My First “13 Promises In ’13” Checkup.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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I remember the commercials vividly. Maybe they're still around, I'm not sure. They're the Nationwide, "Life Comes At You Fast!" commercials.

I don’t like physicals or check-ups at the doctor’s office.

Don’t get me started on the dentist either! I fear every time I’m there that I’ll hear the words “cavity” or “anesthetic”.

But if I want to stay healthy there are times I’ll have to do the things I don’t want to do and go to places I really don’t want to go- like the doctor’s office. I know I need regular check-ups to stay healthy and, yes, even a dreaded shot every now and then.

With that being said, it’s time for my first blogger check-up.

On January 2nd I posted my 13 Promises I’m Making To My Family In ’13. I did so because I was tired of making New Year’s Resolutions only to get a month or 2 into the new year and falter on nearly every one. A promise is different. It’s a covenant. Covenants hurt. Don’t believe me? Just read what happened in the Bible in Genesis 17:1-27 if you don’t believe me. Ouch!

I realize that it’s very easy to type out a blog post, make some promises, humor a group of readers, and then go on with life as if nothing was ever said or done. Believe me, I’ve done this many times in my 5-year blogging career. However, I’m tired of doing that. As painful as this is, it’s time to grade where I’m at with my promises. I’m not doing this for recognition or reader approval. I’m doing this for accountability. I want to stay on course this new year. So, here goes….

(The original promises are listed as they were written in the original post followed by the grade I’m giving myself, quoted & italicized.) 

1. Be content with what I’ve already been given.

Grade- A. I can actually say that I’ve been feeling pretty content lately!

2. Turn my cell phone off when I get home from work.

Grade- C+. I need to do better with this one!

3. Save my money.

Grade- B+. Not too bad so far.

4. Always hug and kiss each of them before I leave in the morning.

Grade- B+. The only times I miss are when I leave before they’re awake.

5. Make hugging and kissing them the first thing I do when I get home at night.

Grade- A-. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping this promise.

6. Play in the snow (or backyard in the summer) with my kids more often. 

Grade- C. I’ve got to do better at making this a priority.

7. Spend time with each of them, on their turf, on their time.

Grade- C+. I’m slowly turning this one around. My biggest issue is that I think I have more time than I do.

8. Only blog early in the morning, before my family is awake. 

Grade- A. I get up really early so this hasn’t really been a problem.

9. Dance with my daughters to Just Dance 4.

Grade- B. I’m not a dancer so this has been physically difficult to maintain.

10. Not freak out over fingerprints on the wall or clutter lying around. 

Grade- A+. I haven’t panicked yet. Hopefully I can keep that going. 

11. Tell my wife she’s beautiful everyday and let her know how grateful I am for her.

Grade- B+. Even on the busy days this needs to be a top priority. 

12. Model what I say I believe before my wife and kids.

Grade- B-. Also, needs to be a top priority. 

13. Be nicer to my 3 dogs.

Grade- C+. Ironically, this is the promise I’ve been asked about the most. I’m getting better…I promise!

My next check up will come in a month or 2. Obviously, I’ve still got work to do. But…don’t we all?

How have you been doing on your New Year’s promises? 

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.