By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications

Looking to Lose 20 Lbs or Have the Smoothest PCS Ever?

Over the years, I’ve made my share of New Year’s resolutions.

Lose 20 pounds…Check!

Have more patience…..Check!

Some years I am very specific. My goal might be to get through an upcoming PCS without killing anyone. Or sometimes, it is very general such as just surviving an upcoming deployment. As I have gotten older and hopefully a bit wiser, I have realized that what works for me is smaller goals.

I take the larger goal such as losing some weight and create a series of smaller steps to get me there. So rather than a sweeping resolution like “losing 20 pounds”, I start out in January just trying to eat healthy. If I don’t make it through the month eating relatively well, I just start over again in February. I no longer waste the time and energy beating myself up for failing. If I succeed in bypassing the drive-thru in February, I might move on to adding more exercise to my schedule.

Deployment Goals

On my husband’s last deployment I was determined to downsize the house a bit while he was gone. We had moved three times in four years with very little time in between to purge. In fact, on one of our moves half of our household goods stayed packed in the basement. And before you say, “Well, if you didn’t need it in a year, you can toss it,” we needed plenty from those boxes in that year. But rather than unpacking, I purchased hence, the need to purge.

I was doing really well donating clothes, selling furniture on Craigslist, throwing away a lot of unnecessary items. But then I was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease. For ten weeks I could barely get off the couch. I was lucky to find the energy to get the kids off to school each day let alone continue with my purging activities. But rather than look at the lost ten weeks as a defeat, I spent my time on the couch making lists of what I wanted to sell once I was feeling better.

And soon enough, I was feeling better, so I took my lists and starting sorting items, taking photos and listing items for sale. I didn’t get everything cleared out before my Marine made it home from Afghanistan, but in managing my expectations all along, I was not left disappointed.

2017 Resolutions

So my goals for 2017 are simple. Learn how to say “NO” more frequently and be more present in the things I chose to do this year. The 20 pounds is still a goal, but honestly, I think if I can just say no more often and slow down to really enjoy life, the 20 pounds won’t seem like such a hurdle.

What are your goals for 2017 and what are the steps you can take to get there?

Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. During her career as a television journalist, Carla covered Operation Desert Storm, The Gulf War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, and their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.