bret johnson

Being a Coach, a Dad, and Raising Strong Daughters with Bret Johnson

Bret Johnson knows being a dad.  He knows being a coach of youth sports.  He knows how to raise a confident strong daughter.

Bret Johnson

Bret Johnson is the driving force behind Team Johnson.  He runs the all of the day-to-day management of the business, in addition to business strategy, event planning, management, and logistics for any Team Johnson or Chalene Johnson appearances.  He negotiates all contracts, handles all sponsors and partner relationships, and coordinates and communicates with all who are a part of the Team Johnson Affiliate Program.  In addition, Bret works one-on-one with a small hand selected group that he coaches on personal, spiritual, and business development.  Bret is the former owner and CFO of Powder Blue Productions as well as the Turbo Wear clothing line that he and Chalene created together. He has also built and sold several multimillion-dollar fitness and lifestyle companies.

Bret Johnson began his career as a Quarterback at UCLA and Michigan State University, and later finished his career in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts and Atlanta Falcons.  Bret has preserved his love and passion for football by coaching High School Football at Mission Viejo High School with his father and brother.

Bret will be the first to tell you that his greatest accomplishment is raising two amazing kids.

It’s a Girl’s World

Let’s face it: there are definite differences between raising boys versus girls. Beyond the stereotypical pink versus blue, girls are just made differently. They typically have different interests than boys and they respond to stimuli differently. A girl’s world can be complex and helping your daughter navigate these waters as a father can seem overwhelming. But, there is hope; after all, even though she may sometimes seem other-worldly, your daughter is human.

The Basics

Just like sons, daughters need to feel love and validation from their fathers. Remember dads, the relationship your daughter has with you will create the foundation for the relationships she has with other men in her future. Reinforce how much you accept her for who she is, her interests, and the fact that you will always be there for her. She needs this, particularly in the world children will live in as adults.


Social Media

At no other time in history has it been easier to find out who is doing what and when, what the latest diet fad is, who is the hottest celebrity, and, maybe most frightening, bullying. And that’s where girls can be hit the hardest, right on line. It’s easy to make fun of others behind a screen and say hurtful things, demean another’s character, or even more devastating to a girl, criticize her appearance. Dads, here is where you can play a vital role, be active in her online media life. Yep, let her know you are watching what she is doing, not so much that you are concerned with her behavior, but how others interact with her. And, if necessary, model positive online behavior and communication so that she can see how to best represent herself to others in this media.


“Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?”


Even in an age where a variety of body types are getting more positive media coverage, the skinny models still barrage our girls in the checkout lines of every store. It seems that no matter what they hear about their image, girls still want to look like what they see in the magazines. Your job, dad, is to remind her that those models are airbrushed and that skinny is not always healthy.


Be Proactive

Dad, it’s not as hard as you think. She’s your daughter, she loves you and she is looking to you to see how to respond to men in a positive way. Raising a strong daughter means that she feels comfortable in her own skin, she can communicate effectively with all people and that she has the courage to pursue her own passions. Don’t worry, you won’t break her; she’s tougher than you think!




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Thanks for checking out this week’s episode with Bret Johnson on Raising Strong Daugthers

bedtime rituals

Bedtime Rituals and Sleeping Smarter as a Family


Bedtime Rituals are critical to the foundation of a good night sleep.  When it comes to our kids, they thrive on routines and rituals.  So why not have bedtime rituals to get them in the right mindset and to avoid bedtime chaos?

Bedtime Rituals Equals Success!

#nosleep, #workedallnight, #sleepdeprived, #itsanepidemic. Yep, you’ve heard this before; it’s almost a badge of honor anymore to say you worked 24 hours straight or need to chug 64 ounces of Mountain Dew or Monster to stay awake. Why do we celebrate sleep deprivation, when sleep is our body’s way of repairing itself so we can be our very best? In Shawn’s first episode of Sleep Smarter, he gave us simple tips to improve the quality of a night’s sleep: remove blue light, black out curtains, just to name two. But this time, Shawn goes a little deeper in identifying more specific ways to get the best sleep of our lives.

The Lion

Lions are cool. They are the kings of the jungle; noble and fearless. You know what lions don’t do? They don’t stand around the preverbal water cooler (if lions were in an office and had a water cooler-it’s an analogy. Stay with me here) and say, “Yeah Bill, I just killed two antelope after being up for 24 hours straight just prowling around.” You know why? Well, first, they’re lions and they wouldn’t have that conversation, and second, lions are only awake about four hours out of the day. Four hours. But, they are biologically programmed to sleep long hours so they can make those four waking hours incredibly effective.

Granted humans don’t require as much sleep as lions. But, in order to be fully functional and at our best our bodies do require an ample amount of sleep in order to repair. Sleep is as essential as oxygen, food and water to the health and well-being of our bodies. We need those 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Non-negotiable.  Bedtime rituals get our bodies and minds in the right state so we can ease into a healthier night sleep.

But I’m Good With 5 Hours

Really? You’re really bright-eyed and super bushy-tailed after a measly five hours of sleep? You wouldn’t be ok with 75% of your oxygen intake, so how is sleep any different? The truth is, without ample sleep, your body is not able to fully recover. When we sleep, our bodies are in an anabolic state (read: muscle building, tissue repair, hormone rebalancing). If we are sleep deprived, we age faster and our bodies are less likely to be able to completely repair themselves. So, what the heck do you do?

Create Routine

Shawn Stevenson shares a way we can get our kids and the whole family in the right mindset for bedtime.

In a culture that seems to value over working, it is hard to imagine placing value in something that is the complete opposite: rest. But, it’s that rest that will make us be better at work. So, take a cue from your work life, you schedule meetings, why not schedule a sleep routine? This routine, be it turning off electronic devices earlier, brushing your teeth, reading to the kids, or whatever, will start to signal your body to begin the sleep cycle. As this becomes habit, you will find yourself getting to sleep faster and your sleep will be of better quality.

Create Culture

In order to get everyone in your household on board with quality sleep, you have to create a culture where sleep is valued by everyone. This means, shutting off all devices earlier, getting everyone, kids and spouse, to buy into the routine of getting ready for bed and setting the example so that sleep becomes just as important as eating and breathing.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more in this podcast to help you get your best night’s sleep, but these tips should get you started. In the mean time, maybe create a new cultural norm: #sleepsmarter.


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Thanks for checking out this week’s show on Bedtime Rituals.

sleep smarter

How our Sleep Impacts Us as Parents and How to Sleep Smarter

Shawn Steven, Author of the bestselling book “Sleep Smarter” shares firsthand insight on better quality sleep.  Remember when you were little and it was nap time? You fought it. There were so many more cool things to do than…sleep. Now, sleep might seem like the mythical unicorn; yeah, you’ve heard of it, but you never really can catch it!  Shawn Stevenson, author of Sleep Smarter (not to mention the co-host of The Good Dad Project podcast), let us in on a few of his tips he delves into throughout his book.

Sleep Smarter came from Shawn’s own health struggles

Living through his own struggles with health and weight in his early 20’s, Shawn also struggled with getting an adequate amount of sleep. To help himself out, he began taking over the counter sleep aids (think Tylenol PM) as well as prescription Ambien. Thinking this would give him the sleep he needed, he didn’t realize his sleep was not quality while taking these sleep aids. Side note: As a matter of fact, he would come to find out in sleep studies, these “aids” were actually reducing the amount of quality sleep he was getting.  You’ll find that taking just 20 Ambien pills doubles your risk of premature death-yikes. As his health continued to fail, Shawn desperately searched for better ways to get good sleep. His studies in sleep and nutrition and fitness led him to identify keys methods to improve sleep and overall health.  Ultimately…this lead to Sleep Smarter!

Sleep Smarter and Lose Body Fat

Shawn cites one study from the University of Chicago which found that putting people on the same strict diet, but manipulating their amount of sleep, triggered a 55% reduction in fat lost for those subjects that had adequate (8 hours) of sleep over their sleep deprived counter parts. Yep, that’s right, you may be eating healthy and working out regularly, but if your sleep is lacking, your results may be, too. It’s because our bodies make the greatest changes during these precious hours. Guys, the greatest secretion of natural human growth hormone (you know, the one that builds muscle and repairs tissue) takes place in the early hours of quality sleep.

Sleep Affects Every Area of our Lives

Sleep affects everything: how we interact with others, our work, our fitness, and our sex lives. Think about it-if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, you probably are not in the best state of mind to make rational decisions or deal with difficult situations. Ok, great. So, now we know all of the things that lack of sleep will do, but how do we fix the problem? Shawn gives three quick tips to improve your sleep right now (by the way, his book has a list of 21 things to improve your sleep).

Sleep Smarter Power Tip #1:

Remove TV screens from the bedroom. Your bedroom should be the place you sleep and are intimate. It is not a movie theater. The light from the screen inhibits your body’s natural sleep hormones, signaling your body to stay awake. Just like TV screens, your time with your personal devices should be limited before bed (Shawn says 90 minutes before bed). Blue light, the light associated most with decreasing melatonin (sleep hormone) emanates from these devices. Checking the latest Twitter feed may be tempting right before bed, but if it keeps you from having the best possible night’s sleep, it’s not worth it.

Sleep Smarter Power Tip #2:

Keep the room dark. Shawn says that our skin has receptors that can detect the smallest amount of light. Investing in black out curtains and eliminating all possible areas where light can creep in will aid in getting you some quality z’s.When you work out plays an integral role in how well you sleep. In a study conducted at Appalachia State, subjects were asked to work out at three different times. Subjects in phase one worked out at 7am, phase two at 1pm and phase three at 7pm. The results? Subjects from phase one spent 75% more time in the anabolic (think muscle growth) phase of sleep. These same subjects also had deeper sleep and a 25% reduction in blood pressure while they slept. Shawn suggests that one of the first things you do in the morning upon waking is five minutes of body weight exercise. This will help your body utilize its greatest resources for muscle building as well as prepare your body for a great night’s sleep.

Sleep Smarter Power Tip #3:

Shawn also highly recommends a bed time routine (your kids do it, why don’t you?). Letting your body know that it is time to sleep will help to trigger the hormones necessary to settle you down for a great night’s rest. So, maybe the mythical unicorn known as sleep isn’t so out of reach.

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Joel Louis

Creating a Career and Life that Work for You with Joel Louis

Joel Louis on work/life balance, pursuing your dreams, finding your passion in your career, and doing it all while giving 100% to your family…enjoy!

What Joel Louis has to say about being laid off

You’re panicked. You’ve lost your job and you look around your house to see your beautiful family, the home you’ve built with so many memories and now it seems like it might be in jeopardy if you don’t find a new avenue for income. It’s one of life’s curve balls. Yes, you’ve contacted your business network and put feelers out there for job opportunities, but there’s a little ache in your heart because you want to do something more with your life.

So, maybe the job loss isn’t necessarily a negative. Maybe it’s an opportunity to do what you have really wanted to do with your life and your career. Think about it. Even if you haven’t been in the position of losing a job, maybe you simply would like to step out of the corporate world and into entrepreneurship.

Now is the time

What do you do to identify what business to start? Find ways to add value and identify a need. Not only will this satisfy your desire to be your own boss, but it will also allow you to create the type of lifestyle for your family. The key is just to start. Even if it’s thirty to sixty minutes a day, work on your business idea to start developing your entrepreneurship. Yes, it may take a few sacrifices (cutting expenses), but in the end, living the life you want is definitely worth the shift.

Become a part of a community

It might help to become part of a community of like-minded individuals (you know, like The Good Dad Project!) that help to push you when you need it. Surrounding yourself with people who think like you builds you up and makes you more successful. Not only that, but it helps when you go through the struggles of building your business or finding that work-life balance to be able to share ideas.  Remember, too, that this is going to take patience. It’s going to take effort every day, not just a bit here and there.

Start your day off right!

So why not start every day off right? Your morning routine will be critical in making sure your dream is a success. Start with what works for you be it mediation, exercise, etc. and then, once you’ve gotten to your office, knock out the most important item on your to-do list. That way, it’s done and everything else is secondary.

Leave your legacy and find your balance

And, of course, the reason you are doing this is for your family. Many times we struggle to make sure we are paying enough attention to both work and our spouse and children. The key is to make your work fit your life. But most importantly, it’s important for your kids to see you continuing to develop yourself. In other words, be there for your kids, but don’t lose yourself in them. In all of this, remember that you are leaving a legacy. Your kids want you to be happy and will learn from you how to find their own happiness through your example. They will learn how to handle life’s curve balls.

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