How to Build an Intentional Life as a Dad

How to Build an Intentional Life as a Dad

As a father, you have the impossible task of balancing all of the most important aspects of your life: family, work, personal wellness, and (hopefully) some semblance of a personal life.

I am the father of two boys, a husband, an entrepreneur, an activist for fatherhood. I run multiple businesses, coach the soccer team, and work from home just so I can juggle all of it without losing my mind.

This struggle is common among almost all ambitious fathers. I regret to inform you that there is no perfect equation for a “balanced” life as a High Value Dad.

I know what it’s like to feel pulled in every direction and no matter how hard you hustle, someone is getting the short end of the stick, whether it’s your wife, your kids, or your business.

So, is it a hopeless struggle? NO. However, the first step is making sure we actually know the order of our priorities so that we can intentionally build a life around them.

“You Are Not Stuck”

If you want to know what an unbalanced life looks like, you can ask Tyler Todt, a popular health & fitness influencer. While many know him today as one of the most positive forces on X (formerly Twitter), he was once trapped in a prison of his own making.

Like many men, Tyler was grinding through a high-stress corporate job at a bank. He and his beautiful wife had a baby girl. He was doing all the things he was “supposed” to be doing to provide.

But the further Tyler traveled down that path and climbed the corporate ladder, the more his job ate up his time. Whether intentionally or not, it had become became the focal point of life.

“I ended up missing a lot of early years of my daughter’s life,” he said.

Tyler’s wake-up call finally came on NFL Sunday.

His wife, Annie, had been asking him all day to play with their daughter. She missed her dad. Tyler had worked 6 full days that week. He was busy. He was tired. He didn’t have any time to “relax.”

“I was determined to be miserable, ate like crap, grumbled all day, and watched 11 hours of football,” he recalled.

When a man is off his path, with no purpose or alignment, he is incapable of being present. Joy and gratitude cannot coexist at the same time as resentment and self-pity.

“I hope tomorrow will be better,” Annie said.

“It won’t be,” Tyler shot back.

Annie paused. Then she looked her husband in the eye and said, “You aren’t stuck. I love you.”

As she walked out of the room, Tyler broke down in tears. It was that night he promised he would become a new man; a man on fire for his wife and children. If you want to know if he was successful, just look at his feed.

Building an intentional life

There is no “easy” path to greatness. I want to be clear and upfront about that.

If you want to be the greatest dad, the best husband, and achieve big goals in business simultaneously, it will require you to build a highly intentional life. It requires structure and extreme discipline (Read Jocko’s “Extreme Ownership”)

Here are a few steps that helped me to build the life I once thought was a far-fetched dream:

  1. Envision the life you want in vivid detail. What job/business do you have? How much time do you spend with your kids? What does your ideal marriage look like? Really get specific. Write it down. Read it every morning. Read it every night. If it looks nothing like your life right now, that’s OK. It’s time to get to work.
  2. Identify concrete actions you can take TODAY to begin walking toward to your dream life. It could be as simple as “start a side hustle”, “grow my social media following” or “find a better job.” For your kids, it could be “eat dinner at the table every night.” For your marriage, it might be “go on one date with my wife every week.” These actions are specific to what you want out of your life. It’s no one else’s job to build it for you.
  3. TAKE ACTION. This is the most important part. This is also here the vast majority of men will fail. If you do not take decisive action and convince your mind that your terms are non-negotiable, the odds are you will quickly fall into old patterns. It is human nature to go back to our habits when things get hard. The good news is, we can create new habits. It just takes time, reps, and consistency. Do not negotiate with your past self. You are a new man starting today.

I understand that everything written above is much easier said than done. It’s actually incredibly difficult. But I’ve done it; therefore I know it’s possible.

I wanted to be able to work from home so I didn’t spend 2 hours a day commuting or traveling out of town. I was missing nearly all of my newborn son’s life. So, I made plans to start a digital agency. I worked on it during my off-hours while my family was asleep.

I continued to build in silence, every single day, until I woke up and I was suddenly earning more than my entire six-figure salary at my W-2 job. The best day of my life was the day I got to tell my boss (who is still a mentor), “I quit.”

There were times I never thought it would work. I doubted myself. But I just kept putting in the work. I kept building. Once I achieved that goal, I had the time freedom I needed to achieve other goals.

Every single morning before work, I decided I wanted to play with my two sons for an hour. We called it “boy time.” It was a rule.

I bought myself one more hour every single day with my kids. That’s 7 hours a week. That’s 28 hours a month. That’s 14 days a year that I otherwise would have lost with them. I started “dating” my wife again on the weekends.

That is how you build an intentional life.

I want this for you. You deserve it. Your family deserves it.

Get to work.

God bless,

Jason Howerton
Founder, High Value Dad