New year, new me

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janiqua Robinson
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Many people take the New Year as an opportunity to revamp their lifestyles and sadly less than 10 percent of people actually achieve their goal. Some strive to leave the past behind and devise radical strategies to become a better version of themselves and two years ago, I was no exception.

In 2014, embodying the stereotypical phrase of "New year, new me", I set a goal of joining the Air Force. On Dec. 29, 2014, I swore in, kissed my family goodbye and flew to Lackland Air Force Base, Tx., for basic military training.

The first week of January 2015, I was a "sneaker-weeker" in BMT. Talk about "New year, new me". I was 23 years old, scared, removed from the comforts of home and surrounded by people in the same predicament as me all hoping to achieve the same goal: become Airmen.

Although my military training instructor's piercing stare and booming voice still haunts my nightmares, strangely I can hear her whenever I'm too tired or I think about quitting. "Trainee Robinson, you'd better get that guidon and hurry up," she'd yell from three inches away. "You know what happens when you give up in the real Air Force? Your wingman dies!"

Despite her overly dramatic antics, her approach worked and motivated me and the members of my flight to keep pushing to earn the privilege to be called Airmen.

Throughout BMT, there were people saying that I wouldn't make it and the day I got my Airman's coin, my heart was full of pride because I knew I won.

When I felt like I couldn't go on, I made myself continue to push through the pain, fear, anxiety, exhaustion and whatever else leadership threw at me, and I hit a target many people never attempt to aim at.

In BMT, there are so many little things that you have to master and overcome that if you only focus on the finish line or the end goal, you won't make it. When we could manage to get along, my flight celebrated every little victory we achieved.

We can set goals and work towards them but unless we force ourselves to get through our daily obstacles and win those small victories, life will continuously get in the way.

As the New Year kicks off and the resolutions start and stop, think about where you were this time last year. Did you accomplish your goals? Are you the same person you were last year? Are you taking the time out to enjoy who you are and what you are doing today?

Setting and accomplishing goals is important to keep us motivated both professionally and personally. If you have goals that you set last year but didn't complete, finish them this year. Set a goal, write it down and get it done, but don't forget to take pride in what you've already done. Appreciate the sacrifices you've already made and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, of the 45 percent of Americans who usually make New Year's resolutions, only eight percent achieve their goal.

Looking back at what I thought would be the most stressful event I'd ever experience; I realize that I accomplished my goal. I became a member of the world's greatest Air Force and transformed into who I think is a better version of myself.

And, as I go through 2016, setting, failing and accomplishing goals, I'm going to reflect on and be proud of what I've already done.