I am terrible at resolutions. Every year I decide I’ll do something better and by the end of January– really, January 2nd– I’ll have already jumped off the bandwagon. I don’t even remember the resolutions I wanted to keep for last year. I just know I didn’t keep them.
This year, I’m focusing on smaller resolutions. Ones I know I can keep that I know will make my life better. I talked to some military spouse bloggers and found their best advice for small things that we can do to make our lives more vibrant.
You’ll want to hang onto your hats because these resolutions will definitely make your military life better.
Learn How to Hack Your Travel
As military families, we have a lot of chances for some really nifty travel on the cheap. Well, kind of. Sometimes, it costs you a broken family heirloom in HHG. But seriously, we only live in the same place for 2-3 years at a shot– we might as well make the most of our colorful, vagabond lives! If you’ve never heard of travel hacking, you’ll have to check out this post from a couple who does it spectacularly well. They use credit cards to earn points or miles for free or discounted trips… and both of their credit scores are over 800.
Be Intentional About Leave
This year, leave policy changed for the military. You can only bank so many days for leave now; anything over that, and your spouse or significant other will lose it. This year, if your partner is in danger of losing some leave, make sure he or she spends it… and that you have fun with it. An Aiming High Wife shares her experience with her husband’s sudden vacation— and how they had fun sharing some unexpected time together.
Get Out of Your Duty Station Funk
Stuck somewhere you hate? Going to somewhere you’re pretty sure is going to suck? Maybe you just don’t want to be so far away. Or maybe you like your duty station… but you don’t make the most of all it has to offer. (Guilty as charged!) One of the most intrepid military spouses I know, Courtney has some wonderful tips for how to make the most of your duty station, time and time again. You’ll want to take some pointers from her.
Bring Sexy Back
Justin Timberlake isn’t the only person who can summon Sexy at will. If you feel like military life has dulled the sparkle on your relationship, Judy Davis shares what works for her 24-year marriage. I love that laughter is part of what makes her marriage work!
Prepare for Civilian Life Now
It doesn’t matter if your spouse has 5 more years in the military, 1 month, or 20 to go. Things change. Career trajectories change. The national budget changes. This year, you need to spend some time preparing financially for the military-to-civilian transition. After all, everyone leaves the military at some point. It’s just a matter of time.
Say Thank You
This year, I’m making a conscious effort to say thank you more to John. It’s not that I don’t thank him for the things he says or does, but I want to be more specific so he knows that I truly am appreciative of the small (and large) things he does for me. This military-focused list from A Semi-Delicate Balance is the perfect way to get started saying thank you more often.
Embrace Your Weirdness
When I first became a military spouse, I was really, really concerned with fitting in. Honestly? It felt like High School, Part 2: The Even More Awkward Years. I was self-conscious that we were an older enlisted couple. I was self-conscious that I didn’t have a job. And then that I did have a job. I was self-conscious about the food we took to parties and our apartment and… Seriously, enough already, Self! If you haven’t learned how to embrace your unique, beautiful weirdness as a military spouse or significant other, take a page from Seeing Sunshine and Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. You’ll have a happier, more relaxing 2016 if you do.
Kick Deployment in the Face
It’s hard to look forward to a new year if there’s a deployment looming on the horizon. If that’s where you are now, don’t worry; I’ve been there too. Lots of us have (and will be again). You can do it, and you can be a total boss at deployment. Don’t believe me? Here are 32 reasons why you will totally rock this upcoming deployment.
Find Some Zen
I hate yoga… and y’all know that my anxiety is running me in circles half the time. (Well, really, more than half the time.) But I love this take on mindfulness practices specifically for military spouses. And it only needs to take 5 minutes a day.
Dust Off the Ol’ Resume
This is the year you find that amazing career you’ve always wanted! And yes, I know, being a military spouse makes it even tougher. But trust me, as someone who mourned the loss of a career, only to find one that I love just as much (if not more), it really can be done with some creative thinking. But first, resolve to get your resume back in fighting shape.
Use Facebook for Support
This year, you’re going to reach out for help when you need it! It’s easier to do that with some fantastic Facebook groups specifically for military-affiliated people. You’ll want to check those groups out here and then join them so you can have your questions answered with a few taps or clicks.