Any dad out there a fan of goals and resolutions?
Because we are men, we are hard wired to be goal driven; however, just because we are good at setting goals, doesn’t mean we are good at achieving them. Why is that? Why do we give up on our goals?
There are 3 big things that keep you from reaching your goals:
Not writing them Down
Keeping them to Yourself
Not Creating a Plan
Sure there are more, but these three things are major, and if you can do these then you can reach your goals.
How many times has your own health popped up on your list of New Year’s resolutions? How many times have you set yourself a goal to get in better shape? If you’re like me, probably a lot. Staying healthy is always one of my goals – it’s a passion of mine so it always will be. That being said, I have another goal too: to be better connected with my kids.
So I began to think, how can I marry the goals of being healthy and fit, while at the same time, connecting with my kids in a meaningful way? I realized that working out with my kids would accomplish both of those goals – plus, instill them with healthy physical activity habits.
As dads, we should be creating goals for our own health, but for our children’s health also. Guiding children through exercise will improve your connection and allow you to develop a deeper relationship that thrives on persevering through struggle and challenge – because that 50th push up isn’t always that easy to finish.
I implemented a simple belief in my house that connects me and my kids and teaches us to motivate one another through healthy physical activity.
What’s the belief?
Families who train together, remain together.
By working out with my kids – nothing too crazy – I have the pleasure of watching them connect to their physical body and challenge themselves in ways that videogames or hours of television can never do. Physical exercise helps your children develop determination, that can-do spirit that won’t allow them to give up when things get tough, and we can all agree that determination is a good quality to have.
Another benefit is that your children see you challenging yourself physically and motivating them. It becomes a team effort. Through this physical challenge it unites your family in a totally unique way, allowing you to push each other in a healthy way to face the challenge head-on, as a family united.
You may be asking, what kind of workouts do you perform? How much is too much? Should my kids join me at CrossFit? (Hint: No)
I am going to help you create your plan – (Remember, you need a plan to achieve your goal of a healthy, connected family.)
I am going to show you how to collaborate with your kids on the plan – You have to make your goals known and allow them to take co-ownership of the plan. I am also going to show you what I do with my own children – Hint: We write it down and display it so we can focus on our goals!
Creating Your Plan
Simplicity is key. You do not have to create an upper body/lower body split or anything crazy.
Create a simple workout plan based on workouts that you enjoy performing and can perform in your home. Ask your kids what exercise they like to do.
I don’t like jumping jacks, but my kids love them. So guess what? They are in our family workout plan. Remember, you want your kids to take ownership of this as well so they feel like they are truly a part of this goal.
Here’s a look at my family workout regimen:
10 pushups (I do mine with my kids on my back. Talk about a heavy load!)
10 jumping jacks
10 bodyweight squats
10 kettlebell swings – 5 pounds
10 sit ups or 10 reps on the ab wheel
Simple. Effective. Fun!
Depending on the age of your children, this can look different. Older children can do more exercises that require greater skill sets or even allow them to use weights.
Always keep this simple and focus on your ultimate goal – Creating a healthier you and a healthier family.
Write it Down
Sometimes, in our busy lives, if we don’t write things down then they don’t get done. So, write your workout down! Put this in a place where your kids and you can see it every day. Having it written down and displayed holds you and your kids accountable.
You need an accountability partner. You need a spotter! Goals are more easily met when they are shared with others.
So, who should you tell? First and foremost, I tell my children. I tell them about the journey before we start so I can better help them prepare. I want to foster an environment of collaboration, where they feel their voices matter. Because of this, when I created my family workout plan, I did not do it alone. My kids had their input and we created the plan as a family.
Who else can help you stay accountable? How about telling your fellow dads? Perhaps this is a journey you can go on with another family? Tell them what you’re doing to create a healthy family culture and invite them to join you.
More fit and healthy dads lead to more connectDAD dads.
It’s time. Gather your tribe; create your plan; write it down; and tell your friends. Create that culture of health within your home and form those habits now so you can continue to grow as a connectDAD family.
About the Author
My goal is to help dads win at health, and win at parenting. If you have questions or feel stuck, send me an email – Alex@theBuffDad.com – and I will do my best to jumpstart your life!
You can also connect with me on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat (alex_thebuffdad) where I answer questions as well.
Go be great!
Alex Heidebreicht, the Buff Dad