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New Year resolutions: Make a plan, stick to it
January is usually filled with resolutions of becoming a better person or improving one's lifestyle. In this feature one Airman encourages others to make a plan and stick to it in order to achieve their goals and be satisfied with their accomplishments at the end of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angelique N. Smythe)
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New Year resolutions: Make a plan, stick to it, part 1 of 2

Posted 1/7/2013   Updated 1/8/2013 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Angelique N. Smythe
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/7/2013 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- (This feature is part one of a two-part series on "New Year's resolutions: Make a plan, stick to it" in which one Lajes Airman tells his story to encourage others.)

It's January 2013. For many, this is a time filled with all sorts of New Year's resolutions. It's also a brand new opportunity to make the best out of their tour here at Lajes Field.

For one Lajes Airman, it's a time to reflect on the previous year's accomplishments as well as prepare for new achievements and new adventures at a brand new duty station.

People sometimes laugh at the thought of New Year's resolutions as they tend to fade shortly after they're made... unless one has true willpower.

The first syllable of the word "willpower" is also the first syllable within this Airman's first name - Will.

The word "will" focuses on deliberate intention, purpose, determination, self-control, and self-discipline - words Tech. Sgt. William Crenshaw, formerly a 65th Medical Operations Squadron Public Health NCO, exemplified in all aspects of his life throughout his tour at Lajes Field and encourages 2013 New Year's resolutioners to do as well.

2013 - Make plans

"The word 'goals' often refer to things that people can write down, which is a good thing, but they tend to stay written," said Crenshaw. "I say, 'make plans.' If you're going to make a goal, you have to set out and actually do the goal instead of just writing and posting it on a sticky board. It's better to make plans and set times and dates in appointments for yourself."

He includes this principle within his own work, school, fitness, nutrition, relationships and volunteer goals.

"If you have a goal to better your nutrition, you need to make time to go to the commissary and get the nutritional foods you need," said Crenshaw, who's also a professional bodybuilder and nutritionist. "If you're going to make time to go to the gym, you need to schedule that appointment with yourself. You can't just say 'I'm going to do it' or 'I want to lose,' you need to get in there, do it and not just write those goals down."

The same goes for one's job, he explained. People who plan to create better programs will need to make time to do so. People who desire to further their education will need to act out that plan and make themselves accountable.

Work - Set deadlines

When Crenshaw arrived at Lajes in October 2011, he immediately dove into his primary responsibilities within Public Health.

"The Air Force comes first," he said. "I didn't focus on anything until I knew my job was in order. I mainly made sure my programs were straight, and then ventured out into helping the office excel in whatever we were doing. When my OIC and NCOIC gave me deadlines, I made my own deadlines, which were closer than theirs, allowing them time to review it, so I could produce a better product."

Crenshaw played a key role in preparing the wing for a Health Service Inspection as well as the Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program.

"Although we didn't have an HSI inspection, we still had to treat it as such because when you have a short turnover, as you do here, you have to make sure the programs are straight for the next person to take over," he explained. "For ESOHCAMP, we made sure everything was in order at least two months in advance, allowing room for error as well as time to fix things and turn it into a better program."

Days before 2011 ended, Crenshaw was awarded the Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion to technical sergeant.

Education - Stay focused

Crenshaw's personal interests include fitness and nutrition, so he focuses on these subjects wholeheartedly and works toward those things that are within his lane of interest, allowing him to stay focused on his personal goals.

"Don't get out of your lane," said Crenshaw. "When you lose sight of what you're going toward, you'll begin taking on responsibilities and other tasks that won't allow you to finish what you're personally interested in, and you can easily do that here on Lajes."

He encourages Airmen to work toward the things that will help develop themselves first before branching off into other areas.

"If you plan to get your degree in a certain field, you need to stay focused," he said.

During the year 2012, Crenshaw received his bachelor's degree from Huntington College of Health Sciences in Nutrition. He also earned his Texas Nutritional Dietetics Registry License, for which he'd spent approximately two years preparing.

"I completed the necessary clinical hours working with a registered nutritionist or dietician who had their own practice in Texas," he said. "Once I got all my hours up, I returned to Lajes, studied for my test and went back to Texas on my own dime to take the test. That was my own personal goal."

This nutrition registry license will allow Crenshaw to practice nutrition or dietician duties in Texas, and it also gives him the ability to open up his own practice.
Crenshaw has helped a lot of people on Lajes both directly and indirectly with his physical fitness and nutrition experience.

"Here at Lajes, I've received a lot of questions in regards to fitness and nutrition just walking around the base or being in certain places when I'm off duty," he said. "People always have questions about fitness and nutrition, such as what do they need to gain muscle, what should they eat to lose weight, and I'm always open to answer them. If I don't have the answer right then and there, then I make sure I get it for them."

Fitness - A lifestyle

Crenshaw has been a bodybuilder and certified personal trainer since 2007. Physical fitness and nutrition are a big part of his lifestyle.

Along with his unit's physical training hour three times a week, Crenshaw averages nine workout sessions each week.

"In lifting weights, whatever I've gained with my own physique is something on which I've spent a lot of hard work, and I don't want to lose that simply because I wanted an extra hour of sleep," he said.

He also plans out his meals for each day, keeping a strict, balanced and nutritious diet.

"I've spent time improving upon the things I wanted to improve and kept myself accountable," he said. "If I looked the same now as I did the year before, then I pretty much didn't meet any of the plans I had while here at Lajes. Thankfully, I did this by making sure I took pictures to make comparisons and improvements where needed."

Crenshaw encourages others not to limit their physical fitness successes by comparing themselves to others inside a magazine.

"You never know what your potential is until you say 'I want to make my physique the best that it can be, not to look like someone else in a magazine,'" he said. "My advice is do not use magazines as a barometer of your success. Define your own success."

Editor's note: This is part 1 of 2 in a series.

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