So far I’ve described the following goals:
- Meet 5 entrepreneurs and find ways to help them
- Start 2 new businesses
- Stay productive throughout the day and wake up earlier
Each of those goals is important, but they’re all related to work. And I can’t help but look at those goals and think, “There better be more there than just work stuff.”
And of course, there is.
One of my post-Thanksgiving goals is to be a better father and husband.
How exactly am I going to do that?
It would be easy to say “spend more time with my family”, and while that’s something I do want to achieve it has to be deeper than that. There have to be more actionable, smaller goals:
- Stay focused on my family when I’m with them. There’s a difference between “time” and “quality time” — the latter being the one I want to emphasize. It’s no good to be sitting at home playing with my son if my mind is on work. He’s not getting the attention he deserves and I’m not benefiting from the time with him. Same holds true for my wife; spending quality time with her doesn’t mean sitting there watching TV like a zombie…
- Work less at night. I want to wake up earlier so I can get work done while my family is asleep. At night, after we put my son to bed, I have a tendency to hop on the computer, start responding to emails, etc. It’s usually not the most productive time for me, so instead of flitting it away online, I’m going to try and turn the computer off and hang out with my wife.
- Do more on the weekends. Do you ever get into this endless debate with your partner, “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, how about you?” “Um…not sure, what do you want to do?” Let me scream for all of us: Aaaaaahhhhh! I’m going to work on finding more activities for the family on the weekend (which gets harder and harder as it gets colder and colder) so we can enjoy ourselves trying new things and having fun outside the house.
- Keep some time for myself and ask for it. Precious “alone time” is so rare when you’ve got a family, but the biggest mistake you can make is not keeping any and not asking for it when you really need it. My wife and I often feel guilty about it; we just spent all week at work, our son was at daycare and on the weekend we want to take a few hours to ourselves? Gack! You selfish bastard! In the end it benefits everyone because the person enjoying the alone time gets to recharge his/her batteries big-time; and they bring more fun and happiness to the table after.
Every goal is important, but some are more important than others. Your health and your family should be paramount over your work. You can always find new work…a new body and family on the other hand…