Dad Talk – In 2014 I resolve to…

by Chris Read

Every year around the end of December, we are prompted to throw together a list of things we want to change about ourselves in the year to come. Everything from quitting smoking and losing weight to spending more time with family and doing more volunteer work gets thrown onto the pile. I am no exception to this rule and have decided to try something different this year. Instead of randomly jotting down a few things I want to learn or tackle, I am creating an action plan for every item on my list. Check it out:

1. I will do better at managing my time. While it’s great to be a go-getter, it’s extremely important to find an appropriate work/life balance. I have struggled with this in my short time as a blogger, since I have a full-time job and a young family. I always said the blog would never come between me and my family time and while I’ve done a decent job of keeping that promise so far, there is always room for improvement. I have created an editorial calendar for my blog and will only be committing to a certain number of projects each month, so that I can better manage my time.

2. I will tone down the use of electronics. Based on the fact that I can describe the tops of most of my friends’ heads better than their faces, I think we are headed down a dark path and I, for one, want to slow down before I’m too far gone. My goal for the coming year is to spend less time fiddling with gadgets and more time enjoying family activities. Note: This means you may have to wait a full day before you get an Instagram pic of what we were up to; hopefully you’ll be busy with your family too.

3. I will live a healthier life. I realize I poked fun at dieting as an easy resolution, but I am talking about much more than eating a few carrots between Big Macs. As if the exhaustion, pain, scary stories, diabetes and doctor’s advice weren’t enough, it took tipping the scales at over 200 pounds for me to appreciate that I was putting myself in serious danger. I have started a Weight Watchers program, as well as a specific exercise schedule, and have already seen the amazing results that a little hard work can provide. Living a healthier lifestyle is not just for me but for my whole family. It certainly does not feel good telling your five-year-old son that daddy is too tired to play after only 15 minutes of physical activity.

4. I will never be too busy for my kids. I read a recent study that showed a very large decline in the number of parents who read a bedtime story to their children; it cited lack of time as the main reason. The study caused me to reflect on all the times I’ve used “I’m too busy” as a reason not to do something with my kids. Accomplishing this resolution is simply a matter of readjusting my priorities. After all, nothing is more important than the time I have with my children.

5. I will give back. I’ve done my share of volunteering and donating but for the most part, I consider myself an average citizen in terms of making a difference. I want my children to know the overwhelming feeling you get by making someone else’s day or by giving someone hope for a better tomorrow. While there are a number of ways I plan to accomplish this goal, my first step will be to launch a new website called Kindness Canada, at kindnesscanada. ca. The site’s objective is simply to spread kindness and make people smile. While one smile won’t change the world, it’s certainly a good start!

Those are my top five goals for the coming year but they are certainly not my only hopes for the future. I would love to take some writing classes, win the lottery, learn how to play guitar and maybe even jump out of an airplane. But I’m taking things one step at a time. My advice to you? Before you make your New Year’s resolutions, sit down and figure out not just why you want to set the goals but also how you plan to reach them.

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