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To Do Lists For Dads...And Everyone Else

Now that we're in the new year I've got a bunch of stuff to do. Just like I did last week. These aren't resolutions, which are declarative statements with no determined strategy toward achieving them, such as "I want to lose fifteen pounds." But rather something along the lines of, "I want to start saving for a bike and start mapping out routes so when I buy one I'll actually have somewhere to go." From there the assertion can be made: "I'd like to lose 20 pounds." Because by then if you don't have a set strategy you'll definitely have a framework for one.

Saying, "In 2012 I plan to travel more with the family," when you might not travel at all is a promise you shouldn't make out loud because Lord forbid the wife or any of your kids hear it, they'll be standing there with their arms folded in December looking at you because you took them no where. Instead consider, "I need to set up a separate/savings account for travel and in order to travel by (date of your choosing) I need to put $x in it per week or month."

Thus you will quickly move from the fantasy of the New Year's resolution and into the reality of laid out plans to achieve goals. Mind you they don't have to be perfect and in the end they might look different than you envisioned but at least you're moving...forward.

I intend to do more and be more in 2012. 2011 was a runaway train wreck for most, including my own family. But while most were lamenting I was bucking the system, quietly looking for holes of opportunity in the midst of all the impossibility. Smiling when most days I wanted to scream and working each day seeking out opportunity in a wasteland just as Wall-E worked each day turning trash into treasure (yeah, I referenced a Disney movie. This is a dad blog, right?) I even poked holes of opportunity when and if necessary. As a result I'm now ready to put rubber to the road and put everyone in my rear view mirror who isn't moving forward with me.

But I am only human and I am a father of two kids. I'm juggling new career opportunities, a need to upgrade nearly every piece of technology I own and maintaining a marriage and trying to have a lifestyle all at the same time. In years past I was getting a whole lot of a little done. Now thanks to smartphone technology, great productivity apps such as Evernote (they are not paying me, but I just really like them a whole lot), file sharing and reminders I might be able to get things done and still enjoy life.

Here is what I'd like to do in 2012:

  • Relearn Spanish
  • Relearn Piano or learn a new instrument
  • Gain a solid understanding of the teachings of the Bible
  • Take my wife on a few weekend trips
  • Take my daughter to Disney World
  • Take my son on a college tour
  • Become a paid speaker
  • Lose close to 20 pounds (again) mostly through bike riding because my knees hurt when I run (an always have)
  • Go to the doctor and the dentist (a freelancer's longtime dream)
  • Host a few showings of my photography where I hope to sell some if not all the pieces
  • Begin the novel that's been on my heart all my life
  • Write a children's book
...to name a few.

But my new growing To Do List doesn't look anything close to the above list. Instead is a list of plays and strategies which will hopefully result or provide the means for me to accomplish the above.

What will your To Do List look like in 2012?

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