Bring the Kids

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Great men look for ways to include their kids in their hobbies. Life isn’t about you anymore. The day your first kid was born you went from leading role to supporting actor.

I love the shooting range, boxing, soccer, biking, trail running, kayaking, backpacking, fly fishing, and deer hunting. But if I tried to pursue all those hobbies by myself my kids would forget what I looked like. If I take my kids along and teach them these things, they become bonding activities that unite instead of selfish hobbies that divide.

 There’s nothing wrong with going for a jog by yourself. In fact, it’s important to have that alone time. But it’s also important to take them along more often.

It might not be easy having the kids in tow, but the benefits are worth the effort, and it does take work to make great memories.

When you include your kids in what you do, you’re showing them that they matter, they’re worthy, they are important to you. Plus, it teaches them new things, and over the long run cultivates in them a love for what you love, too.

Your Top Priorities

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Write down the three most important things in your life. Literally. With paper and pen. This is a list of your priorities. Now invest your time and energy in those things. Not golf, Facebook, or watching sports on television.

If your goal is greatness, then you have to prioritize accordingly. Priority means the most important thing. You can’t have lots of priorities. You can’t make everything #1.

Say no to stuff that is not written on your list. If one of your priorities is your marriage (and if you’re married, then it better be) then choose weekly dates with your wife over sitting on the couch for three hours watching your favorite team play. That’s how you make your marriage great.

There are lots of entertaining distractions in our world that will destroy our priorities if we let them take over our time.

If we don’t start saying no a lot more often to our favorite distractions, then we’ll be mediocre dads with struggling marriages who are really good at our hobbies. If we are to be great men, then we must focus on our priorities and tune out the rest.

Next week:  Including your kids in your hobbies

Bite Size Goals

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Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do an Ironman triathlon. I thought my first 5K was a pretty big deal! But spectating at an Ironman event made me see that anyone could do it. Grandparents, school teachers, and average-looking dudes like me. 

So how did I go from a 5K to 140.6 miles? How do we humans make that leap? We start by realizing that if we can bike ten miles this weekend, then we could bike eleven miles next weekend. It’s really that simple. You break it down into small, attainable goals and focus on one week at a time.

It’s the same with quitting smoking. If today you had ten cigarettes, tomorrow have nine. It’s the way we make ourselves better at anything. Make a small goal. An easy goal. And nail it! Then set another one.

When overcoming adversity, you only need to make it through today. And if you can make it through today, then you can make it through tomorrow. This builds momentum and confidence. Add those little 2.5 pound plates to the barbell – not the big ones. True in the gym and in life.