Do you have a plan?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Deirdre Gurry
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Safety chief

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- We talk about having “successful careers” all the time, but you cannot measure success without first having a goal.

Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.

It’s very easy to wake up in the morning, drink your coffee, go to work, answer email and come home again at the end of the day. But what are you gaining?

Do you feel successful? Maybe -- if your definition of success is doing the minimal amount of work required. But I have never met an Airman who was content with doing the bare minimum.

You may tell yourself that is what you want, but I don’t believe it. You wouldn’t have signed up to serve your nation in the first place if that was the case.

So if you haven’t taken some time to think about your goals in a while, put some time aside to evaluate your position and where you want to be.

Here are a few questions to get you started.  Really think through your answers. Better yet, write them down. They shouldn’t be one or two words. Force yourself to be as detailed as possible.

How do you define “successful career?”

Where do you see yourself in three years? Five years? Ten years?

What needs to change to meet your goals?

How can you effect change around you?

What are your talents? How can you take your talents and apply them to your environment?

Where does the unit need to be strengthened? How can you be a part of strengthening the unit?

How can you increase your knowledge base?

What can you do to make yourself more useful to the team?

What makes you happy?

After you answer all these questions, look back and find a pattern. Figure out how to be happy and successful at the same time. Decide what your priorities are and how you think you will get there.

It’s OK if things change with time, but you have to have a starting place and that place is setting goals.

Clichés abound when it comes to success. The road to success is a journey. A journey that begins with one step. Without goals you aren’t traveling in a direction. You are in a boat without a paddle going nowhere.

Go find your paddle!