Okay, Dad, it’s time to put away the Christmas sweaters and get ready for the start of the year. Your wife may be talking about starting a new diet as a family, and your employer may want to you to turn in what your objectives are for the first quarter. But we would suggest setting some Dad goals to start your year off in the right direction.

What is a Dad goal?

A Dad goal is something that you are doing for the benefit of your children/family, but you will benefit from as well. Here are some examples:

Project Saturday: When did changing a tire become an outdated art form? My youngest son had a stretch of having to change a tire three times in one week thanks to local construction. Invest 15 minutes on a Saturday showing your son or daughter how to change a tire on their car. AAA is great until they aren’t there to replace that tire.

Weekly Board Game: Don’t just save board games for power outages and camping trips. Turn off the TV and break out Monopoly or if you don’t want any permanent scarring….The Game of Life.

Lunch or Coffee: Get together on a regular basis to have lunch or coffee with each other. Take turns picking the place and sometimes, try someplace new for everyone.

Go Tourist: Think you know your hometown? Pick one next to it and do the best thing there. Many Museums offer a FREE visit for specific bank cards or one weekend out of the month. Find something new to do as a family and start to build memories.

Camping: Whether you are the “strike flint to make fire” type or the “have to run an extension cord to the tent in the backyard for the fans” type, go get some fresh air. Roast hot dogs, make Smores or just sleep on hard ground like you enjoy it.

Your children need a father figure in their lives for all kinds of reasons. Even when it doesn’t seem like they want you around, they desperately do. They need your wisdom, advice, support, and company. My sons and I spend time learning what each of us are into so we take turns doing things each of us enjoy. My oldest son is not into sports but is into geek culture. So, we recently went a nearby Comic-Con and got our nerd on. We spent time talking to artists and the work they do, people watching and got a chance to listen to a couple of Marvel and DC artists talk about the process of creativity. On the flip side, he puts on his New Orleans Saints – Drew Breese jersey and watches a football game with me.

I take an interest in the things he likes because I want him to know that what he finds important is important to me. The bottom line is, spend time together interacting with each other because the days of having your children at home are short lived. They get older, start dating, attend college or life begins a new phase. Invest time with them now so they will invest time with you later. You get out what you put in.

Question: When was the last time you did something with your children that only they were interested in? How do you invest time with your children?

Challenge: I challenge you to start a list of things you know your children are into. Then take them out for lunch, coffee or ice cream and find out what you don’t know. If your children are very young (toddlers), get ready to build the best lego fort you’ve ever seen.

Matthew 7:11: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

About the author: Tj is the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.

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