One Dad’s Heart-wrenching Realization This Father’s Day

Earlier this week I ran a promotion for my coaching business – 30 minutes of FREE coaching, just for dads. I talked to 3 dads that were curious about my ideas about being a better thirtysomething and how they could put their best ‘dad-foot’ forward this Father’s Day.

Well, we had some great talks, a lot of laughs and made some great strides. And, amazingly, these thirtysomething dads have allowed me to share some pieces of our talks, and I’m so glad because there are some things here that can help all young parents and anyone looking to infuse their lives with not only more quantity of time but quality time.

One of the things that came up with all three dads was the issue of technology and how much it takes up our time and steals our focus. I don’t need to tell you that it’s a struggle for everyone. And, of course, it’s one thing to get the kids to put it away, but even another for parents to be the example and not pull out the phone or email when there’s a lull in the action.

One dad had a particular story that really stuck with me and brought him to his own realization:

I saw a boy around ten or eleven out with his dad the other day, walking along a street near the beach and the boy saw a really cool dog. So he looked up so excited to see if his dad saw it too, but his dad was doing something on the phone and missed the dog, which was really cute, and worse – his kid’s face! You should have seen how bummed this kid looked – totally devastated that his dad wasn’t watching. It really made me wonder how many of those faces I’ve missed and so I’m just trying to be extra aware of having it (smartphone) out around my kids now.

Heart-wrenching, right?

He’s hit the nail right on the head. What are we missing by not simply putting away the technology? It’s a simple concept but, admittedly, harder for some more than others. What’s more is that this conversation was pretty timely as well since I had just written a piece on mindfulness for another blog on how even cameras are starting to get in the way of just enjoying the moment during great dinners with friends. (Read, The Tricky Business of Living in the Moment here).

It was great that this dad got to his realization on his own and what I added is that once we’re able to put the phone down, there’s still another few steps to go towards being really present and fully engaged with your kids and it all comes down to your own self-development and commitment to growth. Bringing your best self forward all areas of life, including parenting, yields amazing joy, success and abundance.

What I also suggest is that we can also engage kids in our own struggle with technology.   Sure, they’re supposed to see you as a superhero, but memories are made of truly authentic moments as well. For example, can’t you pinpoint one moment when you saw your dad cry? I’m sure most of us can because it was a rare glimpse into his humanity or vulnerability that he showed.

It’s possible that your kids would appreciate your honesty and the fact that you’re treating them as on the same level as you. It could be an interesting experiment to see who can hold out the longest without texting!

It’s also important that we don’t feel the guilt for our behaviour, but rather learn from our mistakes as this dad has. Technology’s place in our lives is relatively new and we’re still learning. So give yourself a break and just do the best you can, keeping a ‘mindful’ eye.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day yesterday. I certainly did. Some quality time with grandpa led to some serious overeating and drinking. Wonderful stuff!

And I’d like to announce that I now have my coaching schedule open to all. Go to ashewoodward.com/coaching for more information, my schedule and more FREE events and promotions to come.

I hope to talk with you soon about the amazing abundant life you desire for your 30s!

Get Out of Your Own Way for a Successful Future

Do you remember when the year ‘2000’ sounded insane, like it was so far in the future? If you do, then you must also remember then the Y2K panic that went along with the anxiety of the millennium changeover. Will all the computers reset and cause our technology-dependent society to crumble? Will the Mayans be correct and we’ll witness the end of days? Or will it be exactly like Back to the Future II and our dreams of hoverboards will finally come true? (Actually, that one was set in 2015 so there’s still time…).

Now think back to another far off goal you’ve had in the past. Maybe it was getting your degree, finding your true love, marriage, kids, or your perfect career. Do you remember the days when you said, “I wonder what it’ll be like,” and, “I just can’t stand waiting”? Or you might have also said, “It’s never going to happen,” or “I’m actually not sure if I’m cut out for that but I know I really want it.” Eventually your goals came true, but what if you hadn’t second guessed it?

If it’s hard (or painful) to conjure up those memories, let’s talk about the present and the goals that you’re thinking about in the far off future and consider that you might be able to bring them to you a little more quickly. If you’re a believer in the Law of Attraction, you know that you need to keep a positive mindset for positive things to manifest in your life. If you’re not a big Secret fan, you still have to agree that it’s better to be in a positive mindset than a negative one. And it truly does feel better when we imagine all the amazing benefits achieving our goals will bring us.

But you’re totally normal if you’re questioning your abilities to perform once your goals are achieved. The truth is that we all could use a tune up when it comes to lessening any resistance once we’ve set goals and cleared our intentions with the universe. Heavy stuff, right?

What this basically means is that when we face big goals or have great big desires we also fear it will be a great big change. This creates anxiety and is a big part of the reason many of us self-sabotage or don’t take action. When people talk about having a fear of success, this is really what they’re talking about. Everyone wants success, but we’re not so sure that we’re ready for a big change to our comfortable lifestyle that we know, love and can mostly predict. Unfortunately, it’s a fear of the unknown that is fighting with our other instincts to grow and be abundant.

When it was almost the year 2000, some people stocked up on food and water. Others laughed it off decided to deal with it if it happens. Personally, I was in a middle camp where I bought a case of water just in case, as if 24 bottles would get my through the next sixty or so years of my life. The point is, the year 2000 came anyway – no amount of resistance could really stop it because time just goes by.

The lesson we should take from this is that worrying about tomorrow never coming is just as pointless as worrying about getting everything you’ve ever wanted. Sure, you may have to adapt to that higher position, and you’ll make mistakes – no one is expecting you to be perfect at the job itself, just perfectly qualified as you are. You’re going after the job anyway, so what’s the point in thinking about the bad before the good even has a chance to arrive?

The same goes for any goal we have. Maybe you’re freaked out about being a parent or getting married. Or maybe you’re looking for a new house or buying a car. Whatever it is, you need to just allow time to pass and let these things come into your life before you dream up all the ways things could go wrong. You’ll have a better picture of the situation once it’s arrived, and even then, there’s probably a better way to accept your gifts than to think about all the possible dangers.

So get out of your own way!

Below I’ve listed some affirmations to help you remember to get out of your own way and be positive about your future. Try a few or all this week and let me know how it goes in the comments!

Affirmations and Mantras for a Positive Future:

Do something today that your future self will thank you for – Unknown

The future is bright and beautiful– Louise Hay

I live from pleasure to pleasure – Louise Hay

God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called – Unknown

Don’t worry, be happy – Bobby McFerrin

And check out the impatient Tony Hawk ride ‘the first hoverboard’ in this video HERE

What to Do When ‘It’s Only Tuesday’

I actually don’t mind Mondays. Sure it’s hard to get up at first, but the workday usually flies by for me. It’s Tuesdays that are truly contemptible when you really look at it. What’s worse is they just try and sneak by in the background on the way to Wednesday like the pudding my husband placed under the head of lettuce in the grocery cart on the weekend. But aside from cheap movie night here in Toronto, Tuesdays just don’t really have a lot going for them. And once you try to catch a flick in a packed theatre full of teenagers, you’ll see the downside again.

Mondays are at least the beginning of the week – there’s hope of a new beginning, a fresh start. Who knows what could happen? This could be the week your office gets jam-free photocopier paper or when Ryan Reynolds stops by your office to use the facilities and you get stuck in an elevator together. It could happen…

Wednesdays are the highly regarded, ‘hump day’. We’re halfway to the weekend and it’s usually a day of just doing our thing, rocking at our job, giving ‘hump day’ high fives and looking forward to Friday.

Business high five

Thursdays were actually rated the 2nd most beloved day of the week after Saturday. The anticipation for the weekend gets our adrenaline going and people start to show signs of impatient playfulness. Thursdays are now notorious ‘after work drinks’ night, helping us in finding a way to extend the weekends. We love our Thursdays.

Tuesdays, sadly, have very little to offer. With no fresh start and no claim to fame with a clever sexual innuendo that reminds us to hang in there, they’re just wedged in there between Monday and Wednesday, as pointless and unlikable as the middle seat in the backseat of a car.

Ok, so it might be a little harsh to call Tuesdays ‘pointless’. After all, they are another day that could bring possibilities and opportunities. But they’re a little hard to deal with sometimes when we’re looking at our week as a long haul ahead. So here are five of my best tips that I’ve been using on myself to get through those terrible Tuesdays with a smile.

Start something new

Research shows that you’re actually more likely to keep going with habits that you start on other days than Mondays. I guess we may have putting too much pressure on Monday for all these years and we’ve become immune to the promise of a magical fresh start. There is one exception to this rule – diets. Apparently, some studies have shown that starting a diet on a Tuesday leads to poor results and you’re more likely to give up by Friday. So start your new diet on Monday, but try a new class or join a new group or club for something to look forward to during your Tuesday workday.

Fun gym day

I had to make Tuesdays something to look forward to so I designated Tuesday as my, ‘I can do whatever I feel like’ day. This usually means that I do sprints and hit the showers early. But it also means I could do yoga or maybe even repeat a fun workout I just learned. I try not to fall into any guilt traps and just let it flow since the rest of my workout routine is pretty regimented for my goals.

I sometimes even let Tuesdays be my cheat day. Friday is already crammed with goodness, so we can afford to spread more of that joy to other days in the week.

Leave work early or on time

A while back, Tuesdays were my latest nights. I’d come home beat and barely want to cook a decent meal before I hit the sheets. I decided that since Mondays are already destined to be a little hellish, I’d put in extra time then and get more of my bulk of work done then. That way, even if Tuesday lives up to its inferior reputation, I can at least go home and quickly put it all behind me.

Treat night

So the movies are out if, like me, you’re not a big fan of crowds, but they can still be a great date night. You may not want to get too crazy, being a school night and all, but homemade tacos (Taco Tuesdays, anyone?) and a TV movie with the family sounds pretty good too.

Avoiding Future Fever

A lot of our big goals and dreams can inflict us with ‘future fever,’ a condition that results when we live only for our future achievements and possible future happiness. Fridays can end up being one of those goals and cause us a little, ‘Friday fever’. But, luckily, the tips for avoiding ‘future fever’ can be applied here too. One of my favourites is the reminder to be grateful for something in this present moment. If it’s a Tuesday around 11:45am (the most stressful part of the workweek, according to research), I would try and find the closest thing near me and be grateful for it.

In my case, 11:45 is my lunch break, so this Tuesday I’m going to be super grateful I have a break to eat my amazing leftover Pad Thai. I may even force myself to imagine that this is going to be my best day of the week and relish in it all the more.

So what are your Tuesday hacks? Is Tuesday your worst day or is it one of your best? Please share below and enjoy your WHOLE week!