Some of you might know that I write a couple different blog sites, mostly about the things most important in my life….like my backyard chickens, my Friday morning men’s group, or this one for the weekly Wed workouts. Maybe one day I’ll combine my three blog sites into one, calling it “feathers, fellowship, and fitness“! For now, I’ll try not to have collusion between any of these sites, meaning I’ll try not to share content across any of the pages.
Well, I’m breaking that rule this week, at least between two of the sites.
Earlier this week, I shared an article that I came across with my men’s Friday morning fellowship group. The article was posted on a page I follow called “All Pro Dad“. It’s a pretty cool site designed mostly for guys and even has some former NFL players involved as spokesmen, including one of my heroes, Coach Tony Dungy.
So if it’s wrong to share stories and if you’re thinking I’m a little bit lazy this week for doing so, then I guess I’m guilty as charged! Now, put all that aside and hear me out….
This time of year, the gyms are suddenly more crowded, the sporting goods stores probably inflate their prices, and the fitness craze seems to be a little more chaotic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. What’s mostly great about all this is when individuals stick to a plan, internalize that fitness regimen, and let go of the craziness that eventually becomes a very respectable and healthy habit. Being more focused on fitness is typically high on the list of New Year’s resolutions. What would you think, however, if I told you that the resolution of “spending more time with our family” barely breaks into the Top 10 list?
Today, I’d like to convince you of four resolutions, not fitness related, that might make their way into your own Top 10 resolutions for 2017. The article I mentioned earlier is titled, “A Real New Year’s Resolution: Becoming a Good Husband and a Father“. Ladies, before I lose you, just imagine for a moment that you could easily substitute “husband for wife” and “father for mother”. The four resolutions from the article I’m about to share, are certainly non-gender specific. Here they are in no particular order….other than it makes more sense for me to outline them this way.
Number one resolution for us to consider this year is to pledge more one-on-one time with each of your children. This is easy in a household with just one child. Skip the zone defense plan and just go “man-on-man” with that one child. Simple! But suppose you’re an empty-nester where all the kids are no longer under your roof? Regardless of your scenario, our kids will always need individual attention in addition to the group, family setting. If they’re still at home, spend individual time with each on a favorite sport or hobby. If they’re away from home, drop a hand-written letter in the mail….not email or tag on some Instagram post from the family Christmas gathering. My dad used to send me newspaper clippings from our local paper when I was in college in New York. It made me feel a little closer to home, and his short, hand-written notes meant the world to me.
Next, let’s make a resolution to listen to our families a little more this year. Most guys, especially this writer, just want to get things done. “I don’t need all the details, honey…..”, is often my response, when my wife wants to add to the “honey-do” list. This year, I’m going to listen more to the details, realizing that there may very well be some nugget of information that if I didn’t feel was worth my concern, would leave the important people in my life feeling ignored and misunderstood. We never cease the ability to “listen”…..give it a shot!
The third resolution I found from the article is make a date-night once a month. If you’re in a relationship, whether short-term or long-lasting, find the time once a month to be intentional. Do it more than once a month if you can…but do it at least once a month. Not in a relationship? Be intentional about something once a month. Maybe you volunteer at a shelter once a month. Maybe you coach a youth sports team. Find something that’s healthy and allows you to spread your wings once, twice or more times a month. Don’t let the chaos of everyday life swallow you up.
Finally, find people that challenge you. This resolution hits me smack between the eyes! Why do we do WAWA? For the fitness? Maybe. For the camaraderie? Perhaps. Think about that final “A” in the acronym which stands for “accountability“. No man or woman is an island. I consider most of you who’ve been doing WAWA with me for many months as friends. Many Wednesdays, I show up because I know I’ll hear about from you if I’m not here. My challenge to all of us is to find someone, either through WAWA or some other areas in our lives who will hold us accountable, challenge us mentally, physically, spiritually, and do the same to them in return. Don’t go through this year alone!
Truthfully, I think I’ve tried to create my own resolutions over the years, and most times those goals slip away by the end of January. This year, I’m going to take some ideas from someone else. Afterall, just it says in the title for this week’s devotional, there’s no copyright on good resolutions. Won’t you join me this year in putting our relationships front and center not just in January….but all throughout this year!
Happy New Year!