First, let me just skip to the good part. We are building a community; a collaboration of all things related to the suburban dad; how to be a better Christian, father, husband, employee, DIY’er, [INSERT OTHER ROLES HERE]. While the website will be the primary method of distributing information, join the discussion now in our free Facebook group at The Frat House.
The Facebook group, and this movement, grew out of a desire to connect with others of common interests, goals, and life stages. We are dedicated to addressing the most common concerns men face on a daily basis including developing a strong relationship with God, maintaining a healthy marriage, connecting with your kids, and following a career path that aligns with your passion and purpose.
The game of life never stops moving and doesn’t slow down. But, with a little planning, we can begin to shift the game in our favor by creating a vision for what kind of person we want to be and figuring out what we have to do to become that person. The motto that I have used in my own life for the last several years is to LIVE DELIBERATELY. To live deliberately means that you have to make a plan for all areas of your life so you can create the lifestyle you desire. To use a sports analogy, it means playing offense, deciding what you want and aggressively going after it, as opposed to playing defense, where you are simply reacting to the struggles that happen to you in your daily life. That doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road or that you won’t have to make adjustments to the plan along the way. But if you have created that vision of your goal, the end prize, you can more easily overcome obstacles because you know there are greater things waiting for you on the other side.
People have problems in their lives, we understand that. Our goal here is to help men dream bigger and smooth the bumps in the road that get you off course on your way to the goal. Time management, skill development, family stresses. Living deliberately means starting with subtle tweaks in mindset and habits and building systems into your routine that will create a snowball of momentum toward creating the life you want.
In order to achieve desired outcomes from your actions, you first have to install a framework for decision making that allows you to align your thoughts and actions with your priorities. I have personally created a system of 4 foundational pillars that I use to keep myself accountable to my priorities. You will see that many of my posts are centered on one of these four items.
In addition to using this as the basis for my writing style, I want to show you how you can use this example to create your own systems for decision making, productive time management, and goal setting.
This is a methodology intended to be used to evaluate how you currently using your time vs your goals (and how you want to be using your time). Your time and resource allocation are the best indications of the direction you are going, regardless of where you think you are going or where to want to be going.
The primary guidelines that I use for my decision making, and more importantly how I will use my free time, is something I like to call my foundational pillars. The idea for grouping these four areas of my life came about organically, over a period of time when I was having to make difficult decisions about what how to focus my time. Around 2012, while working on my MBA, I began to feel as though I was being spread too thin. Between time spent at work and in class, I had very little free time for my family, church activities and workouts. Under the pressure of having to figure out how to make everything work, I started to become aware (mindfulness) of the fact that most of my activities could be classified into one of these four buckets.
By acknowledging that my time in school (finance) was temporary, I was able to allow myself to move everything else down the priority list to focus my time and energy on my studies. After graduation, I could make up for lost time spent focusing on faith and family, and the area of finance was returned to its normal place in the hierarchy. At that time, I began to realize that I have always had this decision-making framework in my mind and was able to implement it as a check-point to ensure I was always allocating my time to activities that I deemed important to who I am.
So without further ado, here are my foundational pillars and how they guide my decision making.
FAITH – My faith is the primary driver behind everything that I do. Each decision is made (or at least should be) through the lens of how it affects my relationship or future relationship with God. Even when writing about topics other than faith and religion, I know that if I always put that relationship first and everything else will fall into place. In every decision that I make my faith should be a primary consideration whether I’m talking about my family, fitness or finances.
FAMILY – I believe that our human relationships are one of the greatest gifts and opportunities that God has given us within his family. So much of what we see in Jesus’ teachings are about our interactions with one another how we treat one another and using opportunities for relationships with each other to build each other up and support one another. In regard to the immediate family, I think my relationship with my wife and kids is of greatest importance second only to my relationship with God. Every decision also must be analyzed through the lens of whether it serves my wife and kids and overall does it serve in the best interest of my family?
FITNESS – Our family wellness will always be a primary focus but after working through a couple of injuries and realizing that I don’t heal as quickly as I get older, I can honestly say I went through a bit of self-evaluation last summer thinking about how much emphasis I really needed to put on reaching higher levels of fitness. That’s not to say I still don’t want to be healthy but the drive to compete and push myself isn’t as strong as it once was. This category would also include healthy eating which we make a priority in our lives, cooking as many meals at home as possible and trying to eat clean majority of the time.
FINANCE – Finance is a broad category intended to include all things related to each of our careers, personal finance, how we spend our money now, and how we plan for the future. I have always considered personal finance to be one gigantic bucket that includes minimizing expenses as well as increasing learning opportunities and earning potential.
I hope this short description of each of my principles has given you enough inspiration to begin thinking about your own. The key is to design the life you want to live; a deliberate life that has meaning and purpose, instead of the constant feeling that you are reacting to life’s changes. LIVE DELIBERATELY is a mindset that we will continue to cultivate in this community as we go. That is what I want to do for you to encourage you to live the greatest life that you can for God, for your family and for yourself. This movement will be about helping you find your passion and fulfill a greater purpose for your life. These are just the individual elements that I used to determine which areas of my life I want to be awesome.
These will also be the basis around most of the topics here. We will discuss different topics related to how to be a better Christian, father, husband, employee, DIY’er, etc.
What we need most is input from others that want to be better and help others be better. To continue to walk with us on this journey, and to become part of an awesome community of people solving life together, join our FREE Facebook group at The Frat House and be watching for more updates and posts to the website.
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