Vision: In my twilight years, I shall look back to a well-fulfilled life. I have been a loving wife and a mother of two distinguished and successful people. I live a comfortable life in the house of my dreams and this is filled with the pitter-patter of the small feet of my grandchildren. My husband and I go on vacations anytime we please. I am a landmark in the U.S. Air Force, who has left a legacy in upholding excellence in performance and justice in the deployment of troops. My wisdom comes from my vast life experiences as well as my education.
Mission: In all facets of my being, my personal life, schooling and learning, and work, I would aspire to maximise my strengths and potential. I’m also a successful mother, seeking a healthy and prosperous family existence. In my dream profession as a service officer, I would conclude my schooling and equip myself with information and skills. As a commissioned Air Force officer, the professionalism I show in my job will inevitably land me a spot.
Personal Life Goals
So far I have led a rewarding existence, enough to allow some of my life's dreams starting. In my 32 years of creation, from my family of birth, I am fortunate to live a stable family life. My sisters were a source of encouragement for me and of courage. I am a divorcee with a handsome little girl that I raise myself. My broken marriage did not stop me from getting up and loving again for now I am in love with my fiancée, for whom I pray that she will be the man with whom I will grow old, even though our children have left us for their own families for a long time. The below are my potential aspirations regarding my personal life.
To be married again
My fiancée and I have been together for 6 years now and we plan to marry
by the year 2015. That is another good 6 years from now, and I shall do my best to make this current relationship work so we do reach that permanent life goal.
To establish a good, stable and happy family life
I would want to have another child right after marriage, hopefully a son this time. I know I will still be young enough to give birth to and raise another child, and this time I will be able to count on the support of my husband and daughter, who by then, will be old enough to help me take care of her baby brother or sister.
To invest in a house in Niceville, Florida
In 2010, I am buying a house in Niceville, Florida. There, I shall raise my
daughter and when my fiancée and I get married, my new husband shall move in with us. We shall raise our children in that beautiful house which I intend to turn into a warm home for my family. We shall raise our children to be good people and upstanding citizens who will have families of their own someday.
To maintain the strong bonds with my family of origin and friends and establish new friendships
My family has been my core. I intend to maintain the strong bonds I have
with them, especially with my sisters and parents and continue to be supportive of their needs, be they material or otherwise. Also, being a people person who loves to make friends, I intend to likewise maintain the old friendships I have and establish new friendships with strangers I meet who will be in the periphery of my family, school, church and work life.
To join a marathon
Leading a very busy life makes some people forget about their own
physical fitness. Being a military member, I have been trained well enough to
keep my body fit. I want to challenge myself by joining at least one marathon in
my life. I would choose one that was organized for a good cause.
To purchase a power sailboat
My need for speed fuels my desire to own my own power sailboat and by
2011, it shall happen.
To be able to travel to places navigating my own boat and rented plane
I shall fulfill my lifelong dream of traveling to places I've always wanted to
visit. The exciting thing is that I bring myself there by navigating the transportation needed. My power sailboat shall brave the seas and I shall rent a plane I could fly myself to get me to where I want to go. Europe is a desired destination.
Education and Lifelong Learning Goals
I have always been an avid learner. In whatever I do, whether it is a major or minor endeavor, I take for myself whatever learning I can grasp. That is why I am still studying even in my 30's. I do not have plans to stop pursuing further education if time and opportunity allows. In my spare time, I take advantage of little things that engage my mind and hands, hobbies that give me pleasure. I would like to pass on to my daughter and future children my burning passion to fill my mind and heart with knowledge. I would like to enkindle in them the flame of lifelong learning and it is up to them to keep the fire burning.
To indulge in hobbies I can enjoy with my children
My present past time with my daughter is making music on the piano. We are also learning how to make our own jewelry. We shall keep engaging ourselves in small pleasures such as these, as we discover more and more things we want to learn. I shall be supportive of their interests so I have a strong hand in the optimization of their potentials.
To be a consummate artist specializing in oil paintings
Right now, I dabble in painting. I am teaching myself how to use oil paints
on canvas. Someday, I shall create a masterpiece worthy of the attention and
appreciation of professional artists.
To finish my BSBA
After more than a decade trying to finish my college education, I shall
finally graduate from the University of West Florida in 2010. Although for some
fresh graduates, life just begins right after college graduation, I, have already
lived more than a quarter of my life and I can say capping a college degree is
truly worth the wait no matter if I've already worked in the real world or not.
To pursue further studies (Navigator's School, Officer Candidate School, MBA)
As planned, I shall take up further studies to enhance what I already know
and to add to my qualifications. The Years 2013 and 2014 will be the time I go back to school pursuing studies that would bridge my becoming a future officer in the Air Force. I shall add another feather in my cap in the form of a Masters' Degree in Business Administration. Who knows how these will all come handy someday?
In professional words, I have come a long way. From a 15-year-old McDonalds youth to a veterinarian nurse, ballroom coach, engineer, airborne contact team, and now a proud Air Force officer. I have carried away skills and talents and important experiences about life in all the positions I have done. As a worker, I have been wizened up over the past 17 years, contributing to that my search of continuous education. They arm themselves to think high and look forward to a more satisfying work existence.
To be deployed to countries involved in armed conflict.
I am assigned to hazardous areas as a part of the Air Force, which
Challenging my abilities as a tactician. My experience as a soldier has
provided me a great deal of bravery, as I realise that while I struggle for the
universal values that my comrades st
rive for, I face death in the eye. As a bigger obstacle for a soldier ripped apart from her kin, a mum, my being a woman posts on that.
Nonetheless, I realise these are vital to the expectations I need to meet for my future.
As a commissioned Air Force officer
As an Air Force officer, the pinnacle of my career is being part of
The elite of the commissioned officers' corps. It will give me an opportunity to engage in the creation of laws that discourage our soldiers from enduring futile preparation and bureaucracy. I hope to be in command by 2011.
In my profession, to be a champion
With the awareness, expertise and resolve obstacles that came with my
I am now embarking on a mentorship role for potential Air Force soldiers with extensive experiences. By 2021, in a career I have enjoyed for so long, I will educate my protégés and transfer on the experience that I have kept on to for years. As an efficient and successful chief, I can build creative solutions and leave my mark. In airborne contact, I would be an expert.
To retire having accomplished much and leaving a legacy to the field
I project my retirement to be in 2037 at the age of 60. By then, my legacy
of upholding quality performance on the job and beyond, and the fair deployment of troops, will bear my name. I now look forward to the rest of my life, being hired as a consultant of my younger colleagues, and most importantly, enjoy life to the fullest.
How Goals Will be Fulfilled
To be married again: 2015
Engagement will be by 2013. My fiancée and I have been together for such a long time that we already treat ourselves as married. However, to officially get a move on things, then we would need to be engaged to be married by 2013.
Scout for churches and venues for reception in Italy: 2014. My fiancée and I will fly to Italy to look for the perfect church and reception place. The wedding will be a year in the making. I will need to hire a wedding coordinator for that since I lead a very busy life. For that, I have to keep my eyes peeled from now on.
A month before the wedding, I would need to stay in Italy to oversee the preparations. My fiancée can stay with me if by that time he is free from work. Two weeks before that, my parents, together with my daughter and sisters will follow to assist us.
My relatives and friends will be trickling in a week before the wedding. They will all be billeted in a hotel and transported around Italy by coaster vans.
My new husband and I will fly to Ireland for our honeymoon two days after the wedding.
To establish a good, stable and happy family life 2009 onwards
Right now, I am doing my best to be a good mother to my daughter, Amber. However, there are times I cannot help but prioritize work demands. So now, I commit myself to spending quality time with her everyday especially when I have just come home from deployment. I shall have meals with her, bring her to school and pick her up, spend at least 30 minutes a day playing with her or doing our hobbies together. I shall tuck her in bed every night after reading her a bedtime story.
When my next child is born, hopefully by 2016, I shall take a long leave from work (around 6 months to a year) to take care of my newborn.
I shall be a good wife to my husband. From the time we get married in 2015, I shall commit getting up earlier than him to prepare him his breakfast. When he comes home from work, he and I will spend quality time together at the dinner table with the children. After dinner, I'll make it a point to go walking with him around the block not only for the sake of exercise, but more to spend one-on-one time with each other.
My family and I shall be going on bi-annual vacations from 2016 onwards.
To invest in a house in Niceville, Florida: 2010
I have seen the house of my dreams! I intend to purchase that by mid-2010.
December 2009, I shall talk to the broker and inquire about the house
January to March, 2010, I shall negotiate the price while apply for a bank loan to mortgage the house
April 2010, I shall close the deal and give the downpayment.
May 2010, Amber and I move in.
To maintain the strong bonds with my family of origin and friends and establish new friendships 2009 onwards
From December 2009 onwards, I will make it a point to spend more time with my parents and sisters. At least twice a month, Amber and I shall visit them. I keep in touch with them at least twice a week by phone.
Summer 2010, I shall take the whole family out on a vacation for a week. My parents need a break and my sisters and I need our dose of girl bonding.
I shall get in touch with old friends and organize reunions. I can start with a Christmas party for high school friends this Christmas, 2009.
I shall set up a Facebook account and search for my old friends and keep in touch with them through that medium.
To join a marathon: 2010
January 2010, I shall start training for the marathon to be held in March, 2010.
I will begin with 2 km. a day progressing to 5 km within a month.
I shall also go on a special diet during the training.
To purchase a power sailboat: 2011
April 2011, I shall scout around the marina for parking lots.
By June 2011, I shall purchase the power sailboat of my dreams.
Summer of 2011, it will go on its maiden voyage at the beach nearest our place at Niceville, Florida with my family as the first passengers.
To be able to travel to places navigating my own boat and rented plane: 2012 onwards
Becoming more adventurous with the power sailboat, I shall attempt to go to particular destinations with it. I can start with the Gulf of Mexico routing to Cuba. These boating trips shall be planned at least a month before.
Education and Learning
To indulge in hobbies I can enjoy with my children: 2009 onwards
Amber and I are currently enjoying jewelry making and playing the piano. By January 2010, I shall let her run with me for short distances. We will also go swimming twice a week.
December 2009, I will gift Amber with an easel board and some paints for Christmas so we can paint together. I with my oils and she with her watercolors.
I will keep observing where her interests lie so I can enroll her in special courses and workshops.
To be a consummate artist specializing in oil paintings: 2019
By October 2010, I shall finally enroll in Art Classes or hire a professional to give me oil painting lessons.
With practice, I become much better in a few years enough to join an art exhibit.
I would have nearly perfected the craft by 2019 that I come up with a masterpiece befitting to be sold at $5,000.00.
To finish my BSBA: 2010
All my hard work as a college student in the past 15 years will finally see its ultimate reward as I graduate on December 2010.
To pursue further studies (Navigator's School, Officer Candidate School, MBA): 2013/ 2014
To gain more knowledge and skills and also to add to my qualifications, I shall go back to school in 2013. I will attend Navigator's School and right after that, the Officer Candidate School. In 2014, I shall get my MBA and try my best to finish it in one year. I know being knowledgeable and "titled" will be an advantage when I am commissioned to be an Air Force officer in the future.
All my life, I have experienced various types of work, but it is in the military that I have found my calling. I have ingrained in my system all the principles and values we stand for. I shall be true to my commitment in serving the country.
To secure a post as a commissioned Air Force officer:2011
Hard work and dedication pays off as I fulfill my dream to be a commissioned Air Force officer by 2011. I know I have the potentials, and from the time I started out with the Air Force in 1998, I have proven myself to be worthy of the position.
To be deployed to countries involved in armed conflict: 2010 onwards
I have been deployed to countries involved in armed conflict such as Afghanistan and Iraq. By 2016, I expect to be deployed to Korea as the nation will be in a state of turmoil and they would need a commissioned Air Force officer to represent the country.
To be a leader in my field: 2021
My graduate studies come in handy as I do a lot of military research for more effective training and deployment of troops. I get to train people myself and uphold the highest standards to produce the best soldiers possible. I will create training modules and implement them by May, 2021.
Apart from excellence in training, I shall also advocate for women empowerment in the military. I am my own example of a woman who has survived the trials and tribulations of working with mostly men. My specialized training course for women only shall commence on January, 2022.
To retire having accomplished much and leaving a legacy to the field: 2037
By 2037, I am 60 years old. I will be fulfilled as a career woman, having spanned 40 years of service to the military and has become a figure to contend with when it comes to authority in fair deployment of troops and excellence in training troops.
I begin receiving invitations for talks and becoming a consultant in various institutions by 2037.
My retirement gives me permission to finally rest from working except for occasional talks I get invited to.
How Do I Monitor My Progress?
It may be overwhelming to read everything I have written on my Life Plan, but I found this exercise worthy. It set me straight in organizing my thoughts and committing to really going for my dreams which otherwise, would remain fleeting. Now that I've put my plan to ink, and expressed my life's desires to the universe, I know it has become a covenant that I need to keep sacred.
The highly influential book, The Secret (Byrne, 2006) preaches about the Law of Attraction. It claims that the more you think about what you want, the more you will attract it. This exercise is one avenue where students like us get to think about what we want to happen in our lives, and in the recent weeks, that's all we thought about. That is a good start in launching the fulfillment of all our plans.
To concretize the plans in my mind, I can create a wish board, which is a pictorial representation of all my dreams. I can search for pictures in magazines and come up with a collage, along with the target dates I have imposed on the time they will be fulfilled. Seeing this wish board everyday will program my mind to focus on the prize. I can just imagine how good it would feel as I tick on all the pictures, which means that I have already fulfilled them. It would motivate me further to work hard to fulfill the rest.
One measure of my progress is not really measurable… that of my positive emotions. In understanding positive emotions, one takes into account an individual's positive experiences in his whole lifespan. Was he contented with his past? Is he happy now? Is he hopeful for the future? His life experiences and circumstances have a lot to contribute to his current emotional state. Of course, the study of one's emotions would entail much subjectivity, making it difficult to earn a "scientific" seal of approval.
In view of this, I take advise from the experts who have come up with Positive Psychology, a new science gaining popularity in helping people live their lives to the fullest by maintaining a positive disposition in life. According to Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000), four different personal traits that contribute to positive psychology are subjective well-being, optimism, happiness and self-determination. I should be more aware of these constructs in order to monitor my progress in the implementation of my life plan.
Subjective well-being is what people think and feel about their lives. It entails much introspection to determine the state of happiness and contentment they are in. The important thing is how the person himself views his own well-being.
Optimism has more to do with positive thinking. In the textbook of Pervin, Cervone and John (2005), optimism is defined as "a coping strategy that features relatively realistic expectations about one's capabilities". The word "coping" in this definition implies that a person can "resort" to being optimistic in a trying situation. Optimism calls upon cognitive, emotional and motivational components of a person to survive challenges. Studies suggest that people who are extremely confident appear to have positive moods, to be more persistent and effective, and to have better physical wellbeing. Could it be because they give more emphasis to the positive possibilities more than the negative consequences?
It is common knowledge that every person seeks happiness in life. Research on this topic validates traditionalists' views that the more ethereal values such as religious faith and close personal relationships are better sources of happiness than more worldly values such as economic growth and income (Myers, 2000). The pursuit of true happiness is one major motivation of the Positive Psychology movement.
"Self-determination theory investigates three related human needs: the need for competence, the need for belongingness, and the need for autonomy. When these needs are satisfied, Ryan and Deci (2000) claim personal well-being and social development are optimized. Persons in this condition are intrinsically motivated, able to fulfill their potentialities, and able to seek out progressively greater challenges." (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Personally, I can claim that I have self-determination because I would not be where I am now if I didn't, considering all the challenges I have overcome in my life.
Having been in many situations when my weaknesses took over and I failed, I now focus on my strengths instead. I am certain that in doing so, I will be successful. "Seligman teaches that knowing one's strengths makes it easier to achieve more meaningful forms of happiness" (Lawson, 2004). If one is to desire a good life, then he needs to harness his strengths through deep engagement in work, family life or other activities. Higher level of happiness calls for virtues such as altruism, self-sacrifice and devotion to a cause greater than oneself. These strengths are what make a meaningful life.
Being aware of one's strengths makes him aware of the things he is capable of doing well. For instance, if one feels trapped in a miserable job, he needs to assess if the work he is doing is in the area of his strengths. If not, then he is wise to find another job which makes use better use of his strengths.
On another level, Ortberg (2002), advocates that living the life you've always wanted entails real discipline. In his book, he talks about spiritual discipline, that should not focus on boundaries, but instead, look beyond that. The reward of training to achieve a transformed spiritual life is a well-ordered heart. Indeed, such is the heart of a person living the life we've always wanted. I know I have to deepen my spirituality and relationship with my God. It will surely provide me guidance to keep on the path I have chosen to live.
My dream to leave a legacy in the military involves being a mentor to younger military members. Offering a hand to help out those in need is one noble act that is truly appreciated by most people. It is one humanitarian act that aims to connect lives together in pursuit of a common good. It includes joining him in his quest to reach out to a beginner to provide light and guidance on his ideal route to success. A mentor is someone a mentee reveres as an experienced lead moulded into knowledge by his extensive experiences in an area that a mentee wishes to be part of. As he takes her under his wing and advises her in decision-making, mindset, actions and unique activities relevant to the area he is mentoring her in, he takes particular interest in the mentee, or his protegé. Over time, a mentoring partnership evolves, through which the desires of the counsellor shift as well as the dynamics of the mentoring relationship. The mentor is aware of such changes and adjusts the kind of attention, advise, assistance and motivation he provides. Mutual respect, trust, understanding and empathy are values embodied by an effective mentoring relationship. One measure of my success in this life goal is the success of my protégés.
Of course, the best monitoring strategy is reflecting and evaluating intermittently how I am progressing in my plans. People often go through their day doing their work as second nature, sometimes without thinking critically if what they are doing is truly meaningful and relevant. Reflective practice has both advantages and disadvantages. It can positively affect professional growth and development by leading to greater self-awareness, to the development of new knowledge about professional practice, and to a broader understanding of the problems that confront practitioners (Osterman 1990). However, it is a time-consuming process and it may involve personal risk because the questioning of practice requires that practitioners be open to an examination of beliefs, values, and feelings about which there may be great sensitivity (Peters 1991).
I know it is likely that many things will change in this life plan I have crafted. Many factors will come to play in the adjustments I might need to make. However, at this point in time, I firmly believe the things I have written are what I truly want from life. I shall fight tooth and nail to pursue those dreams. I know I cannot do it alone, and would need the support of others. However, ultimately, I make the moves. I have the power to make my own dreams come true. I only need to decide. The goals I have written down are the ones I believe will make me live a happy and fulfilling life. They say happiness is a decision.
I choose to be happy.
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