…stop obsessing. Ok, not really but I know this at the very least gets a chuckle from Cindy. Take for example the pegging pants trend from the late 80s, early 90s. A great solution to seeing all of my shoes whenever I look down. The trend goes away. I let go of it much later than most and eventually, or almost 20 years later, I get over not seeing my shoes when I look down. Guess what I see the kids doing when I go out these days. Rolling up their skinny jeans. Here we go again I think to myself. But I digress…
Most know this drill by now, but in case you are new to this blog here’s a little background: Each year, at the turn of the Gregorian calendar year I spend a little time reflecting on my resolutions for the past 12 months, grade my progress and then share the areas of focus I will have in the New Year. I’m comfortable with calling them resolutions but these are not the “join a gym, workout for 12-19 days and then slowly take up sleeping in” type of targets. More of a means to keep me focused, accountable and aligned. In general I’m the guy longing for free time and then frustrated with not spending said found free time productively. Hence, my need to resolve.
Before jumping to the 2014 report, I should note that Cindy and I get a laugh out of setting a “theme” for the year ahead as well. Something we can jointly target. This is a bit of a joke between us but is also rooted in sincerity. Past themes have been the year “of electronic upgrades” or “re-connecting with friends” or “decluttering” or “doing good for others.” 2015 has been jointly proclaimed our year of “Small Changes, Big Impact.” No telling what this means just yet. It could mean better quality exercise habits. It could mean removing a few junk items from our diet. It could mean finding opportunities to pay good deeds we receive forward more frequently. Clearly it is purposely vague enough to mean just about anything – I’ll report back what it actually means in roughly 12 months.
Lastly, with this year’s resolutions, I have also made a slight change to align with a stronger focus. I am changing the language to read more like items I want to exhibit and “be” vs. a list of things I want to check a box on or “do.” Small change, hopefully big impact (see what I did there?). Without further adieu…
MY 2014 RESOLUTIONS – A LOOK BACK (Red = missed goal, Yellow = somewhere in between, Green = achieved)
- Keep up the listening, engaging, prompting and continue to hold back on monologues and hijacking. Treat her like the best friend in the world she is to me. Most of all focus on smiles, laughs, hand-holding and hugs. Bring it on guys – I can take it…I am a champ whenever stress levels in general are low. Not so much when they are high.
- 3 Kid-free trips in 2014 – one is already in the books, Miami in February with good friends of ours. 2 more should be the minimum goal. We made 2 of the 3. Miami in February and Charleston in April. We can do better.
- Avoid making all interactions teachable moments. Laugh, play and follow their lead much, much more Strange part of this is when I’m 1×1 or just Cindy and me with one child this is a no-brainer. But when with all 3 kids I tend to push a “right vs. wrong” agenda more than I should. Still, feel like I’m doing better here each day.
- Prop my kids up with the sole goal of making their self-worth as high as can be – I am so lucky to have great kids Striking a balance between teaching, trusting and showing an example without stating it is hard. Good some days, not as great on others.
- An overnight hike with BOTH Will and Stewart and Poppy plus 5-6 camping trips with Adventure Guides Made the camping trip goal easily with all 3 kids but we missed our annual hike due to an event-filled fall. Possible late winter hike in the making.
- Participate in 6 volunteer events with my kids – establishing a habit of giving back that they will carry forward in life Didn’t hit 6 with just us, but easily hit the mark if you throw in school and church events. Stewart even held a sale out front of the house and donated proceeds to the Fort Mill Care Center – no parental prompting at all. Cool.
- Make 1×1 time with each of my kids happen each month – don’t stress over what it is, just do what they want Sometimes this was just errand running but the time solo with each kid is definitely a relationship strengthener.
- Ask better questions and let them answer without being judged. Getting there…finding this takes more practice than I expected.
Health & Fitness
- Schedule a physical – c’mon already! Afraid because the last one resulted in a colonoscopy? Well, kinda…Dang.
- Cross-train 2x/ week – do anything but run Check. Push-ups usually but P90X Abs, etc. helped hit the mark.
- Run a 50 miler Nope.
- Run 4 trail events – the longer the better Ran 3. Would really only like to run trail events…still hard to come by.
- Run 4 marathons – 50 miler can count as one of them (not two) and fully train from the ground up for at least one of them (w/ tempo, track, distance runs) Ran 3. Trained fully for Ellerbe and ran 3:28 on a tough course. Ran 3:25 at St. George and 4:11 in a sloppy, injury-shortened training build-up for the New River Marathon in May.
- Sign up for and ride in Blood, Sweat and Gears metric century in July. Nope.
- Meditate daily – start with a minute and see what happens This was my favorite goal on the year. A strong habit now.
- Be outwardly grateful – log what occurrences you are grateful for as things occur; Put good into my environment – experience how it spreads Check. Gratitude jar. Would like to be more outwardly grateful to those close to me.
- Deepen close friendships by initiating more chances to connect more often – engage and put effort into the most important friendships I’m no champ here but did enjoy trying to connect more real-time, less pre-planning.
- Read a book a month (12/year – see what I did there?) – backing off from past years yes, but I’ll be happier worrying less about it. 🙂 Nope. 9. 25% of the books Cindy read. Really? Just read a book a month???
- Continue to introduce my passion for the ASC Greenway here in Fort Mill and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte with more friends. Introduce 5 people to each. Check. One gathering for a Close Home tour and three MSC meals served with first-time visitors.
I’m giving myself a B-. Again, just checking in every few months here would have moved several red/yellows to greens. Interestingly, not much to jettison in 2015 and the metrics are likely close to right. I guess it is a process.
MY 2015 RESOLUTIONS – A LOOK FORWARD
- Be a listener first. No hijacking or monologuing. Remember to make it 2-way. Pause. Don’t “come over the top” when she’s having a “teaching moment” (i.e. hollering) at the kids. Treat Cindy like the best friend in the world she is to me. Most of all find any excuse to smile, laugh, hold hands, hug. Still not skeert fellas…bring it.
- Be a couple who puts us first occasionally without guilt. 3 Kid-free trips in 2014 – Cooper River is already a lay-up.
Fatherhood – Be present, active, engaging
- Be a dad who laughs and plays with his kids. Resist the urge to always teach a life lesson.
- Be an attender. Not just to the big games/concerts but at the smaller events. Be where they ask me to be, each time they ask.
- Prop my kids up – make their self-worth as high as it can be – I am so lucky to have such great kids.
- An overnight hike with BOTH Will and Stewart and Poppy plus 5-6 camping trips with Adventure Guides.
- Be a volunteer – give them chances to join me in 6 volunteer events – establishing a habit of giving back that they will carry forward in life.
- Be their Dad without their siblings – 1×1 and do this monthly – don’t stress over what it is, just do what they want.
- Engage with good question. Be a listener without judgment.
- Meditate daily – I’m up to 10 minutes a day minimum. I love it. Sets a great tone for each day.
- Be outwardly grateful – Gratitude Jar. Don’t fear blogging these. I tend to second guess sharing these.
- Be a non-curser. Completely. Rely on “freaking”, “darn/dang”, “shoot”, “chump”. Suggestions/tips welcome.
- Be a connector, not just someone that others reach out to connect. Deepen close friendships by initiating more chances to connect more often.
- Be a more avid reader – read a book a month – target 1/3 of Cindy’s mark. You can do this Sutton. Start with deciding on the 12 books in January instead of allowing weeks to pass after you finish a book.
- Continue to introduce my passion for the ASC Greenway here in Fort Mill and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte with more friends. Find ways to strengthen connections to their causes without being pushy.
- Build a strategy for online music and photo collections – today I have backups. No real great playlists and at times not sure whether I should continue to push it all into iTunes and iPhoto/Flickr or other strategies like Spotify, etc. This gets more complicated with more kids and more devices. Needs dedicated thought. This may be a cry for help.
Health & Fitness – Be Healthy and Fit
- Schedule a physical – I. Can. Do. This. I’m. Not. Skeert.
- Cross-train 2x/ week – do anything but run. I’m 3 weeks in and enjoying the ‘Insanity’ videos.
- Run a 50 miler or 24 hour race – this is more about a reason to run in the dark, late at night. Something I love doing.
- Run 4 trail events – the longer the better
- Run 3 marathons – #3 this year gets me to magic number 50. A blessing to be able to do this. The number is just that.
- Sign up for a bike event. Blood, Sweat and Gears, Booty, Mountains to Sea, Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway…
And there you have it, my 2015 Resolutions. Hold your applause as it is still early yet. As you can see the changes are minor from last year. Mere tweaks. If you hung around in this post this far, you might was well take a peek at my past resolutions. You can see my 2013/2014 Resolutions here, my 2012 Resolutions here, my 2011 resolutions here and my 2010 resolutions here and know that I’m impressed with your reading endurance. Most important point of the post: let me know what you think. Email, text, tweet or comment here.