Thoughts on Setting Goals

If you’re in any kind of leadership (even just leading yourself), you probably have done some reflecting or evaluating your past and looking ahead to plan what’s next.

Turning over a new year is always one of those times where people hope to make changes in their lives and commit to something that will make them a better person.

Here’s the deal, though… we want to be better people, but we always look at our actions and what we want to change about ourselves. We strive to run more, strive to eat better, strive to delegate more in business, strive to have better boundaries with work relationships, and many other things.

Those are all wonderful things. But the main question should be: who do I need to be in order to make my goals become a reality? This truth has hit me hard the past couple days.

Tim Ferriss has a podcast where he interviewed AJ Jacobs – a fellow self-experimenter alongside Tim Ferriss (here’s the podcast – it’s a long one), and asked, “what bad advice do you hear people giving around you.” Jacobs responds something like, “be yourself. What if you’re an a$$hole? That’s bad advice we don’t want that person to be themselves…” Ouch. What if that’s me?

If we’re honest with ourselves (it’s often hard to be, because let’s face it, we like ourselves), we all have weaknesses and need to grow. We don’t change our eating habits because we like sugar, and it tastes good (am I addicted to sugar?). We don’t exercise because we like to be comfortable, or because we think that our time needs to be spent working on something else rather than caring for ourselves. OK – I’m revealing my faults here…

The reality is that change is hard, and even those of us who like change, we mostly like it when our environments around us change – not when we have to change.

The next time you reflect on your past and look ahead to your future – look at your successes and your failures. Look ahead thinking about not only what you have to do, but who you have to be, in order to make those goals a reality.

Let’s embrace change in ourselves. I think the world will be a better place if we start there (cue song).


*Want a great resource for evaluating and looking ahead? This is what spawned this idea in me… Donald Miller’s podcast / blogpost and resource called “3 Reasons Why You Should Fire Yourself This Week.” It’s brilliant. 

Pope Benedict XVI – an appreciation

Pope Francis I was announced today as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church. Today I was reminded of my initial thoughts when Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was retiring from his duties as the 265th pope. In short… well done.

I was even more shocked to learn that the last pope to resign under his own initiative was Pope Celestine V in 1294. What?!?!?! There hasn’t been one pope in over 700 years that has said, “I’m getting too old to lead the church, I need to step aside and let someone else do this.”

I don’t know much about what the Pope does, nor do I keep tabs on what each of them are like as a person. I know that Pope Benedict XVI earned my respect as a man who was willing to lay aside over 700 years of tradition and let someone else take the reigns as the leader of the Catholic Church.

I hope I have enough humility to step aside and let someone else lead when I may not be the best man (or in the best place) to lead.

Discovering My Responsibilities

We quickly find that the older we get, the more responsibilities we have. Isn’t that true? More responsibilities come with going to school on your own, dating, moving away from your parents, getting married, buying a home, having kids, and the list goes on…

The hard thing for me is balancing those responsibilities, and correctly prioritizing them. Not only do I desire to do well in balancing the responsibilities in my life, I want to lead well in them.

The first step that we can take in order to balance and lead in our responsibilities is to simply recognize them. Here are some areas that I believe I’m doing fairly well in right now: Continue reading “Discovering My Responsibilities”

How to be a Great Coach

A few of the most memorable moments in my life have come from coaches, both positive and negative. My guess is that whether you have been involved in sports, music, dance, gymnastics, or whatever, you have most likely had both good and bad experiences with a coach.

What makes a great coach? There are many things, but some of the most indelible moments in my life as an athlete and musician have come from a coach that is speaking these things to me:

Continue reading “How to be a Great Coach”


I often drift off into my own world and it’s easy for me to stay there. I need to make a conscious effort to engage with the world around me. I’m willing to bet that most men need to engage more in at least one part of the world around them. Us men would be better boyfriends, better sons, better husbands, better fathers, and better friends if we engaged more with the world around us.

I could ask myself ‘how much is enough.’ I could make excuses for not engaging in the world around me. I need to engage more. Period.

Some quick advice: go toward people – toward those who are closest to you: your girlfriend/wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, friend… Then, ask questions. Get to know them. Get to know them better than you know them now. Don’t talk about yourself, just ask questions and listen.

Some more advice: start now. Don’t tell yourself you can’t change or that it’s too late. It’s not. Engage more with the world around you, especially those you love.

Tell us how it goes…

Wives, Mothers & Daughters.

Men take care of their wives, mothers, and daughters. Boys mistreat them. Men will confront boys when they mistreat wives, mothers, and daughters.

I took a closer step to being a man when I realized that all women are daughters. Your wife is someone’s daughter. Your girlfriend is someone’s daughter. Your friend is someone’s daughter.

The last thing that I want is one of my boys mistreating someone else’s daughter. The very last thing that I want is some boy mistreating my daughter.

Let’s help our boys treat women right, starting with our wives. I pray that if we help our boys rightly treat our wives, this will begin a lifetime of treating women how they deserve to be treated – like precious daughters.

Just remember, our sons will treat and defend women as we treat and defend them.

Be a man.

Let’s raise men.

Thanks to Dane Khy for the great photo above.

Don’t just take the easy route – have a plan.

Much of my life I have gone through the daily and weekly motions, mostly doing what people ask of me or doing what I believe is expected of me without much of a plan. If I’m honest, I didn’t have a plan concerning what college I attended, I went the easy route. I didn’t plan on what jobs I took during the summers, I just took what was given to me.

What about the girl you’re dating, or the classes you’re taking in college? Do you have a plan behind those? Is there a greater purpose that you have in dating that girl, or taking that class (sorry to equate those, ladies…)? You need a plan. That daughter and future mother needs to know you have a plan. You’ll thank yourself later if you have a plan. It’s OK if it’s altered later, just put some purpose behind what you’re doing now.

I have recently been challenged to think about having a life plan. Many people often ask the question, “what would you want to be known for after you die?” I want to plan for that. Right now I can determine how people remember me after I’m gone. I can begin being about those things I want to be known as before I pass on.

If you haven’t thought about a life plan, or don’t even know what one looks like, I would encourage you to read this post by Michael Hyatt. He’s a Christian, so it’s based around living as a Chrisitan would, but I would bet that anybody could get something out of his model.

Have you developed a life plan? What does it look like? Do you have any tips for us?

Thanks to popofatticus for the photo above.

Taking Risks.

Men need to take risks. I think our culture is starting to raise ultra-safe (boring?) men due to one major thing: women are raising them. Divorce rates are high, and mothers are usually the ones to take care of the children. Take for example a conversation my wife was a part of with a group of mothers (you’ll want to hear this)…

A young boy (maybe around 8 or 10) was pretty attached to his iguana, until it died. He didn’t want his parents to know that it died, so he froze it (naturally) and would take it out to hold it once a day or so, putting it back in the freezer when he was finished. One day, he told a couple of his friends about his frozen iguana. Desiring to be men, they wanted to do something brave. They wanted to eat the iguana. Yep, eat it. So what happened? They ate it. Epic. Continue reading “Taking Risks.”

Knowing Yourself.

I have not taken the time to get to know myself; what I’m good at, what makes me unique, and what I might have to offer this world until recently. I think that I am currently evading a quarter-life crisis because I’m taking the time to get to know myself.
I think men could avoid going through a mid-life crisis (or quarter-life, or whatever, like ageism Creed in the picture) if they were to take the time to get to know themselves. Here are a few resources that have helped me recently: Continue reading “Knowing Yourself.”


Would you trust yourself to drive across the bridge in the picture? What about your 15 year old son… would you trust him to drive across that bridge? Your son needs to know that you trust him. A man needs to know that people trust him.

My dad remembers very clearly how his dad gave him the keys to his first car when he was 15 or 16. As they pulled up to a bridge (similar to, but probably shorter than the one in the picture) in my grandpa’s truck, my grandpa parked the truck, got out, and asked my dad to drive across the bridge. “No way, I can’t do that,” he thought. He didn’t trust himself. My grandpa told him that he could do it, and that he trusted him. After my dad drove across the bridge, he was given the keys to that truck.

My dad wasn’t being asked to prove that he could do something in order to get the keys to his truck, even though that’s what it seemed like at the time. The bigger lesson was that his dad actually trusted him with the truck. I believe both my dad and my grandpa grew closer to being true men that day.

How much do you trust your co-workers, your employees, your family, and/or your children? Do they know that you trust them? How? I think we need to learn to trust others in order to help them grow into adults. Especially men.

Do you have any stories of someone putting their trust in you and having it change you for the better? Or maybe it was the opposite. Please share!

Thanks to for the photo above