time to decide where they would like to be later in life and nurture those plans as their lives progressed.    

Bottom-line, I challenge and encourage you to take a little "me time" once in a while to conduct a personal vector check.  Ensure you are accomplishing the needed tasks that will allow you to meet your goals in life.