New Year, New You?

January 2, 2014-

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New year, new resolutions, new you.  Right?  Perhaps.  If you’re like the millions of other Americans who each year creates a new set of resolutions, this may be what you’re focusing on right now.  Personally, I love this time of year.  The goal setting for a new year, reflecting on the past, putting plans in place to assess growth, it’s written into my DNA (and my job description).  But why?  Why is this so interesting, and why do we go down this road every year for the same reasons?  I think it’s because, somewhere inside each of us there’s a desire to discover and maximize our potential.  But real change begins with first, changing our minds.

Years ago I read a book entitled, Today Matters, by one of my favorite authors John Maxwell.  While the book certainly offered a lot of helpful strategies for how to prioritize and make better daily decisions, probably its most important impact on me was the idea that today actually does matter.  The idea that what I do today will have compounded effects on what happens tomorrow and so forth seemed too simple to be true.  The other premise of the book is that we don’t really need to make a bunch of new resolutions each year.  In fact, what we need to do is identify a few key areas of our lives that align with our values and from there, resolve to do a few things daily towards those priorities.  Not groundbreaking, but try consistently doing it!  What makes this so difficult for us?

I believe that we usually fail to keep our resolutions for at least one of 3 reasons:

  1. We didn’t mean them in the first place
  2. There were too many of them
  3. We didn’t know how to keep them (i.e. they were too vague or unrealistic)

Take your pick.  Here’s the fun fact about new resolutions: Forbes estimates that 8% of people are successful at keeping their resolutions.  Ouch.  How do we change the odds?  Tackle these 3 roadblocks.

I’ll share one of my resolutions publicly (which, by the way is a neat trick I learned to help keep me accountable to my resolutions).  An area that I’m particularly passionate about is fatherhood, particularly growing myself as a father as well as mentoring and developing other young fathers.  I know firsthand the challenges that come with growing up in a home without a father, and the first commitment that I made to myself and my wife was that I would always be a present, engaged, and evolving father.  This year, I plan on taking that commitment to the next level by starting a larger dialogue around the issues affecting fathers.  I’ve written a book about my first year as a father and I’ve blogged for the past several years about my daily experiences as a father.  Now, I want to broaden the conversation, and include other fathers and start to do some of the mentoring work that I’ve developed.  It’s an exciting time of new beginnings.

This new website, entitled Everyday Fatherhood, will be the hub for this expanding dialogue.  My aim is simple; to expand the conversation and raise awareness about the daily issues affecting fathers.  What happens from there we’ll see.  Sometimes I’ll share personal stories of my daily ups and downs as a father.  Other times, I’ll share helpful strategies and information for dads.  Either way, I hope you’ll be an engaged and contributing participant.  I look forward to our journey together.

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