Real New Year's Resolutions for Godly Men

Make one-on-one time with your children a priority in 2017.
Make one-on-one time with your children a priority in 2017. (Flickr )

Forty-five percent of Americans usually make New Year's resolutions. Of those who try to turn over that new leaf, only eight percent of them are successful.

Things like losing weight, getting organized and getting fit are in the top 10 resolutions many people make each new calendar year. In the 10th spot was the generic phrase, "spend more time with family."

How are losing weight and being more organized more of a priority than family time? That should be at the head of the list, shouldn't it?

It is a sincere and aware heart seeking self-improvement that makes a New Year's resolution real. The trouble is, resolutions are often broad and vague promises. In order to get real results, we need to break them down into more specific and measurable goals. That way, we can get a true sense of progress in the changes we are trying to make.

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Here are a few New Year's resolutions that will get you real results if your goal is to become a good father and husband:

1. Pledge one-on-one time with each child. Your kids love you and want to spend time with you. They need individual attention in addition to the family setting. Pledge to spend time alone with each child on a regular basis. This can be done by participating in a favorite sport or hobby together or by taking them out to do things they are interested in. You can even just hang at home away from gadgets and media. This will achieve the results of building a closer bond and will enhance your needed influence on their personal growth.

2. Pledge to listen to your family. Regarding family, a lot of men are "Just tell me what I need to know" type people. We don't like getting bogged down in all the particulars. That works well for time efficiency, but it leaves your family feeling misunderstood and ignored. If your goal is to spend more time with them, this is the first place to start: Listen to what both your wife and children need to say.

3. Once-a-month date night. Your spouse also needs your individual attention, and you certainly need hers. The chaos and busyness of family life can swallow adult relationship time until there's nothing left. This is a common cause of marital affairs. The more designated time the better, but at the minimum, pledge to have at least one date night per month with your wife.

4. Find people that challenge you. Men too often have a lone wolf mentality when it comes to asking for help or sharing their stresses. To significantly increase the odds of success with a resolution, we need to find others who will hold us accountable. In my own life, I often lean on my pastor for mentorship when it comes to family and marriage, and I have a core of men behind me whom I also trust. I know they will shoot straight with me.

Don't go it alone. Seek out those who've done what you're trying to do and ask for their help.

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