Resolutions for self-improvement take commitment
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions is very important to many people. In the coming days, I am sure there will be much contemplation of life-altering resolutions and proclamations that such resolutions will bring profound change to their lives.
What I fail to understand is why people wait to adjust character flaws or correct unhealthy behavior. Some of us want to lose weight, while others set out to tailgate or curse less frequently during the upcoming year. Others among us resolve to make sweeping lifestyle or relationship changes that have a much deeper meaning. The problem lies not in the resolutions themselves, but in our failure to follow our goals through to completion.
There is no time like the present to implement change in our lives. Knowing yourself and seeking self-improvement are objectives Marines pursue inherently, or at least should. I consider self-improvement to be perhaps the most important of all the leadership principles. It reminds us to look inward and identify our own strengths and weaknesses and to never rest on our laurels.
We have all had a little more time recently to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses. And while a few isolated incidents have demonstrated moments of weakness and reminded us there is room to improve, these incidents are not representative of the thousands of honorable Marines and sailors who behave and perform their duties in a manner that serves our country well. Time and time again, Marines and sailors demonstrate honor, courage and commitment while conducting bilateral training exercises, community relations events and humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region, providing steadfast service for the region and representing their families, communities and the U.S. proudly.
Aside from performing our responsibilities as U.S. service members, we have the rare opportunity to live abroad, on an island of all places, and experience the hospitality, patience and grace of the Japanese people and a culture that is vastly different from what we would experience back in the states.
Perhaps closing the 2012 chapter will serve as a springboard for some to implement positive change in their lives and U.S. service members will feel a sense of renewed responsibility to build upon our strengths and accomplishments. If you do make a resolution, resolve above all else not to let your motivation for self-improvement wane as the year progresses. Visualize yourself as you would be at the moment your resolution is achieved, and act in ways to help make that vision a reality.
Lewis is the press chief with the Okinawa Marine newspaper.