I have played on four different teams over my NFL career: the Patriots, Browns, Saints, and the Ravens. There are always guys in the locker room who are fine just being in the NFL. There is no ambition for more. When I played for the Patriots in 2007, we were undefeated. After every win, Coach Bill Belichick would give us a stern warning. “Don’t let success make you complacent. We haven’t arrived.” He wanted us to know there is always room for improvement. It was a great reminder of the need to give our best efforts week in and week out.
Complacency has a way of working its way into our lives like a disease that keeps us from reaching our true potential. It causes us to lose focus and fail, even in fatherhood. Are you fine just being a dad or do you want to be the best dad for your kids? It takes focus and maximum effort every day to become better. Here are four tips for how to stay focused in fatherhood.
1. Set goals.Without goals, we are prone to wander aimlessly and arrive nowhere.
Without goals, we are prone to wander aimlessly and arrive nowhere. Setting goals gets us to plan a course and picture where we want to be. If you want to focus, you need something to focus on. Make sure the goal is achievable and measurable. In fatherhood, it could be always putting your phone away when you come home so you can spend time with your kids without distractions. You may set a goal of reading to your kids a certain number of times a week or making a list of things to do together each month. Whatever you want to be, set goals to get there and follow-through on them. Tell them to your kids. They are great at holding us accountable.
2. Track and budget your time.
Financial budgets are made to eliminate wasteful spending. We tend to waste a lot of time, particularly with the technology boom. If you have goals as a dad, you need to maximize your time to accomplish them. Schedule time to be with your kids. Every minute that passes while you’re doing something trivial is a missed opportunity to mold and shape our kids. Protect that time. Make the most of it.
3. Be consistent in your activity.
Follow through on your goals by outlining the activities that will get you there. There are days when we feel tired, frustrated, and discouraged. Don’t let those days take you out of the game. Practice the daily activities that will achieve your vision as a dad. Pray, play, and talk with your kids every day if you can. The people who are consistently active are the ones who realize goals.
4. Remember you haven’t arrived.
Don’t just be happy to be a dad, simply complacent to hold the title. Attack each day with purpose. Bring your “A” game. Every day, try to learn something new that will make you a better dad. Study other dads you admire and work on those qualities. There is always room for improvement. We will never reach perfection, but we can work toward it.
Sound off: On what would you like to place more of your focus as a dad?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What does it mean to be focused?”