Topic: Education

The new year offers different opportunities and fresh beginnings. But how should resolution planning go for military folks? We have to be strategic, flexible and realistic with our goals because we often can’t plan very far in advance. Make your school, career, volunteering, and health goals tailored to you this year so that they work with you – even when you’re on the move.

School
School can help military professionals and their dependents tremendously personally and professionally. But, it can be challenging to add that responsibility to the agenda for the new year. If you’re moving this year, you might not know what school to choose or if you should even start. Make your school plan adaptable. Check to see what schools offer fully online degrees so that your school can move with you – wherever you may go. If you’re worried about making a long-term commitment, choose a school that offers shorter terms for classes. Many schools offer 8-week courses instead of the traditional 16-week format. That way, you can remain flexible and see quick progress before you make your next move.

Career
It can be hard to set professional goals for yourself when you aren’t sure where you’ll be. But, every journey begins with a single step. Do small things with great pride every day. In the military world, networking can be a great tool for career advancement for military personnel and their families. Be open about your willingness to take on more responsibility this year. Talk to people you admire about how they plan their career goals. Make a list of future opportunities that excite you and research how you can start working toward them now.

Volunteering
Volunteering can be challenging to work into your schedule. But, volunteer work can help service members and dependents both personally and professionally. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of pride knowing that you are contributing to the community. Volunteer work looks great on your evaluation, resume, and college admission and scholarship applications. It can help you have a leg up in advancement and can give you experience that you might miss otherwise. Check your installation for upcoming opportunities and make time to participate.

Health & Wellness
Take advantage of the opportunities that you live near now. Each installation offers unique benefits and recreation possibilities that you may not live near again. If you’re somewhere that has interesting outlying cities, pack a lunch and take a day trip to those spots. If you’re stateside, check out national and State parks near you. They are often a free or cheap option for military families. Plus, there are tons of events that are offered on base that can keep you active and social. Wherever you are this year, make your goals strategic, flexible, and realistic. There are tons of resources available to you that can help you set your goals. Check out the Military OneSource Education & Employment and Health & Wellness resources to kick start your plan. Plus, when you make your move, check out the Moving & Housing resources.

What’s your new year planning hack? Share it in the comments below!