Most of us nail the Focus Area of Work. And we have the stress, exhaustion, and the weight gain to prove it. Some of us are better than others in the Focus Area of Health.
I know many road warriors who are great at Home Life for a while, regress, bounce back, regress – you get the point.
But the Focus Area of Home Life separates the men from the boys if you will. For the longest time, I was what we call at Elite Road Warrior Group, a Check-In Guy. I did the bare minimum of the text/call/video chat. There’s nothing wrong with these and I still do them each and every business trip.
Here’s where I went off-road with my thinking – I viewed the road and the limitations:
- I can’t eat healthy on the road
- I can’t get in a good workout on the road
- I can’t do more than just text/call/video chat if that at all while on the road
Lies Nothing but Lies!
Why? Because you can leverage the road to improve your road life in all three focus areas: Work / Health / Home Life.
As well as ALL six energy habits:
And here’s the reason: Every Can’t has a Can.
There are opportunities the road can and does offer you if you look for them.
The key is two things:
- Finding them and…
- Leveraging them
For example, when I’m on the road I don’t have a house full of kids and a wife trying to rush out the door to work as a school teacher. I’m not dependent on what the kids want for dinner or if my wife is in the mood to cook tonight or not.
On the road, the early morning is all mine – I can do any of the following:
- Sleep in (especially if I drank too much the night before but of course, never intentionally)
- Checked text and email on my phone in bed
- Watched CNN / Fox News
- OD on coffee and have a sugar-filled breakfast
Or I can…
- Read (energy habit 5 – develop)
- Journal (energy habit 5 – develop)
- Workout (energy habit 1 – move)
- Eat a healthy breakfast (energy habit 2 – fuel)
- Be intentional, thoughtful, and creative with the fam (energy habit 6 – connect)
I’m not just speaking necessarily about your morning routine but it goes to prove you can leverage your morning to do what you want to do.
Every CAN’T has a CAN and you need to find the can and leverage it.
So, let’s drill down on Connect energy habit.
Many of us have significant others and children back at home. And if we’re honest, we’re just getting by and not getting better in those relationships while we travel. I know it was definitely the case for me with my wife and kids.
Until… I started being intentional, thoughtful, and creative to leverage the road to connect with my wife and kids in ways I wouldn’t normally do back home but would be very meaningful to them while I’m gone.
And I’ve learned over time and often the hard way, that words matter especially when I’ve taken the time to make them mean something.
Now, my kids, especially my high schoolers, won’t admit it and I’m grateful for a “yeah” or “okay” or a simple grunt. But I know they listen to and read everything that is sent to them.
And my wife who is a single mom when I’m gone even though she’s busy and stressed with all the extra responsibilities still appreciates when I’m intentional, thoughtful, and creative.
As a result, I’ve found there are six words that if and when I communicate them on a consistent basis are a game-changer on letting those I love back home know I truly care and am thinking about them even when I’m on the road.
What are the Six Meaningful Words to Communicate Consistently with Those Back Home?
These six words will not be new to you. They’re nothing out of the ordinary.
But… when they’re communicated while you’re away, they mean so much more to the recipient. And the longer they’ve not been said, the more they will mean. Water to a parched soul.
You may be asking who are these words for?
Personally, I communicate these six words to my wife and my wife. The context is what changes.
Here they are and in no particular order:
Word One – Thinking
The Sentence – I’m Thinking of You because…
The Why – Your absence is noticeable
Admit it, we’re busy, sometimes beyond busy on any given business trip and some days are a blur in and of themselves!
But those back home have the same work, school, and home routine they always do.
They miss your presence. So when you can let them know you’re thinking of them and why it matters. When I say these words to my wife, she’s reminded she’s not forgotten on the road.
Example: I’m thinking of you because this place would be so much better if you were here.
Word Two – Appreciate
The Sentence – I Appreciate You for…
The Why – to show you value their efforts
It’s easy to be in a relationship and simply take it and that individual for granted. I was guilty of this one for a long time.
But I need to let especially my wife know how much I appreciated her:
- Taking care of the kids while I’m gone
- Taking care of the house while I’m gone
- Handling difficult situations while I was gone
Never assume they know you appreciate them. Remind them consistently and in creative ways.
Example: I appreciate you for taking care of the home while I’m on the road
Word Three – Proud
The Sentence – I’m Proud of You for…
The Why – Affirmation must be spoken
These were words I longed to hear from my father. They came once in a while and in different ways. Often it came from my dad telling them to other people who sometimes told me. But what meant the most was hearing or reading it directly from him.
Our significant others need to hear “I’m Proud of you for…” but especially our kids. Another way of saying it is, “I’m impressed with…” Thinking the word PROUD or IMPRESSED is just not enough. We must learn to say it and on a consistent basis!
Example: I’m proud of you for being such an incredible mother.
Word Four – Miss
The Sentence – I Miss You because…
The Why – We need to be longed for
This word is important because oftentimes, we’re not left back in the ordinary world.
What my wife would do to stay in a Courtyard Marriott or Embassy Suites. Drive my cool rental car. Eat most of the meals cooked for her at a restaurant. Have a completely quiet morning or evening before bed not fighting with the kids to just go to sleep!
My wife needs to know that I would rather be home eating leftovers than eating the 4th night in a row at a restaurant.
My kids need to know I miss being at their weeknight practice or game or school event. This word matters more than we think even if we do we say it a lot.
Example: I miss you because I would rather be with you than anyone else right now.
Word Five – Need
The Sentence – I Need You because…
The Why – We depend on them for everything at home
Let’s not be confused with you being needy. It reminds me of Bob Wiley from the movie with Bill Murray called What About Bob. We may have more Bob Wiley in us of “Gimme Gimme” and “I Need I Need” – and the road can create that in us when we’re being served everywhere we go.
But those back home need to hear they’re needed by us as well. We depend on them to take care of the home while we’re away. Saying I need you is not a sign of weakness but of strength. We may be ALL THAT on the road but we need those back home to take care of the home.
They must hear our need for them and how much that matters to us. Another word you could use is DEPEND.
Example: I need you because I act like I can do it all but I need your help when I’m gone.
Word Six – Love
The Sentence – I Love You because… or I love it when you…
The Why – We all want to know we’re loved
Men are the worst at this one. We secretly believe what one man once said “I told my wife I loved her when we got married and I told will let her know if it ever changes.” Not cool, man.
Being loved is core to our being and it’s one of the easiest words to avoid saying or we say it flippantly or loosely. This is why completing the sentence, “I love you because…” “I love you for…” or “I love when you…” is very important for this word.
Example: I love you because you always put others before yourself / I love it when you’re so excited to see me when I come home.
But how do we say these words on the road…?
Let’s transition to…
Three Ways to Communicate These Six Words
Words are a challenge especially for me. So here are 3 ways to communicate these words:
- Connect Cards
- Not Forgotten Journal – where you can write to a loved one on your business trips to bring home with you showing them that they haven’t been forgotten.
- Random through the day
- Early in the morning
- Before bed especially if I couldn’t do FaceTime in the evening
I usually brainstorm these during a Think Space time and write them in my Elite Road Warrior Branded Journal in the Think Space section.
Pro Tip – the more you can do non-live the better – why? This allows them to read, listen, or watch over and over again.
We underestimate just how much our words matter to those back home.
You Got This! Words matter big time…