Lessons From The First Year Of Parenting...

Yesterday my son, Kaden, turned one. 

As I reflect back on the last year, he taught me a lot. 

A lot about family, about time management, about business, and about life. 

The last year has been nothing shy of a giant rollercoaster, but that's what makes it so fun. 

I look forward to many more years of learning and growing alongside my K Man. 

Without further ado, here are three of the lessons that I've learned or reenforced within me over the last year. 

1. Time is our most valuable asset

I write about time a lot. 

Selfishly, by writing about time, I continue to keep it top of mind. 

The last year has flown by, and as I hear from clients, that's the one consistent with all of this...

it goes by too fast!

I've done well for myself in my early years, Kaden won't have to worry, and I continue to work hard everyday to create a better life for my family. 

But the one thing I can never give him more of?

Time. 

I've gotten progressively better at valuing my time, being efficient with my time, and trying to spend as much time with Kaden and Megan as I possibly can. 

I'm not perfect, but over the last year, this is the are I've improved the most on. 

I run everything through the filter...

Does it take time away from my family?

If the answer is yes, it better be well worth it. 

Kaden is the reason I don't say yes to every e-mail, the reason I no longer answer your Facebook Message or text in .2 seconds, and the reason I have to say no to the person that just wants to pick my brain for a few minutes. 

Time.

I've become more efficient with my time, waking up at 430am is miserable somedays, but I do it so that I can get the bulk of my productive stuff done before he wakes up. 

I have my top 3 priorities for the day,  I get those done first. 

I schedule everything, including my workouts, and I say no to anything that is a distraction. 

Sure, I'd love to hang out at the gym for a 90 minute workout, but right now, a quick 45 minute circuit is what I sneak in before picking him up from day care. 

Most of you reading this have a few years of experience on me, and I know a lot of this is a head nod for you. 

I learn a lot from you, more than you know, but here's my challenge for you with this lesson. 

Time is our most valuable lesson. 

How are you spending your time?

I think this last year as a parent has made me more productive. 

I had a lot of people tell me that I wasn't going to be able to do everything I do once Kaden came along. 

I would argue, I get more done in less time know. 

I say yes to what's important. 

I say no to anything that's a distraction. 

I make sure I schedule "me time" with daily mediations, reading, and a workout. 

I audit my time consistently, and we can all benefit from that.  

2. Being present is my largest area of opportunity

As much as all of the above with time management sounds great, I still do have a large hole in my personal development. 

Being present. 

I've spent the last year carving out more hours to be with my family. 

But have all of them been quality?

No. 

My mind is often a pinball machine, with ideas and thoughts never ending, bouncing all over the place. 

I want to do so many things...

I want to make the experience at Spurling Fitness better, I want to make the team at Spurling so much better, I want to help my business coaching clients more, I want to make a bigger impact in the community, I want to help more people, I want to travel the world, and I want to rack up more experiences...

So many ideas.

But what about now?

Like right now. 

This moment. 

I spend the bulk of my day reflecting about past experiences and how I would have made them better, or thinking about the future, and confirming what I'm doing right now is going to make a better experience for my clients, my team, and most importantly, my family. 

But sometimes the best thing I can do is be present, here, right now. 

I'm not going to lie...it's my biggest area of opportunity. 

Slowing down, and learning from Kaden. 

Being in the moment, playing with those blocks or trucks, and just being present. 

I will continue to write about this lesson, even if it doesn't help you, it helps me remember what's important. 

As much as it's important to carve out more time with the family, and be more productive, if that time is not quality, it doesn't matter. 

I've missed out on so much because of this, I've argued with Megan too many times because of this, and it hurts, yet like an addictive drug, I'll constantly catch myself going back. 

Going back to the "ideas guy" and running scenarios in my head, thinking about all the projects or ideas I want to conquer, sometimes personal, sometimes business. 

I'm there, I'm in the room, my body is there, but my mind is not. 

I've gotten much better at it. 

But being present is still the largest skill I need to develop. 

When I say I learn a lot from Kaden, this is a great example. 

I know that when he's on the ground, playing with his blocks, he's playing with his blocks. 

That's it. 

He's not thinking, he's not doing anything else but playing with his blocks, loving life. 

I can learn a lot from that. 

3. Leaving a legacy is what matters most to me.

I think this sums up why I'm here. 

I'm a servant. 

I'm motivated by serving others. 

I want nothing but the best for my clients....

I want nothing but the best for my team...

And I will do everything possible to build the best damn life for my family. 

I've always been a pretty driven person, but being a parent has taken this to another level. 

When my mom died eight years ago, don't ask me why, but I used her death as motivation to drive me. 

I will outwork you, I will out hustle you, and I do that with the end goal of making sure, if she's looking down, she's proud of me. 

Now with Kaden around, everything I do is to leave a better legacy for him. 

I want to teach him, I want to mentor him, I want to be his best friend. 

I want him to say 85 years from now, when he's rocking in his chair, talking to his grandkids...

"That was my dad. He made a difference in this world."

I visualize that, clearer than you can imagine, and that's what drives me everyday. 

So how do you balance it all?

I need to be present and in the moment...

Yet I can't sit around stacking blocks on the carpet all day long if I want to make a difference in the world. 

There are so many things I want to do, people I want to impact, and places I want to visit. 

Yet I want to be present, and play with blocks on the carpet with Kaden. 

It's basically a combination of the first two lessons, it's yin and yang. 

It's being more efficient with my time....

It's making sure I have my "me time" for mental and physical health so I can be around for him as long as possible...

Yet it's hustling and outworking everyone to build a better future for him.

How do we balance it all?

I don't have the answer. 

All I do is bring it back to my life motto, the phrase that I sign off every e-mail with, the phrase I sign every card with, and the phrase we plaster all over the gym. 

1% Better. 

I just aim to be a little better than yesterday. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling