It’s January. Some are making new year’s resolutions and some have already broken them. Some are finding success with their resolutions and some didn’t make any.
I’m not really a New Year’s resolution kinda guy. Sure, it’s a point in time to ‘reset’ the clock so to speak, and set new goals – I have a few goals, perhaps we’ll get to those later, but I don’t see why a specific date in the year should signal a time to decide to do something differently. If y’all want to do something differently – do it, whether it’s Jan 1st or April 3rd.
A while ago I was struggling w/the balance of it all – family / work / running / whatever else there is to balance. Some days I’d sleep late and struggle to run and be frustrated if I missed a run. Some nights I was a bit short with the girls so I could get up early and run. Sometimes a work commitment made home life and/or running difficult.
As a result, as I was trying to fall asleep one night I asked myself -> Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
To share breakfast with my girls? Sure.
To go to work? Sure.
To run? Sure.
Coffee? Ummm, obviously.
No, really – why? What drives these actions and which one should take priority?
I gave it some thought, and I came up with the 5 reasons I get out of bed in the morning. These reasons have become the five ‘rules,’ so to speak, that I live my life by. Not only are they my rules, but they’re the priority of how I mange my time / life.
Why do I share these? No, I’m not a shrink …
Running, especially running long distances, is hard to balance in one’s life – especially with a young family at home. It’s incredibly selfish. Perhaps you’ve experienced these same thoughts / struggles and a similar exercise might benefit you.
So here they are – the 5 rules TJ lives life by.
- Do the best I can for my family each day. I adore my girls. My wife / daughters mean the world to me and I want to do the best I can for them every single day. ‘Family first’ has always been a mantra of mine, but I used to let things – like running – or work – get in the way of this. I’d try to rush through the bedtime routine with my daughters so I could get to bed for an early run. Or I’d ignore my wife in the evening as I stretched or slept or worked. Does that mean I don’t ever work now because I want to spend time with my family? No – it just means I make a more deliberate effort to do the best I can for them, and with them, when I get the opportunity. No more rushing through bedtime routine, I cozy up with my wife on the couch more in the evenings. I make a point to return from my weekend long runs early enough to be there when the kids are up so I can make them breakfast and let my wife enjoy sleeping in.
- Do the best I can for myself each day. This really has two parts – whatever I’m doing, I want to do it the best I can. Be it work, or running, or playing a board game. If I’m not doing my best, what’s the point? Secondly, it means after doing the best I can do for my family, I’m doing stuff for me. Perhaps it makes be a bit selfish, but hey – you only live once.
- Have fun / Relax. I try my best to make things fun. Life should be fun. Life should be silly. If there’s one thing I want my daughters to learn its that it’s ok to be silly and have fun. But with that being said, I am also not a very patient dude, and I have a bit of a temper, so I remind myself to relax and enjoy the ride.
- Be good to people. I think people deserve a fair shot. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, in my opinion, to be listened to and respected, unless of course they do something to lose that respect. This doesn’t mean I always have to be nice to people or even like everyone. It just means I am fair and honest with them.
- Do cool shit. Life is short and we only get one shot. I want to squeeze as much out of it as possible – be it travel, camping, running, fishing, whatever – and share that with my family.
There – you didn’t see running until rule #5! Gasp!
That doesn’t mean that running isn’t a priority. Or that I don’t spend many, many, many hours running. It just helps me remember that running isn’t the priority.
I try to remind myself of these rules each night as I lay in bed – thinking about how I did, or didn’t, live up to each of these for the day. Yes, just because they’re my rules that doesn’t mean I always follow them perfectly. I find this nightly exercise relaxing; it helps me sleep and it mentally sets the table for the next day.
So there you have it, in the absence of any live changing resolutions for 2016 – my 5 rules for life.
Do you have any life rules that you follow?