A Fresh Look at Goals: for Parents, Kids & the Family (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about methods that help us define and develop goals.

Once you’ve clarified what they are, the next step is breaking each goal into down into manageable steps, so we can set out with a plan on how to accomplish them. This plan may need frequent adjusting. This is not only OK, but a healthy part of the process.

As we move along and things clarify, we sometimes find that part of a plan simply does not work. This is NOT to be considered failure, it is a mini-success because with the adjustment in our plan we align ourselves more closely with the end goal.

Ultimately, if we take steps on a daily basis (no matter how small) we can attain our goals. It’s important to remember that we may not reach our goals on the intended date. Some things are out of our control. And if you’re a parent, lack of time and energy are real obstacles that may hinder rapid accomplishment. Fear not, it’s still possible, as long as you become crystal clear about what you want and how you’re going to get it.

The good news is that if we do this ourselves, we wind up teaching our kids how to do it, too. It’s a winning situation for everybody.

Here’s snapshot of what my mentor, Zig Ziglar, says about the goals process. His fantastic book, See You At The Top, goes into great detail about this subject (see a full list of recommendations at the end of this article).

1)     Identify EXACTLY what I desire
2)     Spell out exactly why I’d like to reach these goals
3)     List the obstacles I need to overcome in order to get there
4)     Identify the people, groups and organizations I need to work with to get there
5)     Identify what I need to know (learn) in order to reach these goals
6)     Develop a plan of action
7)     Set a date on it. When do I expect to get there?

One additional thought. If this all seems overwhelming, that’s normal. You can’t possibly answer all of these questions all at once. If you’re just starting the process, you may not be able to answer any. But if you allow yourself to believe that you can do this, you will. If you believe that you can’t, you won’t. In other words, your perception will create your reality.

SPEAKING OF KIDS
It’s never too soon to help our kids learn to set their own goals. By this I do not mean us setting goals for them, that’s different (and also necessary).

For instance, my son Max is in kindergarten. I shouldn’t expect him to be able to answer the following: “So, what are your plans to get to college?”

But I can help him set some goals for the coming school year. Any extra-curricular activities he might want to partake in (ie: swimming or track and field…) I also like to discuss future goals with both him – from career to family plans. I do this with my 3-year old, too. It helps my boys develop their frontal lobe, which is so important in decision making and problem solving.

There are too many young adults that have not idea how to set a goal, or what to do with their lives.

OUR GOALS
I’d like to take a deeper look at the kindergarten to college analogy. ANYBODY who tried to look at this scenario as a point A to point B endeavor would be completely overwhelmed. Here’s a way it can be broken down:

Kindergarten (where I’m at) to College (the goal)
the step-by-step approach to accomplishing my goal:

– Section it off by grammar school, middle school, high school and college.
– Now break it down by grade (year): kindergarten, grade 1, etc.
– By semester
– By month
– By week
– By day
– By class

You get the idea. Each step leads us to the ultimate goal, but it’s much easier to build upon if you start from the “by class” goal. Now it’s manageable – a small enough bite that you can actually chew on it, instead of choke on it.

FAMILY GOALS
Family goals could be anything from spending more time together, taking a family vacation, helping each other get in shape, fixing up the house, etc…

Sometimes an individual’s goal becomes a family goal. For instance, my son Max wants to be a NASCAR driver.

This is his goal. But since he’s only 5, it’s my job (and my wife’s job) to help him attain it – making it a family goal.

My first step is bringing him to a kart race to gauge his interest level. Once he sees exactly what kids’ kart racing entails (this actually exists for kids his age), what does he think?

My responsibility is to help both boys set goals that are realistic and attainable (but not necessarily easy). I can’t expect Max to drive a full-sized car right now, but there are karts he can drive, or he can play a driving game on the Playstation, etc…

If we make goal setting a way of life for ourselves and our kids, we can all expect more fulfilling and less frustrating lives.

Is it easy? NO.

Have I accomplished everything? Hardly.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

It’s a long road, but the sooner we get on the better off we’ll be.

And remember, you are not alone…

For further reading & listening:

Zig Ziglar
– See You at The Top (Highly reccomended book)
– Goals (audio CD’s)

Jack Canfield
The Success Principles
(also available on audio CD)

Brian Tracy

The Modern Day Dad Award Goes to David Goldman

This is the first Modern Day Dad Award presented by Daddy Brain.

I was inspired to create this post when I heard the heart-wrenching story of David Goldman, a dad who had been denied seeing his son for over 4 years. It is an unusual story, one which I fear is more common than we might think.

David’s strength, dedication and refusal to give up under extremely difficult circumstances exemplifies what it means to be a modern day dad. 

Before you read the article, I’d like to ask a question. What would you do if your wife took your 4-year old son on vacation to her homeland and never came back?

The following is a reprinting (in its entirety) of the Today Show’s online article about David’s crusade…

After bitter 4-year fight, he finally sees his son again

Dad has ‘beautiful’ reunion with boy whose mother abducted him to Brazil

By Mike Celizic, TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 9:41 a.m. CT, Tues., Feb. 10, 2009

Choking back tears that had been building up for more than four and a half years, a New Jersey father tried to describe the emotions he felt at finally being able to hold and hug his son and tell the boy how much he loved him.

“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since his birth. It was incredible. Amazing. I got to see my son,” David Goldman told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Tuesday by phone from Brazil.

The previous day, accompanied by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Goldman had finally reached the end of a nightmare that began in June 2004 when his wife, Bruna, left with their son, Sean, for a two-week trip to visit family in her native Brazil. She never came back.

In all the years since, Goldman had traveled to Brazil numerous times hoping to see his son, but all the contact he was allowed to have consisted of a few brief phone calls.

International dispute
A New Jersey court ruled that Bruna had to return Sean to New Jersey for a custody hearing. But despite international law and treaties between the United States and Brazil that upheld the court ruling, Bruna refused to either return or to give up custody of the boy. Instead, she divorced Goldman in a legal proceeding that violated international law, and married an influential Brazilian attorney.

Then, last August, Bruna died while giving birth to a child by her new husband. After her death, that husband petitioned a Brazilian court to take Goldman’s name off his own son’s birth certificate.

Although the system seemed stacked against him, Goldman never gave up. Finally, with the help of Smith, the New Jersey congressman who accompanied Goldman to Brazil, father and son were reunited for a visit on Monday.

“After all this time I got to see him, walk over to him and hug him and tell him how much I love him and how much I miss him and how joyful it was to be with him,” Goldman said.

‘It was beautiful’
He had no idea if Sean would really remember him and how he would greet him, Goldman said.

“I was expecting the worst. And when our arms locked, it wasn’t that way at all. It was beautiful,” he told Vieira, fighting back tears the entire time he spoke.

Sean asked his dad why it took so long to visit him. “That was very painful,” Goldman said. “I saw the anguish on his face.”

What to tell the boy? Goldman was understandably reluctant to tell Sean how his mother first left him and then refused to let him see Sean.

“I didn’t want to hurt him by telling him the absolute truth, so I just said that the courts were making things very difficult,” Goldman said. “I said, ‘Sean, I’ve been here many, many times to try to be with you. The last time I was here I stayed for 10 days and I couldn’t be with you.’ ”

Smith told The Associated Press that Goldman shot baskets and went swimming with Sean during Monday’s visit. Goldman was scheduled to see his son again on Tuesday.

Vieira asked what plans he had for today’s visit.

‘It’s going to happen’

In a later interview with TODAY correspondent Amy Robach, NBC senior legal analyst Susan Filan said that Goldman should eventually regain custody of his son, whose room in Goldman’s Tinton Falls, N.J., home remains as it was the day he left for Brazil with his mother more than four years ago. Filan said that international law and treaties between the United States and Brazil are unequivocal in affirming Goldman’s parental rights.

“You can’t take a kid from one country and hide him another country and say it’s OK,” Filan said. “There’s no question this case should have been decided in a New Jersey court.”

TODAY
In happier times: David Goldman with his son, Sean, and his late wife Bruna.

Filan said she’s looked at the facts from every angle and can conceive of no legal justification or explanation for how the Brazilian courts have acted. According to every law, she said, the man who married Goldman’s wife “has no legal rights to this child whatsoever.” 

She added that the change of administrations in Washington and the personal involvement of Rep. Smith have clearly helped Goldman press his case. Public attention given the case should embarrass the Brazilian government into bowing to the dictates of the law, she said.

“Once one government accuses another government of being in violation of a treaty, it’s embarrassing,” she said.

Filan cautioned that it may still take time for Sean to finally come home to live with his father.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as quick as everybody wants, but I think ultimately it’s going to happen,” she said.

Links to The Today Show’s videos:
Today Video Interview #1
Today Video Interview #2

Stories like this that remind me how lucky I am. I am so grateful for my family.

And remember, you are not alone…

Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of October

Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of October 2008

 

Welcome to what is supposed to be this month’s installment of Tops in Pops. Unfortunately, at least for the immediate future, Tops in Pops is on hold.

Frankly, I have not been receiving enough nominations to sustain the series, and I have not had the time to seek out great posts myself.

Thanks to all involved over the past few months. Although I’m disappointed that the series did not take off, I am grateful for the wonderful submissions I did receive. I’m also grateful for the dad’s I’ve met because of Tops in Pops. 

Who knows, maybe one day it will be back.

And remember, you are not alone…

Tops in Pops: Nominate the Best Daddy Blog Posts of the Month

It’s not too late to nominatie for this month’s Tops in Pops. Choose yourself or someone else either way, you have until midnight, November 2nd to submit. So what are you waiting for? Click on the link below & vote!

What is Tops in Pops?

Have you read an awesome post on a daddy blog lately? Have you written one? Well, here’s your chance to shine (or help a fellow daddy blogger shine) by submitting a post you feel is “Tops in Pops,” for the month of October.

Every first Monday of the month, the previous month’s picks will be posted.

You have until November 2nd to submit a nomination. Just go to the Tops in Pops Submission Form at Blog Carnival. Fill in a few lines of information, and you’re done!

Looking forward to seeing everybody’s favorites.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of June 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of July 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of August 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Bog Posts of September 2008


Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of September

Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of September 2008

Welcome to Tops in Pops. This month’s best-of list is shorter than usual. Between receiving less nominations & not having time to seek out great posts, there are only a handful. The good news is that these posts are fantastic!

Every month, this ongoing blog carnival spotlights extraordinary dads — finding out what’s on their minds, and in their hearts. I hope you enjoy this month’s selection, and I look forward to your comments.

And now, the best of September…

EDITOR’S PICK:
babbo presents Transition – Five Songs that Make Me Think posted at Discovering Dad. This post features 5 songs that will make any dad reflect on life…
   

tom presents Go Kings! posted at D is for Dad, saying, “Excellent story about a divorced dad’s hopes finally coming to reality.”   

babbo presents Failure Can Be a Good Thing posted at Clif’s Notes. Inspirational, motivational and shocking.

 

Reservoir Dad presents Dr Drowser and His Heavies posted at Reservoir Dad. This post starts off looking sarcastic and hard to believe. But Reservoir Dad soon eplains just how debilitating exhaustion can be.

That’s it for this month. If you’ve read an awesome daddy blog post, or written one yourself, here’s your chance to shine (or help a fellow daddy blogger shine) by submitting a post you feel is “Tops in Pops,” for next month’s blog carnival. As long as the nominated post is written by a daddy blogger, it’s accepted for consideration.

What are you waiting for? Submitting a nomination is easy. Just use this carnival submission form. It takes about 10 seconds, and your done!

And remember, you are not alone…

Previous Tops in Pops Installments:
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of June 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of July 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of August 2008

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Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of August

Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of August 2008

There is something very exciting about receiving entries for Tops in Pops. I have to be honest though, some of the entries have nothing to do with being a dad. Many of them aren’t even written by dads. But some of them are really special. It’s an honor to receive these, and help spread the word.

This month’s installment is short but sweet, with fantastic favorites for the month of August, 2008.

Every month, this ongoing blog carnival spotlights extraordinary dads — finding out what’s on their minds, and in their hearts. I hope you enjoy this month’s selection, and I look forward to your comments.

And now, the best of August…

EDITOR’S PICK:

Jeff Tincher presents Why Can’t I Relax? | Daddy`s Toolbox posted at Daddys Toolbox. A candid look at stress, and how difficult it is to let go of. The author also shares the major cause of why he can’t relax around his kids: the loss of his sister, Jennifer, when he was a boy. 

babbo presents Dad Gets a New Title posted at DadTalk. Brett explores the ongoing challenge of trying to balance being a parent and a WAHD. Yes, I said WAHD. Read his post for the definition that’s less gross than this acronym sounds.

Reservoir Dad presents Northern Dads Group Guest Blogger #1 – Jack posted at Reservoir Dad, saying, “This is a post from one of the Dad’s at my local Dad’s group.” The post revolves around what the local dad’s group talks about when they get together. Although dads from older generations might think raising kids is “piss easy,” most of us modern day dads need to get together once and a while to discuss stuff.

Reservoir Dad presents No Point Crying Over Spilt Weetbix (with an intro to Dr Drowser) posted at Reservoir Dad. Just for the record, I usually only allow one submission per daddy blogger. But since Reservoir Dad’s other post is by a guest blogger, I’m making an exception. Plus, this is a great post! It is a realistic look at a (difficult) day in the life of a real dad.

Jeremy Neal presents What Kind of Dad Did You Have? posted at Discovering Dad. Written by guest blogger Matt Pfingsten, who shares that his dad went from great to awful rather quickly. “It was as if someone flipped a switch in his head that instantly transformed him…”

babbo presents, An Interview with Mark Brady, Ph.D: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Mark’s insight on how the brain of a child is physically damaged by emotional abuse, yelling and hitting is amazing. We also discuss parental exhaustion/stress and how to help our kids develop “secure attachment.”

That’s it for this month. If you’ve read an awesome daddy blog post, or written one yourself, here’s your chance to shine (or help a fellow daddy blogger shine) by submitting a post you feel is “Tops in Pops,” for next month’s blog carnival. As long as the nominated post is written by a daddy blogger, it’s accepted for consideration.

What are you waiting for? Submitting a nomination is easy. Just use this carnival submission form. It takes about 10 seconds, and your done!

And remember, you are not alone…

Previous Tops in Pops Installments:
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of June 2008
Tops in Pops: The Best Daddy Blog Posts of July 2008

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Have You Checked Out the Manival Yet?

This blog carnival is a fantastic journey into the minds of men. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s your chance to catch up.

Created by The Art of Manliness, it brings together some of the finest, most diverse blog posts I have ever seen. I hope you enjoy them…

Manival #9 @ Night Writer

Manival #8 @ Spark Plugging

Manival #7 @ Simple Marriage

Manival #6 @ Building Camelot

Manival # 5 @ The Care & Feeding of Man

Manival # 4 @ The Art of Manliness

Manival # 3 @ Shaefer’s Blog

Manival # 2 @ A Good Husband

Manival # 1 @ The Art on Manliness

And remember, you are not alone…