Wanna Be A Better Dad and/or Person? Two Tips

by admin

In my journey towards being a better Dad and a better person, one battle I have fought is figuring out how to squeeze in time for personal development.  When I look hard at how I spend my day, I recognize that huge swaths of it are wasted, from a lack of self-discipline.  But then the question is, how do I become more self-disciplined, so I can achieve those two goals?

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Tip #1 – Habits: Break the Bad, Build the Good

Yeah, not these.

Yeah, not these.

The first step on that road is to break bad habits, time wasting habits, then build good habits.  There are some really interesting tools out there to do that but I’ll mention two – one that caught my eye but haven’t started using because I don’t have the cash to buy it, but I would if I did, and the other is what I am using right now.

The first is called Pavlok.  I haven’t used it.  It costs money, but the idea behind it I am convinced would absolutely help me to attain the goals I have for breaking bad habits and cultivating good ones.  I learned about it through a podcast on the Art of Manliness, and I am convinced it will work.  I love the science behind it.  Check it out.

Silly, but motivating!

Silly, but motivating!

The second, which I actually use, is called HabitRPG.  It is a smartphone app and/or desktop app, that is free to use.  Basically, it allows you to make to-do lists and “dailies” that when you complete them, it earns experience and gold for a “character” who then “levels up” and earns better equipment.  There are even quests you can go on and parties you can join, much like an RPG, online or otherwise.  I know, it’s silly and juvenile, and even my kids want to sign up, but hey.  I am a geek and I am raising geeks.  Deal with it.  I find it really incentivizes me to do the things I want to do every day.  I actually feel like I am making progress, and I can reward myself.  I have rewards set up where I can earn a movie, or a smoothie as a reward for doing what I want to be doing every day.

Using these types of things I feel like I am making progress on a number of good habits and things I need to be doing every day in my life.  But I never would have found them and made the progress I have if I had not made the decision to seize some time every day that I previously thought was unusable: drive time.

Tip #2: Podcasts

Yes, really.

Yes, really.

So my second tip for you is to get into podcasts.  When I started subscribing to and listening to podcasts while at the gym and in the car driving around, shuttling my kids, doing errands, etc., all of a sudden I felt hugely inspired and encouraged.  I was doing what I love to do: learn and self-improve.

I’ll be honest: podcasts started out for me as a way to learn about stuff I found interesting.  I have an insatiable desire for information, so it started with a podcast called “66/40“, which I’d describe as focused on the science of religion.  The speaker, Chuck Missler, has never been a pastor, but has worked in many fields of science and politics and teaches about Christian subjects with a depth of knowledge and expertise in the field of science and physics that has really built my faith.  Then I discovered a podcast called “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” and had my mind blown by fantastic history lessons that treated me to a depth of information I had never been aware of.  If History was taught like this in high school, everyone would love it.

But once I got into the routine of listening to podcasts, I have since jumped into all kinds of personal development series.  It is in these that I find myself regularly challenged and inspired to make changes and become better as a man, as a Jesus-follower, as a husband and as a father.  Some of my current favourites are “The 5am Miracle“, “The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast“, “The Art of Manliness“, and “Reasonable Faith“.  I still need some straight up information feeds, and for that I tune into Dan Carlin’s “Common Sense” which is much more frequent than his history, though it will take you some time to catch up, the back catalog of his history stuff is engrossing to say the least.  The other one is “Let My People Think” with Ravi Zacharias.  He is a challenging, deep-thinking man.

I highly encourage you to get into podcasts, and play them whenever you are out and about.  Things will stick with you, and you will find that if that’s the only change you make, it will spill over and help you make even more positive change in many areas.

BTW, I am also looking for recommendations on other podcasts to listen to.  I don’t have good go-to’s specifically on marriage and on parenting, so if you know one or two I should check out please leave me a comment!

2 Responses to “Wanna Be A Better Dad and/or Person? Two Tips”

  1. Jeff Sanders says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying The 5 AM Miracle!

    • admin says:

      Definitely am! Guess what? I have been up at 5am for two days straight – on purpose! It’s a miracle!

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