Remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire? A time In our life where we only had to worry about ourselves. Things have changed, you now have little humans you are responsible for. Many parents set goals for success only to find disappointment. Lack of time, energy and resources. Face it, kids are expensive. Often we find ourselves giving up on our goals for success because we aren’t where we want to be. We focus on what we can’t accomplish or haven’t accomplished. But, what if we focused on what we have accomplished? If you look around hard enough you’ll see your exactly where you want to be.
In my opinion the two worst things parents can say is “I used to” and “until I”. Parents often find themselves moping around saying “I used to (insert action here) until I had kids”. However , have you thought of what you do now that brings you happiness ? Have you taken time to be grateful for what you have, where you are, who you are today ? Our goals take a back seat with our kids, but aren’t our kids our goals? Our perspective on success needs to shift as a parent. Instead on focusing on what we used to do, how about shifting our perspective on what we do now. The times we’ve played with our kids, fed them their first bottle, watched a movie with them. All of these things a important experiences and should be cherished.
We want to be fitter, faster, smarter, and overall more successful. We want to start the business, continue our education or excel in our profession. But, I’ll tell you right now most of our energy is given to our kids. This doesn’t mean we need to give up on who we are, but we need to know its not all about us anymore. We have to appreciate where we are before we know where we are going.
The first step to success is “gratitude”. Gratitude for what we have accomplished and were we are today. Because, let’s face it, being a successful father is a huge accomplishment. Trust me, I’ve seen many crummy parents, you deserve a pat on the back. What I am getting at is self loathing and being angry at yourself for the lack of time to pursue your goals will only push you deeper into the spiral of imaginary failure. Get out of the “funk” and get into your life.
Time is our most valuable currency and when your a new parent, time is a limited resource. So, what do parents do? They set goals and on a daily basis are reminded how far they still are from that goal. You set up plans, make phone calls and try a new routine, than your kids hear about it and they will find a way to pop up and make those plans a fantasy. Every big action is not the result of one huge act, it’s the result of thousands of small acts that build over time.
If you are better today than you were yesterday, or last week, your on the path. Improvement takes time, the sense of accomplishment can be felt after every successful act. Build on those small acts.
Human nature drives us to be better or want more, we all have the desire to “seek”. We have goals we set and we strive for them. Many parents struggle to find the time to improve themselves, although it can be difficult and our kids are important, it’s important to continue to learn and grow as an adult. Our drive to better ourselves doesn’t need to die, it just needs to understand, it needs to adapt. Adaptation to your new life means setting goals that are realistic. If your goal is fitness don’t go to a website outlining a training program designed for a bodybuilder or Olympian. These programs were designed for people who have nothing but time to train and train, you do not. Don’t feel like you are a failure for not having that kind of time. The key is small steps. Small changes in your lifestyle that will ultimately accomplish your goal. This won’t happen over night, small steps need to be taken. For example, your fitness plan may include kinesthetics (push ups, pull ups etc) with your kids around, mix in some short gym sessions to work on technical lifts, and make time for a long run once a week.
Accomplish small goals with the time you have and move forward. Don’t give up, but adapt. It’s about changing your mindset and your expectations on what we can accomplish in the time we have. Focus on the path, not the outcome.
I am not writing this from a place of mastery, I am writing this as a reminder to myself to push on and be grateful for where I am at and who I have around me. Fatherhood is the most important task laid before me and I want to “crush it” daily. And every chance I get I find time to better my career, fitness and education I’ll take. I want to succeed because my nature drives me to and because one day I want my sons to appreciate time, to appreciate everything we have been given, what we’ve earned. Your kids are a gift, time is a gift, be grateful for all of it. I am not giving up on my drive to succeed I am just realizing, that like my food at diner time, it’s probably going to sit on the table while I wrangle up a couple of rowdy boys. But, there is always a microwave. The time to wrangle up the boys can’t wait. One day they will have grown up and I won’t be able to control them within my arms. The hope is to have instilled in them value, gratitude, purpose and drive. My goal of becoming a great father takes priority, and I am not going to miss out on that time.