In this episode, we go through some tips to start the new year, focusing on what matters most: making 2023 your best year ever. Studies show that over 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned two weeks into the new year. To solve this issue, we developed a simple yet powerful technique to create a measurable and achievable action plan to stick to and crush your goals.
Rob Shallenberger: Welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. My name is Rob Shallenberger. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for tuning in and listening to this. And you know, as we go into the new year, isn’t it true that this is a time of introspection, where we’re really looking inside of ourselves and asking, “Wait, what matters most? What does this year going to look like?” And a lot of people set New Year’s resolutions this time of year, yet 85% of those are broken two weeks into the year. So there’s this temporary spike in excitement and motivation, but it seems to fizzle out pretty fast. So what we’re going to focus on during this podcast is how do we make this our best year ever? And one answer to that question is to focus on and do what matters most. Now, some of this you may be familiar with, some of this may be brand new, my hope is that by listening to this for the next 20 or 30 minutes, this can be a powerful and introspective experience for us as we really refocus and re-cage ourselves on what is most important in our lives and how to make this our best year ever. Now, if I had to have a theme for this podcast outside of Do What Matters Most, it would be this statement: “Where our focus goes, our energy flows.” Like I mentioned, this podcast is all about identifying what matters most and what are the focus areas both personally and professionally. And it’s amazing how true that thing is because once we start focusing on something, once we start manifesting something, it tends to become a reality, either from the positive or the negative. Now, like I mentioned, I realize that some of you might be familiar with Do What Matters Most — either you read the book, you’ve attended a workshop, maybe you’ve watched the self-paced course. The bottom line is I know that some of you are familiar with Do What Matters Most. For others, this might be totally new. So whether you’re a seasoned Do What Matters Most individual or whether this is totally new, my hope is that for the next few minutes together, this is going to get us off on the right foot to set us up for having one of our best years ever.
Now, as you listen to this, I’d also invite you to think about someone you could share this podcast with. In other words, after we go through these ideas, these habits, who else do you feel would benefit from this in your sphere of influence? Now, a couple of things before we start here. If you haven’t already done it, two things that I highly encourage: Number one, read or listen to Do What Matters Most. If it’s been more than a year, then I encourage you to go back and read or listen to it again, especially the pre-week planning chapters. It’s all about pre-week planning. And to that point, the second thing, if you don’t have a physical planner or a digital planner that we use on Chrome or Outlook, I encourage you to get that at DoWhatMattersMostPlanner.com. I’m going to reference it several times in this podcast. It’s a powerful tool. And from my experience, if you’re going to do something, you need to have the right tools to do it. A plumber doesn’t try to do plumbing without the right tools. A carpenter doesn’t try to do carpentry without the right tools. Likewise, if we’re going to focus on what matters most and remembering that phrase “where our focus goes, our energy flows,” then we need to have the right tools. So at DoWhatMattersMostPlanner.com, you can either get a planner for this year or download the digital planner for Chrome or Outlook and be using that right now. Either one, it becomes a one-stop shop for your vision, annual goals, and pre-week planning. So, with that being said, let’s jump into this.
In our research, we found that 68% of people felt like prioritizing their time was their number one challenge. Now, that research was done back in 2018-2019, my guess is that number is only gone up since then. And what was also interesting is that 80% of those same people did not have a process to prioritize what matters most in their lives; their method of time management usually included—at least according to our research—things like sticky notes and to-do lists, which by nature are very reactive. So it’s common for people to experience burnout and have work-life balance issues where you’re trying to juggle all those balls and keep them in the air. It’s common for people to feel task saturated. How do we stay on top of it all? Well, the answer to that is in this podcast. And what we’re going to focus on is what we call the big three. And these are the big three Do What Matters Most habits that I mentioned some of you might be familiar with, and for others, this might be totally new. If you’re familiar with these, I’m confident that this is going to be a great review and maybe even new ideas that you haven’t thought of before. If this is completely new to you, I’m confident you’re going to love this, it really is a life-changer to look at our life through this lens. And maybe think of it this way, maybe some of you have seen this before, and it’s the analogy of the dash. If you look at a headstone, what do you see? You typically see a birthdate, a death date, and in between is the dash. Well, what are the stories that go into your dash in my dash? What do our relationships look like? How do we show up professionally? How do we show up for ourselves and our families? All of that is encompassed within our dash. And so this is about leading a life by design, rather than living a life by default. Think about those words, as we think about our dash, as we consciously focus on that, we will either lead a life by design—that’s leadership, that’s intentionality—or we will live a life by default, and whatever shows up, shows up, which is often where task saturation, burnout, and frustration come in. So, as we get into these habits, I’m confident you’ll sense how powerful they are.
Now, let’s start with habit number one, which is to develop a written personal vision. Now, a couple of parts of this. In your planner, if you’ll turn to the opening of your planner, if you have a physical planner, you’ll see a vision and goals template with some examples on it. So go ahead and open up to that if you have it handy so that you can see some of those examples. If you’re using the digital planner for Chrome or Outlook, there’s a Vision and Goals tab that you can click on there, and it’ll see a place for you to put in your different roles, and that’s where you can put your vision and your goals. So, having those two tools, whichever one you’re using, will be handy. Additionally, if you’ll read the chapters in Do What Matters Most around the power of a personal vision and how to develop a written personal vision, then that’ll go deeper on what I’m about to share, now to walk through each step on how to really develop something that’s meaningful and gives you direction.
Now, this is specifically for those who haven’t been through any of the trainings before. If I was to ask you, what percent of people would you guess have a written personal vision, what would you guess? Would you be surprised to find out that only 2% of people have a written personal vision? Isn’t that interesting? Because we’ve heard about it our whole lives: Find your purpose, find your why, connect with what’s inside you — that is all great, but clearly, there’s a disconnect because only 2% of people have actually done it and have a written personal vision. So that’s why we’re starting with this powerful habit as habit number one. So let’s walk through how you can actually do this, and I’m just going to give us the high level. If you want to get deeper into it, that’s what the book is for, and those other resources and tools. Let’s start, first of all, with this unique way of leading our lives, and that is to ask ourselves, “What are the roles in your life that matter most to you?” And if you had to narrow those down to five to seven roles, what would they be? For example, your professional title would be one of those roles, and maybe you even have a couple of professional hats that you wear. Maybe if you’re a parent, that would certainly be one of your roles. If you’re in a relationship, spouse or partner, friend, coach, brother, sister, son, or daughter, all of those are examples of different roles that might apply to you. Now, the most important role is our personal role, in other words, it’s taking care of ourselves. And it’s interesting to me to look at these roles because personal is the only one that’s inward-focused, almost all of these other roles are outward-focused. So that’s one of the things that’s important is we’ve got to make sure we take care of ourselves, while at the same time balancing these other roles. Now, as you think about a vision, especially in the context of roles, a vision is like an internal compass, it points us toward the true north. In other words, once a person has a vision for each of those key roles, what that person is doing is creating a mental reality prior to the physical reality. And think about that, we as humans, our brains are creative in nature, we do create our realities, so what we’re doing thing with our vision is getting very intentional about what that looks like. Think of the vision this way: it’s the very best version of who you want to become in each role. Now, that’s different than a goal.
So, there’s a clear difference between a vision and a goal. Maybe think of it this way: The vision is the best version of you in that role that you could describe, it’s who you’re becoming in that role, your ideal version of you. The goals, on the other hand, are the specific milestones. Let me give you an example of something that might be a part of that personal role, let’s call this the vision. Here’s just a random example: “I am fit, full of energy in life, and strive to maintain a healthy body inside and out.” Now, that might be a vision, that describes the very ideal version of myself, health-wise, maybe that I could come up with. Now that was just a random example, that’s the vision. Notice, there was nothing specifically in there, there was nothing measurable. It’s not a goal, it’s a state of being. That’s the vision. A goal, on the other hand, that would support that might be, “Run a 5k by July 1st,” or “Get my cholesterol level below 170 by June 15th.” Can you sense the difference between the two? One is a state of being, who we’re becoming in that role; the other, the goals, are the specific milestones on how to get there. So again, if you have a planner handy with you, if you’ve already gotten to Becoming Your Best planner, if you’ll go to the front of that, you’ll see several examples that really illustrate well the difference between a vision and a goal. Remember this, think of it this way: The vision is the guide, who we’re becoming, and the goals are the specific milestones this year that will move us towards making that vision a reality. So, when you finalize your vision, it’s really best to use positive language. I like to say it this way: “It’s what you’re striving for, it’s what you want, it’s not what you don’t want.” So, use positive language, something that you can aspire to. And if you look into What Matters Most, at the end of the Vision chapter, you’re going to see a bunch of litmus test questions, there are about 20 of them. Those are great questions to ask yourself after you’ve come up with a draft of your vision. And it’s not that you need to answer yes to all of them, but it’s a great series of questions to go through to see if you’ve encapsulated or captured what matters most to you.
So, that’s the invitation, number one, is to work on developing your vision for each of your key roles and sense the power that comes with having that. Habit number two is roles and goals. Now that we have a vision for each role, the question is, what are those specific milestones this year, to move towards making that vision a reality? So, referencing my previous health example, I said that the vision was that I am fit and full of energy in life and strive to maintain a healthy body inside and out, just one example. That’s the vision for who I’m becoming in that role. So then the question is, what are the areas of focus, the goals, or the milestones this year to make that vision a reality? Let’s say cholesterol was important to you, hence the goal to achieve a cholesterol level below 170 by June 15th. Can you see now and sense how powerful that is to have goals that then tie into the vision and the alignment that this would create? This is the idea of saying, “What does our dash look like?” And then coming up with the milestones to get us there. Now, what’s interesting is just like the vision, goals are talked about often, rarely done. And we train hundreds of organizations all over the world on goal setting and time management. Now, it’s been interesting, in meeting with tens of thousands of people to find that only 10% of people have written personal and professional goals. And there are several reasons for that: fear of failure, they never learned how, which is a great legitimate reason, and a lot of others that go into that. What we’re going to focus on in the next couple of minutes is how to set yourself up for success as you write your goals, no more New Year’s resolutions. We don’t want this to last for two weeks as a little flash of motivation. This is something that can carry us through the rest of the year.
Now I want to share a few things to think about and some common mistakes in goal setting so that when you write your goals, you write it in a way that sets us up for success. Here’s the first tip: Never use the words “more” or “better”. And it’s so sneaky and subtle how these tend to creep in. It’s not a goal. For example: Be a better spouse, make more money, become a better listener, be a better leader.” Great thought, but it really means nothing. I mean, it’s nothing more than an intention. So it’s not a goal. We want to eliminate the words more and better and replace them with something that is specific and measurable, such as that cholesterol example, “Achieve a cholesterol level below 170 by June 15th.” Can you see how much better that is than saying, “Be more healthy?” Big difference. So you want to get rid of the words “more” or “better.” The other word that we rarely use in our goals is the word “daily” — exercise daily, read every day — because if a person misses one day, as worded, fail. So we want to write these in a way that we’re setting ourselves up for success. So rather than use the word “daily,” a great word to insert is “average.” Let me just give you an example. Rather than “exercise 30 minutes every day,” hence setting ourselves up for failure — we miss one day, broken, and it goes into the New Year’s Resolution bucket. However, if we switched it to “average four strength workouts per week,” can you sense the flexibility and the grace that now we have versus the “exercise 30 minutes every day?” Or how about this one: “Benchpress 200 pounds by June 1st.” That’s a clear goal or target — it’s specific, it’s measurable, there’s a lot of flexibility within it. So that’s really key is that when we write these, we allow ourselves grace and flexibility.
Now, in Do What Matters Most, when you review these chapters on goal setting, you’re going to see some more specific words that will set us up for success, I just wanted to touch on a couple of them here. In your digital planner, you’re going to notice, like I mentioned earlier that that personal role is pre-written for you. That’s the most important role. Remember, it’s inward-focused. Now, we didn’t make sure, as we talk about that personal role, that our internal flame is burning bright. So, in order to do that, we subdivided that personal role into four subcategories: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In other words, heart, mind, body, and soul. And one of the things that I encourage you to do is to come up with specific goals for this year—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—that you feel would move the needle for you in your life, that you could look back on from the perspective at the end of the year, saying, “Wait a second, if I can do that, that’s what success looks like in that role.” Because once again, where our focus goes, our energy flows. So, this is the process of identifying what matters most. In other words, as you look at that personal role, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, what are your targets? How are you going to measure success this year? And that then becomes your goals.
Before I wrap up on habit number two, one more final tip here, there is no expectation of perfection when it comes to goals. There’s a lot of different research out there around goals, we’re 90% more likely to accomplish something when we have a clearly written goal. Yet, like I mentioned, only 10% of people do this, so there’s a big gap. One of the things that we do with our coaching clients is focusing on a productivity quotient of 70% to 80%. In other words, at the end of the year, that’s our target. I never expect a coaching client or a friend or even myself to accomplish 100% of my goals because I like to see some areas where I say I didn’t quite get there, that shows that I was stretching, it’s a healthy level of stretching. You know the old adage, “You shoot for the stars and you hit the moon is better than not shooting at all.” Well, that’s what that 70% to 80% target is. So, there’s no expectation of perfection. We know that life happens, things will change and adjust, and we actually want to plan for that. So one of my invitations, one of the things I’ll encourage you to do right now while you’re thinking about it, as long, is you’re not driving is to allocate one or two hours to finish your roles and goals. In other words, actually, physically block it off on your calendar. And there’s no better time than right now, assuming you’re not driving, to actually block it off while it’s top of mind. And then once you’re done, who are three to five people that you could share your goals with? And if there’s some information on there that you want to block off, such as maybe a financial target for the year, great, just replace that number with an X or something and then share it with these three to five people because we’re 33% more likely to accomplish the goal simply by sharing them.
Now, if you’re using the digital planner, you open up the Vision and Goals tab. If you look at the bottom, there’s a little button there where you can share goals. It’s going to generate an email or PDF so that you can very easily share your goals with whoever you choose to do that with. And this leads us now to the number one habit and predictor of success: pre-week planning. If you’ve been on any of my podcasts before, if you’ve read any of our books, you know that I’m going to talk about pre-week planning. If we go back to the beginning, remember that 68% of people feel like prioritizing their time is their number one challenge. In other words, most people’s current approach to time management is not working for them. Whether it’s burnout, frustration, a struggle with work-life balance, relationships, finding time to exercise and do all of these things, this is a universal struggle around the world. Let me share a short story that maybe you’ve heard before because I have shared it a couple of times. And what I’m illustrating here is the importance of time because a transformational leader makes time for what matters most, both in the workplace and in our personal and professional lives. So whether you’re in a relationship, whether you’re a parent or not, look at the meaning behind the story that I’m about to share.
As the story goes, there was a father who’d had a long day at work. It’s in the evening now, it’s nine o’clock at night. He’s on his laptop, he’s on the kitchen table working away still. And you could imagine probably how he’s feeling here at the end of the day. Well, his young son approaches the table and gets his dad’s attention. And at this point, the dad is frustrated, it’s been a long day. Well, the son gets his attention and asks, “Dad, how much money do you make in an hour?” Well, this was extremely frustrating to him, this is not what he wanted to be talking about. So, in a rather frustrated response, he said, “Well, it’s really none of your business. But if you have to know, it’s about $40 an hour.” And then the son thought for a second and he looked at his dad and said, “Dad, can I borrow $20?” And now the dad was upset, and he’s like, “No, you can’t. Go to your room, I’m done talking, I’ve got to finish this project.” And he snapped at his son. Well, the son put his head down and walked back to his room. And it wasn’t shortly thereafter that the father realized he had been too hard on his son, he raised his voice. Clearly, it was him that was having the issue, not his son. So he decided to get up and go to the son’s room and just maybe ask a few questions and get a little more thoughts on why his son might be asking for that. And so he did. He walked to his bedroom, there he saw his son crying, the lights were already off, crying in bed, and he asked his son, first of all, he said, “Son, I apologize. I was a little hard on you, I shouldn’t have been, it’s been a long day, and I’m sorry.” And he said, “You probably had a good reason for asking for that money. If you don’t mind, what was the reason behind that? Is there something you wanted or needed?” And the son just responded to him and said, “Dad, I’ve been saving money and I have $20, but I needed just 20 more dollars so that I could buy one hour of your time.”
Now, could you imagine the heartbreak that this father must have felt as his son was offering to buy one hour of his time? Now, there’s an old adage that said that kids spell love T-I-M-E.” Whether it’s children, we’re talking about whether it’s our other relationships, whether it’s showing up professionally and sorting out all of the fires that are coming our way, this is the habit of doing what matters most. And pre-week planning—let me share this statement with you—is about scheduling your priorities rather than prioritizing your schedule. There are literally hundreds and thousands of people who have talked about how once they started doing pre-week planning, they find time in the day they never knew existed before. In other words, this is about making time for what matters most, both personally and professionally. We’re talking about all of it. Now, if you have a planner, I encourage you to open up to a weekly view. Maybe you’re listening to this in the first couple of weeks of January, open up to the corresponding week. If you have a digital planner, open that up on either Chrome or Outlook, and let’s walk through this together and imagine how simple yet life-changing pre-week planning could be. And I’ll just say from most people’s experience, this takes between 20 to 40 minutes to do and the majority of people will do this between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening. Now there are four simple steps, and you can add anything else you want to this, like a gratitude journal or the power hour in the morning, all of these things can flow into pre-week planning, it can enhance what you’re already doing. So, if you’re familiar with this, one of the questions is, have you been doing pre-week planning? If not, what’s something you could do that would help you keep yourself accountable to really doing this week in and week out?
So, as I walk through these four steps, evaluate and think introspectively, how are we doing? How can you incorporate this into your life and allocate a short 20 to 40 minutes to really lead your life by design and plan those things that matter most into your week? So let’s go through these four steps. Number one is when you’re doing your pre-week planning, review your vision and goals. Can you imagine how powerful that would be to align yourself with your vision and goals every week? Such a small percentage of the population does that. Step number two is to identify your roles. Now, in this case, it’s going to be the same week to week, most likely. You’re going to use the same roles that you used in your vision and your goals. So this is the idea is that it flows all the way down from your vision, your annual goals, and now we’re looking at what matters most this week in those same roles. That’s step two. Step three is to set action items for each role. And this is the fun and powerful stage because this is the creative part of the brain going to work, and it’s you asking yourself, what can you do in that specific role this week? These are specific action items: take out the garbage, write a note, finish the quarterly report, take Jamie to lunch — a key team member. These are specific action items in that personal role. This is where the exercise comes in, this is where meditation, yoga, reading, praying, scripture study, or any of those things that are important to you come into the equation, pre-week planning in that personal role. So, that’s step number three is what are your roles and what matters most in each role. And step number four is to assign a time to each action item. Now, if you’re using the Google version of this, it’s click and drop. So once you put the items into your calendar into that top matrix, you click on it, and then assign a time to it and it will create a calendar event that syncs across all of your other devices. So once you’re done with pre-week planning, you can run off your phone or anything else — powerful. If you’re using Outlook, it’s drag and drop. Very simple. Underneath the role, you type in the action items, and then simply drag and drop them in, and it creates the calendar event that synchs with all of your other devices. Pretty simple, right? It doesn’t seem like rocket science. Yet, how many people would benefit from this that are not doing it?
Number one, sit down and review your vision and goals. Number two, what are your roles? Number three, what matters most in each role? And number four, assign a time to each action item. And just like the goals, our target productivity quotient is 70% to 80%. In other words, we know that things will move around during the week, it’s not all going to happen at the exact time that we planned. The difference, however, is that our priorities, what matters most, will not slip through a crack. We can adjust, we can reschedule, no problem, it’ll still get done. Let me just give you one very brief example of this and then we’ll get ready to wrap up, and I do have a couple of tips for you on pre-week planning. So there was an executive of Pepsi — seasoned executive, young ‘60s, white hair. I wasn’t the trainer that was there that day, it was a different trainer and they went through these three habits of Do What Matters Most. Well, this Pepsi executive wrote down the role of father while doing pre-week planning. And then in the role of father, one of the things he came up with that week was “call my son.” Now the trainer noted that and there was nothing abnormal about that, but just out of curiosity, the trainer asked, “Okay, why? Why call your son?” And this executive’s response was: “Because seven years ago, he and his son got into an argument and they haven’t talked since.” So, obviously, it’s a huge deal for him to call his son. Well, when asked, when are you going to do that, step four, he assigned the time to Thursday evening at 7 pm.
Well, six months later, there was a follow-on training with this same executive team, and this trainer said there was a palpable difference in the energy of this executive, he looked like a different person. There was just an aura, a glow, a countenance about him that wasn’t there the first time. And when asked, “What’s changed? What’s happened?” You can just see the excitement on his face as he shared, that Thursday he called his son. And he went on to share that as soon as they started talking, they couldn’t even remember what they’d argued about seven years prior and now they talk every week and they become best friends. And what makes this story even better is that on that initial call, this executive found out that he was the grandparent, the grandfather to two grandchildren who he didn’t even know existed. Could you imagine how he felt that night after that call? And in his own words, he knew that it was important to do, for years he had talked about it and thought about it. It wasn’t until doing pre-week planning, though, that he finally took action and did what mattered most. Now, if you feel like some accountability would be helpful, if you’ve known about pre-week planning but there’s been a struggle doing it, what would help you make the connection? I’m going to suggest two things right now: Number one, if you have a partner or a spouse and they’re willing to do pre-week planning, it’s so awesome to have both people do their pre-week planning first, and then come together Sunday evening to align their week around what matters most as a couple or a family, if that applies. The second tip is to set an alarm or calendar event that repeats on your calendar every week that actually says “pre-week planning.” In other words, you’re planning an actual time to do pre-week planning, so make time for it, set an alarm or a reminder to make that connect. Or in the professional setting, a lot of teams will do this together as a team for four to eight weeks to help each other develop the habit and they check on each other at the beginning of the week during their weekly alignment meeting. So if any of those resonate with you as ideas, great, take them and use them.
I’ll just share one last thought on pre-week planning. We did the research on this in 2020 and we found that a person who does pre-week planning will accomplish between 800 to 1200 more accomplishments per year than someone who doesn’t. Now, when we say accomplishments, maybe it’s finishing that quarterly report on time, maybe it’s getting a bid to a client. On the personal side, maybe it’s a date night with your partner or spouse, maybe it’s a note to them, maybe it’s a certain activity with your son or daughter, or the exercise, the yoga, the meditation, the scripture study, the prayer, whatever it is that matters most to you, that’s what we’re talking about — 800 to 1200 additional accomplishments. Well, guess what? Over the next 40 to 50 years, that’s 40,000 to 50,000 accomplishments that otherwise would not have likely happened without these habits. That’s our dash. That’s leading a life by design. And that’s the power of how these three habits come together and do what matters most.
Let me finish up this podcast, the way we started: Where our focus goes, our energy flows. Everything we’ve just talked about, in the last few minutes, these three do what matters most habits are about focusing our energy on what matters most, and creating that mental reality will ultimately create the physical reality. What we manifest is what will bring about, which will ultimately be our dash. So we will either lead a life by design or we will live a life by default, it is 100% in our court. And I realized there are different professions, there are different propensities towards what we call quadrant one or being able to control our schedules. Pre-week planning is a game changer for 100% of people that do it as they accomplish more while experiencing less stress. So, as we get ready to wrap up today, a couple of things: Number one, I encourage you to allocate the time right now to finish your vision and goals for this year. Set a reminder that repeats week to week for pre-week planning on the time that you’re most likely to do it, that’ll serve as a reminder to help and stay consistent with that powerful habit. And then if you don’t have it yet, get the physical planner or the plugin or extension for Google or Outlook by going to DoWhatMattersMostPlanner.com. If you’re getting the extension or the plugin, the digital planner, you can use it instantly, it’s ready there for you. If you order the planner, it should be to you within about a week or so. Powerful tools to help us live these habits.
Let me finish with a quote that should be familiar to anyone that’s listened to previous podcasts that really summarizes what we’ve been talking about. It’s from Ella Wilcox, and she said, “One ship sales east and another drives west. By the selfsame winds that blow, ‘tis the set of the sails and not the gales that determines the way they’ll go.” In other words, we all have this figurative wind at our backs. These habits, if we’ll develop a vision by role, if we’ll finish our roles and goals for this year and be consistent with the pre-week planning, what we’re doing is setting our sails to catch that wind. We’re leading a life by design and being very intentional about what goes into our dash. So, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. And I’ll finish with this one invitation. If there’s someone who you think would benefit from listening to this, please share it with them. Please share it with them while you’re thinking about it because these habits are life-changing for every one of us that will apply them. So I hope you have a wonderful day and a great rest of your week.
Leading authority on leadership and execution, F-16 Fighter Pilot, and father