So if you're like most, you're already a day behind in setting your goals for the new year.

Make them measurable, make them concise, make them realistic, the internet is full of ways to make them happen for you this year, unlike last year and the year before that.

I'm not sure where you are in your "resolutions," but here is what I center my life around and maybe it will help you in your 2015.

First off you need to know that I follow Jesus and therefore, these three areas for me reflect what I believe he wants for me. BUT before you click back to google and start reading another resolutions post, let me say that they can and will have a positive impact on your life even if you don't follow Jesus.

So, let's get to Numero Uno:

Truth... Dedicate a portion of your time to learning. For me the truth is found in the Bible and I have already started my reading plans for 2015 using bible.com. This is the web version of the youversion app for your phone or ipad. They have many reading plans available to choose from.

If you're not a follower of Jesus, make your list of reading material for the year and get after it. Commit to investing in your own knowledge and your own learning. I have a list of reading from all different genres. Need some guidance... my favorite leadership book was FOCUS by Goleman and my two favorite novels were The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Prayer of Owen Meany by John Irving.

And one more tip on reading is check out the "Overdrive" app. It is connected to many local libraries and you can check out many books to read on your mobile device or even audio books for free.

So Truth is number one and the Number Two area is:

Community... Find a group of people to surround yourself with. For me this is a church group, but also a smaller group of guys who hold me accountable to the these three areas of my life. This particular area is so important to me that I drove four hours to spend some face time with one of the guys that keeps me in check. He shoots straight and accepts my shortcomings.

Some thoughts when looking at who you might want to spend time with... look for people who will help you be a better version of yourself. You will become like those you surround yourself with, so choose carefully. Are the people you are with encouraging you to be better, to work smarter and achieve more or are they encouraging you to make stupid choices?

Second find people who are honest about life and who will speak grace into yours when you mess up. You want people that are true not facebook true... not everything is rainbows and unicorns, but that you can truly share your life with.

And the last one... Number Three:

Give... whether it's at work or somewhere in your city. Take time to invest in others. Specifically those that can't repay you. Where you might say or what? Those will have to be decided by you, but let me be honest if you will slow down every now and then and just listen, you will see and hear needs all around you. Surprise your office, your bosses, the cleaning staff, the parking attendant with cookies or coffee. Unannounced and unexpected. Let them know you are paying attention to what they are doing. Maybe you're on the bottom rung at your office. All the better. Be the example.

In your neighborhood... take cookies to your neighbors. On trash day when (if it's like ours) garbage man makes a mess, clean it up. Especially if it's in front of your neighbors house. It's still your neighborhood. Make extra dinner and share it with your neighbors. Invite them over.  Use whatever skill you have and help someone in town with it. The point is get out and serve someone with no expectation of getting something in return.

You'll make a difference and you'll feel better for doing so.

There you go. Those are my big three for this year. Do you have any suggestions? Book suggestions? Ways to serve? Do you have any stories? How about your goals for 2015? Share below.
 
 
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This morning I had the opportunity to take my son to a nearby park. The church that we are a part of has spent the past three years visiting this area. Next door to the park is a low-income housing complex. About 500 people live in this place and we have invested time, money and energy here as a church.

When I found out that we would be begin having a sports day once each month and that there was a need for providing food after the camp, I knew that my son and I would be meeting that need.

You see, for the past month or so whenever we would grill something at home I would get my son out there to start the grill. I believe that every boy should know how to grill. How to light it, how to clean it, seasoning, when to flip a slab of meat, how to check if it’s done, etc, etc. It’s something that a young man needs to learn. An essential box for him to check off on his future man card. Of course being a young guy now, he doesn’t see the value in it, but someday he’ll appreciate the training he received.

That’s the first of the essentials to be passed on from dad to son. Mastering the Grill.

Second and honestly the main reason for this post is this: Every dad should pass on the importance of serving others to his son. In our part of the world we receive endless self serving messages. Get what you deserve. Look out for number one. Meet your own needs first. I don’t buy it. And I don’t want my son to buy into it either. SO, I look for ways that my son can turn off his iPad, step out of his comfortable life for a while and meet the needs of others.

I honestly have a hard time coming up with anything else that is more important than the habit of serving. I want my son to grow up with a giving, serving, generous heart that looks to the needs of others over his own needs. I do my best to model that for him and I look for opportunities where he can serve. If we can do it together, even better.

I would encourage you, dads, to look for a way to serve this weekend. Take your boy along with you.

Doors of conversation that cannot happen any other way will open up before you. Questions will be asked... some you may not have the answers to.

Why does a person act that way? Why didn’t they say thank you? Why do we have to do this? It’s hot, I want to go home, can we leave yet? WHY DID WE HAVE TO DO THIS? Why this? Why that? How? When?

I’d also recommend not answering the questions too quickly... actually I’d recommend you go by Sonic, grab a cold drink and sit down across from your boy and let him talk and sort through his thoughts about why people act, say, do the things they do. Ask him why he thinks it’s important to serve? And then shut up and let him talk... suffer through the silence while he forms his thoughts through words.

Then talk about Minecraft, Halo, Pokemon. Trust that a lesson has been planted deep in his young impressionable heart. Keep your eyes open for the next place to serve with your boy.



Oh and by the way... this is important to do with your daughter as well.