Military lifestyle tips civilians should embrace

Jessica Evans Avatar
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardelito Gervacio/Released)

There are plenty of sites that offer all kinds of advice on how to level up your life. From eating nutritious food to carving out time for yourself, we all know the things we should be doing. So why is it so hard to start? The problem might be because you’re trying to pick up more than you can carry. Energy management is a tactic that most service members know well. It means pushing hard when needed and taking a break when it’s time to rest. But that can be tough to integrate into your life, especially when you feel like there are a ton of things that need attention. Fortunately for us, service members have the answer. If you want success in your everyday life, using certain military standard operating procedures can really help you out.

The small things add up

First things first: always get a head start on your day by planning it out the night before. Write out your top three objectives for the day and pick out your clothes. Keep your clothes neat by hanging them or rolling them. If you want to roll your shirts like a Ranger, make sure you tuck the sides in after the shirt is all rolled up.

Make your bed right when you wake up in the morning. This gives your a sense of accomplishment and pride before you even start your day. It also gets the ball rolling, so you set yourself up to complete more and more tasks as the day continues.

When we talk about energy management, this is at the core of it. Everything is limited and that includes your energy. So if you begin your day with some things planned out, you’ll have more in reserves to push when needed.

Routine is everything

Any service member will tell you they made it through their toughest days thanks to a routine. That might vary from person to person, but the reality is that no matter how you plan it, having a routine is better than not having one.

Take cold showers to get the blood pumping, and exercise regularly. Maintain good hygiene every single day. That means brushing and flossing your teeth, combing your hair nicely and neat, and using deodorant. Okay, these sound so basic, but you’d be surprised how much people start to slip when they think no one is paying attention. Speaking of paying attention, check yourself! There’s a reason that phrase is above so many mirrors on so many military installations. What you wear makes an impression on people. Wear a belt and take your hat off when you’re indoors.

Make your life more efficient

Speaking of energy reserves, the easiest way to keep something in the tank is to automate as much as possible. That might be waking up at the same time every day or meal prepping so you don’t have to think about what you’re eating. It could be using digital checklists to keep your day organized or even scheduling calls with family and friends. Whatever it is that works for you, do it!

Use the military alphabet and the 24-hour clock for clearer communication. Be mindful of what you carry around on a daily basis, taking the necessities and some safety items as well. Finally, leave no trace. When you make a mess, pick up after yourself right away, as if you were never there.

Routines are patterns that we set for ourselves that help us reach our goals. And speaking of goals, check out these 5 ways to crush your mil-spouse goals.