New year, new calendar, clean slate. Turning over a calendar seems to create in many of us the desire to do — and be — better.
Sadly, all too soon, we fall back into our regular ruts and habits. But this year will be different, I hope.
A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting blog post on fitness titled, “Not Your Typical Fitness Post.” True to its title, the post is NOT filled with diet tips, work-out suggestions, and “Just Do It” slogans.
Interestingly, it’s rather cerebral — in a somewhat crude way — and inward looking. And that is exactly why it resonated with me.
But what does a fitness post have to do with aviation? More than you may think.
After all, flying is a skill. We can choose to be good at it, or let our currency lapse. The lessons apply to every part of our lives, which hopefully include aviation.
Set SMART Goals
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely. I know, if feels a little like a motivational poster, but stick with me.
Do you want to learn to fly or master landings or how to read the weather or [fill in the blank]? Then take some time and figure out what that goal will look like for you.
No More Zero Days
Whatever your goal take a step forward…Every. Single. Day.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you only move forward very little. The fact you moved forward at all is the key.
Rather than skip a day – called a Zero Day – maybe you only have time to read one page in your private pilot handbook. So, read that page and call that day a success, at least for that goal. No more zero days.
Take Care of All Three of You
People learn (or not) to fly for a wide range of reasons.
Maybe you have a deep-seated regret from your past that makes you feel unworthy of achieving any goal, like learning to fly.
Oftentimes we can be our own worst enemy. We need to forgive our past self so we can clear the path for our present and future self to achieve success.
Most people seem to carry around some baggage from the past. I know I do. Find a way to put those bags down, for good. Don’t let your present or future self pick them back up.
Negativity is an energy that can take you over. When I take the time to think, it is rather easy to find three (just three) good things that I’m a part of each day. When I focus on those as my day winds down, I find it much easier to fall asleep and wake ready for the next day.
Thinking positive isn’t about “fake it until you make it.” It’s about finding the good in your life.
Do What You Love
You may not enjoy reading the FARs (who does really?), but you enjoy learning to fly. Guess what? The FARs and flying go hand-in-hand.
Use that desire to fly as a motivation to read and know the FARs. Flying is so much more than starting the engine and pushing the throttle forward. But you know that, because you love it.
How You Feel Before, During, and After
I really like this lesson. When my motivation is low, and I feel like watching ESPN for a few minutes before bed, I think about how I’ll feel before, during, and after and compare that to the better option of reading a few pages in a book that furthers me toward my goal.
Watching ESPN? Before: Good. During: OK. After: Nothing. Reading? Before: Ugh (sometimes). During: Good. After: Great.
Watching ESPN produces one positive emotion while reading produces two. Two beats one every time.
Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
My goals are mine. Your goals are yours. When I’ve achieve mine, I’ll tell you (maybe).
I hope 2018 is your best year for flying ever. The only sure way to make it so is to go make it happen.