Was There a New Years Resolution?

Midnight, December 31, 2017, what were you doing?
Up late watching the ball drop, ready to give that “new years kiss?”
What was your purpose for staying up? Were you really celebrating a great 2017?

I never look forward to New Year’s Eve, it reminds me that I didn’t do what I said I would do, and I call myself disciplined, but for some reason at the end of the year, Resolutions only give me a sense of failure. Who can seriously do something for 365 days?

As we welcomed the new year I remember asking my wife, “what are all of the people celebrating at Times Square? Is the goal a kiss, alcohol consumption, warmth, or just to say, “I was there?” And if so does being there really matter if the other 364 days didn’t amount to anything? To me, just being there is like taking that family picture that sits on display in your house for everyone to see, but nobody knows how often you get together or if you even know each other. But look how happy everyone is in that picture… Are they?

I believe as we push forward in 2018 we are busy, busier than 2017. How much can we do? How hard can we push ourselves? FOR WHAT?

Our actions are really fueled by what we think is important to us. We make time for what matters.

Big Question: Who sets your agenda? And what does having more on it than you can handle, do for you? Create more stress, worry, anxiety, frustration, grumpiness, does it cause you to push your family away. Do you blame them for the workload that you create?

In 2017 I decided to take the month of January to set the culture of our house. We have had a family creed and mission for years, but I was going to create something consistent and repeatable so we could grow together. I scheduled 1 on 1’s with our kids, date nights, family game nights, and the lofty goal of making 1 memory a week as a family. By the end of January I had the schedule set and 30 days into the new year I had “accomplished” what Heather and I set out to do. We stayed pretty faithful to our schedule, we had meaningful moments, but things came up like they always do, we got busy and our schedule got interrupted. Some interruptions had to happen, some I allowed to happen.

We moved toward the end of the year and on December 31st I realized we haven’t had a date night in 2 months, we’ve only had 1 game night since November, and I have only taken our kids on one 1 on 1 since we moved. I thought about the memories we could’ve made and weeks and months that I dropped the ball as I allowed other things to steal time from my family, our family!

As we waited together for the clock to strike midnight. We hit a FaceTime conversation with friends in the moments leading up to the Ball Drop. We got so wrapped up in conversation that we actually missed it! What’s crazy is talking to our friends took my mind off of new years, and when the clock struck midnight I felt the same at 12:01 as I did at 11:59. We got off of the phone, and caught the west coast ball drop!

There is nothing like watching the ball drop more than once on New Year’s Eve right?

Heather and I had our kiss, it means the world to me to have her, but I felt this overwhelming urge to be the husband she needs me to be, and the dad our kids need me to be. I have thought this several times before but never knew how to put it into action. In years past I had always had a checklist of things I was going to get done.

That morning I asked Heather, “what do you want to be this year?” Heather needs more than 30 seconds to make a decision, which is actually a benefit I haven’t always taken advantage of. I had been thinking about this the past few hours, so I knew. As she thought I asked, “What about our kids?” What is one thing we want for each of our kids this year? We have 3 kids, our goal for the oldest was to be joyful. Our middle child we only want for him to be a better listener, and for our youngest, we want her to be respectful. “How about our kids as a whole?” What do we want them to be? Simple; we want them to be thankful!

We were gaining ground, now what do we want for our family? “What is the one thing we want our family to be?” Last year we chose that we would live our lives as an example. We believe that’s our mission, so we didn’t change it. We believe in living out what it means to really love others as we love ourselves. By the time we were finished thinking and talking through our kids and family, Heather knew what she wanted to be in 2018.

Now for me… I want to be more for my family than anyone else. I’ve wanted to be this since becoming a husband and father. I also realized if Oscar is going to be joyful, I need to be more joyful, if Kaz is going to be a better listener, I need to be a better listener, if Lainey is going to be more respectful, I need to be more respectful. If I don’t lead these things in my house with their mom, they will never be them. Our words should always match our actions. How can I tell them to be if they never see?

So for 2018, our focus is not to see how much we can do, our goal is to be; be an example, be thankful, be joyful, be respectful, be better listeners. We want our words to align with our actions this year.

My challenge for you in 2018 is to be the same. No matter how much you accomplish or how much you gain, it will always be empty if those who love and depend on you are neglected. My hope for you in 2018 is for you to see WHO you are here for and that you would impact and lead them well. Your life is not meant to be lived to do, that only keeps you busy, which makes you miss the most important things in life, people.

I have simply learned this: I do not have “To Do’s” I have “To Who’s.” Life is about who I am here for not what I do. Doing will never bring fulfillment until I include the people closest to me. The quicker we realize this, the better we will live.

On day 365 I will take my family downtown, we will recap the year and see how we’ve grown individually, and as a family, and we will celebrate real growth in our house for the first time. When the ball drops there will be joy and not regret, tears of happiness not of disappointment, and we will stand in anxiousness for what we can be in 2019.

You have 300 days left to be the same for your family and circle of friends, don’t waste another moment. Identify who you are here for and make 2018 matter.