AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- It's almost that time of year when up to 85 percent of us will commit to reforming a lifestyle or changing our lives for the better. It starts when we take a critical look at ourselves and determine what we can do to make the improvements we desire. Next is the starting point or catalyst for this adventure. These resolutions usually go into effect on New Year's Day. If you have ever been in the fitness center on the second day of the year, you know what I'm talking about. I used to get frustrated with the influx of people milling about trying to figure out how the fitness equipment works. Now, I'm still a little amused, but mostly happy to see that many people are taking stock in themselves.

It has always escaped me why so many people wait for the new year to make a change. I am sure some find it a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf, a bookmark in time to remember when they made the decision to improve.
Did you know that the beginning of the new year has changed over time? History shows that this day has moved around the calendar, even after the Julian calendar was accepted; New Year's Day moved from December to March, and then finally to January.

Here is the point to the history of New Year's Day. Don't wait to start. Resolutions are about making positive modifications in your life. Sure, we may want to wait for the perfect moment, but the Air Force provides countless opportunities for us to reinvent ourselves. I just made my fourth major career change in 24 years, which was a perfect opportunity to self analyze and make adjustments to be a better Airman. There are other, less obvious, but more frequent opportunities. Every time our performance report closes, we get a fresh opportunity to excel. Each time we change stations or get a new supervisor, we can take advantage and make changes to be successful. It is expected that we will make positive changes when we are promoted. Think about when you attended professional military education and graduated full of knowledge on how to better lead. I remember coming out of PME thinking how much better I could make myself, let alone what influence I would have on other Airmen. We are an expeditionary Air Force and we all deploy. Many take this opportunity to start a fitness routine that totally changes their appearance and their lives. I have witnessed people who lost 50 pounds on a six-month deployment.

Seize these opportunities to take an honest and critical look at yourself and see how you are measuring up to your own expectations and the expectations of those you care about. Decide on a course of action that will lead you to where you want to be, and then execute.
Don't worry if you don't get it perfect the first time. You're part of the Air Force family. Change is inevitable and another opportunity is right around the corner. You don't need to wait another year.