An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

How to have a positive new year

  • Published
  • By Col. Mike Hornitschek
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
It's great to be back at work after the holiday break where I trust we've all had a chance to rejuvenate ourselves and renew relationships with friends and loved ones. Making it especially rewarding is knowing that everyone is coming back safe and sound, with no reported mishaps!

Getting back into a schedule and looking ahead to how we're going to tackle the issues waiting for us can seem daunting, but I'm confident that together we can handle anything thrown at us if we have the right approach and attitude. One issue we need to address as soon as possible is how best to provide base services to our population as we all face budget saving measures over the coming months. I appreciate all who responded to my survey request from December, and I invite everyone to attend our upcoming "Scott Services Future" town-hall meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 10 in the base theater where we'll dialogue about how we all think we should move forward with many of the things that affect life and work here on base. I'm confident that together we can provide a strong and rich community at Scott for many years to come.

Interestingly enough, I recently came across a list of things we all can do to personally make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those we work with and there are a few nuggets of wisdom that I'd like to share with you.

The list comes from Jon Gordon, a motivational speaker who's written books on finding the purpose and happiness in life and work, on how to create a culture of greatness, and how to get your team all on the same "bus" moving in the right direction, among others.

One thing that struck me was the thought: "Don't chase success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you." I think we all try to do this instinctively, but as we review our goals for the new year, I feel this is a good reminder of how we can go about our work, community and family life with the idea of making worthwhile contributions--just because it's the right thing to do.

People wanting to be successful in their careers or personal life need only to find something they care about and devote their efforts accordingly. Your work will speak for itself and open doors for your success as people learn they can depend on you and that you bring excellence in all you do.

Speaking of excellence, this is the season for annual awards as part of our commitment to our teammates, we look to reward their contributions to the mission and our community. As most award winners will tell you however, they didn't set out on their journey for recognition or "what's in it for me" attitude. Their focus was on sustaining a day-to-day commitment for excellence to leave this place better than we found it that culminated into their and our success for long-term improvements to our mission and communities.

Another gem from Gordon for staying positive is to make a commitment to not complain because it doesn't solve any problems and it brings everyone down. That can be combined with the idea to focus on the "get to" instead of the "have to" in our lives. No matter what the challenge, it could always be worse and usually is for someone out there. Be glad of the work we do, that it does make a difference to our nation and to the men and women serving on the front lines who depend on us to support their efforts. Sure, there are things we do that can be unpleasant that are necessary parts to life, but be glad that we have the energy and enthusiasm to make things happen.

There's another suggestion on how to stay positive and that's to get more sleep. "You can't replace sleep with a double latte." I can feel the benefits of this after a relaxing holiday season. The break from the daily ops does refresh the body and help the mind and spirit stay alert and ready for the day.

It's easy to work the long hours as many of our responsibilities are vast and demanding, and I'll admit to relying on some assistance from time to time with a favorite caffeinated beverage of choice, but it's not the same as having a rested mind and body.

It's no secret that exercise and rest are both needed to ensure balance for good emotional and mental health, as well as physical health. But there is a secret to managing it all and it's a secret we all have to figure out for our own lives. We have many resources available to help people identify what options will work best for them. The Health and Wellness Center can work with us on fitness strategies, our Mental Resiliency folks have tools to help us cope with the stressors in life, and we have leaders and co-workers who exhibit these positive characteristics--who seemed to have managed to "balance it all." We don't have to try to figure it all out on our own.

The last item I want to mention regarding how to have a positive new year is to take stock of how every day counts. Each day take a few minutes to make a note of what you are thankful for and what you accomplished. That helps us to stay focused on the things we do right and the things that matter most. There will always be challenges, but be glad that we work with great people who have a passion for what they do. Be glad that we live in a country where we can freely discuss the issues and come up with solutions. Be glad that we have the health and resources to take care of ourselves and our families. Be glad for friends to cheer us up.

These are just a few of the things that I know will help me stay positive for the new year. You may have other ways or reasons to stay positive and please share them with those around you. We have many worthwhile projects, events, and operational missions ahead of us. We'll be training hard and working hard, but we'll also play hard. Here's to a bright and positive new year!