When you are part of the military family, time moves a little differently for you than civilians. You count time by base stations versus year by year, saying, “Oh, 2015 was Hawaii!” and, “That happened during my Texas years.” A duty station becomes a marker for time. So let’s set some goals for your next time marker!
Most goal-setting encouragement is based around one, three, and ten-year goals (with a possible move in the mix.) Military families never fully know the number of moves they’ll take in the next ten years. A training moves you for one year, an overseas tour packs you up for three, and a stateside placement allows you to settle in for five long years.
Setting goals can be more manageable if you adjust them according to your duty station and the amount of time you will be at each location.
Pull out your bucket list!
Compare your bucket list to what is accessible at your new base. Travel on your list? Being stationed in Florida is the perfect time to explore the Caribbean. Want to learn a new sport? If you are baring the cold in Alaska, maybe you can take up cross-country snow skiing. Using your locale to identify feasible items to cross off your bucket list will help you feel accomplished while not resenting goals you can’t cross off just yet.
Acknowledge your timeline.
What is the length of time you’ll be at your base? Knowing your timeline can give you a gauge on what is doable and where your focus can go. For example, if you live in Germany, you might concentrate on travel versus starting a business. A steady stateside base can open the door for you to earn your degree in person (because if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that online learning is complex). In contrast, a one-year base might be perfect for learning a new skill like pottery or decluttering Marie-Kondo-style just in time to turn around and move again.
Find the Focus That Works For You
Military members are told to pick a duty station that will help them grow. We, as spouses, can decide to dedicate a base towards a goal—whether this is building a business, taking guitar lessons, or learning a new language. Your plan could even be to tend your family and rest. There is no one right or wrong goal. Having an overarching focus can encourage you to nurture a dream you choose and craft a life you love, no matter how many times you move.