Respect your parents. What they tell you is true. Hard work, dedication, and faith will get you anything. Imagination will drive itself. You can get anything you want, but you have to have faith behind all your ideas. Stick to your goals and have an undying faith.

– Russell Simmons


Setting goals has been bubbling at the front of my skull all week long…

During the last quarter of 2016, there was an overwhelming feeling that stayed with me, causing me to repeat out loud, “2017 is the Year of the Buckley Family.”

I said several times a week, whenever one of my clan felt down or overwhelmed, or when I doubted my efforts would matter in building others up around me.

All I’ve focused on for years has been to pay my bills, on time, without stress.

That last bit is the key to my desires.

But something kept whispering to me, “2017 will be your year to accomplish just that.”

Not a lot to ask for, hope for or strive to accomplish, right?

Yet here we are in the middle of 2017 and I feel further behind than I did in 2016.

The trials and challenges from day to day, trying to survive as a family of 13 under pretty serious circumstances, while pushing forward—is challenging.

It puts a strain on your relationships and your relationships affect your mindset.

They affect the spin of your world and more.

But 2017 revealed the second largest issue in my life—though my family would argue it’s the first:

My health.

I used to be fit.

Truth be told, I was physically obsessed with honing fighting skills.

It has a lot to do with growing up and challenges to keep myself safe.

That drive naturally caused me to exercise.

Weights, grappling, tens of thousands of punches and kicks each week.

Yet when my mother died suddenly in a car accident in 2004, my emotional world dropped out from under me.

I gave up on certain aspects of my life and turned to food for comfort.

Short version: I got fat. Really fat. Kids call it fluffy, Kathi calls it ‘stout’ (bless her heart), but I know what it is.

At 240lbs, I was at my fighting optimum weight.

Lifting weights and at 5’ 9” tall, I felt like a tank.

Now at 363lbs, I feel more like an Orca Whale.

Still one of the faster and more flexible fat people you’ll meet—but I have no clue how to get this blubber off me.

Honestly—I’m getting so damn mad because it seems to be an impossible task.

So I spend a good deal of time ill, with both back and chest pains as a regular rotation during the week.

When we had my little girls birthday party at the community pool, I left work and spent 6.5 hours swimming with the kids.

SWIMMING…not lifting weights, not running, and yes, I do realize it’s a full body workout, but you know what happened?

I was in bed for 2 days.

In pain. No energy. Waking up 6-7 times a night in agony.

I bring this up because I awoke in a rather cool mood this morning.

Gratefully my little Simon walked up to me with a huge smile and said boldly, “I love you, dad,” and that building misery just fell from my shoulders.

Very aware of my duties and limited energy to accomplish my daily work, reality hit me.

I want to turn my life around.

In a physical way—not just in dollars and cents.

Do you ever feel that way?

Like you have so much potential, so much hope, desire and dreams waiting patiently on a shelf, waiting to be fulfilled?

Sucks, huh.

So why not do something about it?

I’m looking for a life change.

Right now, I don’t over eat—in fact, I eat very healthily when I eat at all.

My stress level is always near peak and I work to exhaustion each day—with regular 12-15 hour days, six days a week.

Yet I rarely exercise.

Funny thing is, I teach my children is that there are only two major events in life, no matter how you categorize it:

You either act…or you are acted upon.

I stopped taking good care of my body (act), so I got fat (acted upon).

That being said, it’s high time I make better choices for myself, which will, in turn, affect my life and especially my family, in a positive way.

Heck—I’d like Kathi to have a good looking husband for a change (don’t tell her I said that).

So this is the shift.

Right here, right now.

(paused to do a set of squats and bent over rows with 25lb dumbbells to get heart rate up)


That’s what setting goals is about: Making changes to get you closer to your dreams.

The reality is, we’re the ones in the driver’s seat.

Sure, you have external conditions and circumstances, but we ARE ultimately in control of our choices, emotions and how we act to any given set of those circumstances.

Let’s take ownership then.

Both of the actions AND the end results.

Ooooh, feeling that burn in the shoulders, back, and thighs—forgot how much I missed that feeling.

I’m going to ponder some aspects of my goals and share them with you soon…because I feel a shift coming.

Something life-changing.

For now, I want to leave you with a smile….so here’s one of my new favorite songs, by Tim Hawkins.

You’re welcome.

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