Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS and Dispatch personnel – Thanksgiving 2017
As always, I want to give another thank you to all who forward this message to your departments and staff. You trust me enough to share my message to others, and I strive to not make you regret that decision.
Sometimes things happen that we don’t plan for (and that’s why this email is late!) Sometimes things don’t go as we plan. Sometimes the home repair that was supposed to take a day or two turn into a week or two. Sometimes despite our best efforts things go wrong; things that cause us to evaluate our choices or where we are in life. It could be anything from an accident, an attack, preparing for retirement, sending a child to college, a medical diagnosis, marriage or divorce. Something happens in our lives that cause us to look at ourselves and ask some important questions. Questions like “Who am I?”, “Am I happy?”, “Do I like the person that I have become?” “Is there something I need to do to change?”
I think that all of us from time to time have to answer one or more of these questions. These questions can be healthy questions to ask ourselves. So what does that have to do with the holidays? People start looking at themselves more during the holidays. Maybe they’re thinking of “New Year’s resolutions” (which according to studies fail to last more than 30 days 75-90% of the time). So how do you make effective changes?
- Focus on one thing at a time. Even if there are numerous things you want to work on, start with one. It’s easier to change one habit than multiple ones.
- Make some changes in bite-size pieces. If you can, start small and work your way up. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, start with 2-3 days a week at the gym instead of “I’m going everyday.” What if you can’t break it up and you have to tackle it head on? That leads me into number three.
- Don’t expect perfection. Perfection is not likely to happen. If you slip up, just get up and keep going. To quote Winston Churchill, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.” Like I always say, “It’s better to mess up than to give up.”
- Share your goals. Let your family and friends encourage you along the way. Maybe you could join a support group or 12-step group to help you reach your goals (and encourage others). Having people to share your successes and struggles with make it much easier and less intimidating. All we have to do is ask.
- Reward yourself. As you reach certain milestones, give yourself that “pat on the back” .Go see a movie, or have that real nice dinner you’ve wanted, or maybe that trip to the lake.
- Get (and give) encouragement. I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating again. It doesn’t cost you anything to say something encouraging to someone, so spread encouragement everywhere you go!
There is no better time to make changes in your life that makes you happier, and isn’t that what most of us want anyway? What better gift to give yourself during the holidays than happier and healthier?
I always add this in for the holidays. We all know that the holidays can be a time of sadness, frustration extra stress or depression. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, other supervisors, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you (my contact information is at the bottom) in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, or send an email. Reach out if you need to. Life is a battle best fought with others.
In closing, as always, thank you so much for who you are, and all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again: You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.