This Blog's Purpose

The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Monday, January 28, 2013

MMV: Monday's Motivational Video - Michael Phelps

Sunday, January 27, 2013

21 tips to for a better new year

So it's finally 2013! It's time to work harder, learn more and become a better person in general. In the nick of time, here are 21 tips (from an earlier blog)  to get you in a better place in 2013.
  1. Start a habit of praying and/or meditating daily – for my fellow theists out there this should be a no-brainer if all else fails at least you can pray. Studies have shown that prayers do have a positive effect but I just feel much better after praying anyway. For my friends who follow the flying spaghetti monster – that is to say my atheist and agnostic brothers and sisters - try out meditation for a spin. If you don’t meditate regularly think about the last time you’ve had the opportunity to just sit and think about nothing whatsoever without distraction. Find a comfortable, quiet and hopefully dim part of your house and give yourself at least 10-20 minutes to forget about anything stressing you out and instead either think of possible solutions or think about nothing at all. I personally do both daily.
  2.  Begin getting up a little bit earlier each day – you know what they say the early bird gets the worm. The man who makes the $100 bill possible said some year's ago "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise" You can also check out the blog  How to Wake Up Early for some great tips.
  3. Compliment at least 1 person a day – you will be amazed at how the world begins to give you back good energy if you just start to give it out without asking for anything back in return. I once complimented someone on the elevator about something they were wearing and this lady literally half-jumped out of her skin,  half-shouted THANK YOU! As if she’d been waiting for someone to notice all day. Compliment somebody and let karma work on receiving that compliment back.
  4. Shoot for reading at least 2 books a month – knowledge is power but reading also stimulates your brain and helps you learn.I heard a rumor that the average millionaire reads 52 books a year. I also heard a rumor that Oprah - the billionaire - reads two books a can handle two books a month, try and start with one a month and increase.
  5. Get on a regular fitness program  - The more in shape you are, the healthier you are. Join a gym, find an aerobics class, buy some running shoes and put a "26.2" bumper sticker on your car...and start jogging or running too.
  6.  Save your 2nd biggest smile of the day for a complete stranger – Think of how many frowns you meet in a day.... now think of how many smiles you tend to meet.... Believe it or not it has a lot to do with what’s on your face when you come in contact with others. Try and make that expression a smile. 
  7. Save your biggest smile of the day for your significant other – Now I’m guilty of not doing this as often as I should but sometimes we smile at others all day but when we get home to our loved ones we have nothing but frowns and complaints. Give your loved ones a smile instead.
  8. Call an old friend up and ask how they’re doing with no ulterior motive – call up a friend you haven’t talked to in a while just to say "hi." Find out what they are up to, how they've been, who's in their life and who isn't. You'll likely feel better and possibly have another person to talk to while you're at it. 
  9. Keep a notebook to write down goals – I mentioned in a prior podcast  the Harvard study about goals. If you missed it, the study followed Harvard students who had goals and those who did not. Those who had clear written goals were earning as much as 10 times more than those with no goals whatsoever.
  10. Start a blog if you’d like to share your life with the world – It’s easy just check out  blogger or wordpress to find out more.
  11. Start  a journal if you feel like writing about deeply personal issues and keeping them secret – the only downfall of the blog is that once it’s posted on the Internet... it’s there forever. If you want to keep some of your life private stick to old fashioned pen & paper.
  12. If you’re in line for coffee, pay for the person behind you – now I wouldn’t say do this every day but, if you notice someone is having a particularly bad day – a random act of kindness like this will probably make their day.One word - Karma.
  13. Volunteer for a non-profit – soup kitchen, after school program, animal shelter whatever makes you feel good while helping others helps you both.
  14. Hour to Slack -If you’re the workaholic type – like myself – set aside an hour a day or( a day a week if you can stand it ) to slack off  - This can be a hard thing to do if you’re a workaholic but if you don’t schedule time to take a break you’re cruising for a nervous break-down.
  15. Save more money than you blow – Someone once said "If you’ve got 15 cents, spend the nickel but save the dime."  I’d agree. If you need help Dave Ramsey, Lynnette Khalfani and an endless array of bloggers can help.
  16. Blow a least a little bit of your money - If you try and save everything you earn and spend no money. That illogical side of you that likes to have fun may just revolt, go on a shopping spree followed by a weekend binge in Vegas and then you're right back at square one. So allow yourself to splurge sometimes, just don't make it a weekly habit.
  17. Learn a new joke and try it on a friend – who doesn’t like humor?
  18. Learn the names of people you see all the time – neighbors, bank tellers, co-workers who work in different departments. – someone said something to the effect of the most recognized words on another's lips are the person’s own name…I agree - this tip comes from one of the greatest self help books ever - How to Win Friends And Influence People if you haven't read it yet you should -now. Tips 3, 6 & 7 came from this book too. 
  19.  Visualize your day, week or month going great – give yourself a week and as you wake up remain in bed and spend about 5 -10 minutes imagining your week going great but also imagine what you will have to do to make it go great – see if things don’ t start to change.
  20. Give your spare change to the homeless – unless you have aggressive panhandlers in your neighborhood it usually doesn’t hurt to give spare change to those who have less than you do.Don't sit and judge them about that they could possibly use it for drugs, alcohol or worry that they're not really homeless in the first place. Just give it, wish them the best and move on.
  21. Turn off the TV! – I could talk about this for hours but TV is one of the most destructive or at least deconstructive inventions in the past 70 years in my opinion. If you think you have no time to do anything, give up TV and all your favorite TV shows for one week to see if you notice... you suddenly have ample time. I had always teetered on lowering my TV intake until I read this comic from Tom the Dancing Bug:
 The character above really spoke to me. From that day to this, I try and fill my spare time with as little TV as possible.

Let me know if any of these tips helped or if you have tips of your own. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

5 ways to KILL (or incapacitate) that "little voice"

You know that little voice inside you that says:

"You're a loser"

"You could never lose that weight"

"Why would a girl like that want to date you?"

That voice is a parasite living inside the confines of your skull and it's up to you to destroy said parasite and bring your mental health back up to par.

Here are 5 ways to KILL that little voice that says "you can't do it".

1) Learn all you can about how to do/be/achieve the thing you want - If you want to be a better golfer you likely need to either study or practice golfing or both. If you want to lose weight going to the gym and changing your diet might just help. To get from point A to point Z you have to cross point B and then point C and so on.

2) Turn off the TV or at least the news and commercials. - Although TV is no doubt entertaining it can become destructive if you watch it a little too much. If you watch the news constantly you can become depressed from seeing a steady stream of sadness paraded in front of your eyeballs followed by commercials which are typically Madison Avenue's attempt to tell you all the reasons you aren't happy or would be happier if you'd just buy this great new product. So you go out an buy a bunch of things you don't really need only to find your in debt ....I could spend an hour on this subject but, since I know you're time is precious - let's move on.

3) Fight fire with fire with positive reinforcement, mantras or incantations as you get up and before you go to bed. - That little voice seems to have endless ammunition on how terrible you are, stupid you know the deal - that twerp might even be whispering in your ear right now! Put that S.O.y.B. (Son Of your Brain) on the defensive and attack him with a positive words you can chant to yourself that focus on what you want and not what you don't want.

A very simple and well known chant is:

Everyday, in every way , I'm getting better and better.

One I use quite often is a little longer:

By the divine grace, power and glory of the Almighty,
I'm becoming more competent and confident in all that I do
And All that I do is for you (meaning the almighty)

For my atheist and agnostic friends here's one from Tony Robbins

If I can’t – then I must. If I must – then I will

4) Find a mentor - If you have something you want to achieve in your relationships, physical health, wealth or whatever it might be a great way to stay focused on it is to find a mentor who has already achieved what you want to achieve. Now if you can set up a way to meet with said mentor on a daily basis then that's great. But sometimes the mentor may be inaccessible so instead you may have to study what they did or what habits they continue to do in order to achieve their success and then copy them or adjust them to your own circumstances.

That little voice begins to trip over his puny words of doubt when you have a strong focus on someone who has already done it.

5) Get a life Coach to cheer you on to victory - Sometimes we just need someone to help. A reputable Life coach will go out of his/her way to make sure you stay on track in the search for what it is you really want. Some life coaches are even under $100 an hour. High-end life coaches can cost you Thousands or dollars and hour. On average though cost tends to be a few hundred dollars per session.

That little voice will likely run and hide if you're in the presence of a great coach. A spectacular coach may give you insights to slay the little voice for good.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

10 strategies to get your money right in 2013

Photo by Tax Credits
1) Debt Snowball - popularized by one of my favorite teachers - Dave Ramsey. This man taught me to become debt free. The system is simple - you take a look at all your debts, regardless of their interest rate and decide to pay them off one by one from smallest to largest.

For the math nerds that would attack a $10,000 debt at 20% interest before a $500 debt at 0% interest - the logic here is that people have a tendency to be illogical. It feels better and builds your confidence to knock off the little bill and then go after it's bigger cousins.


2) Envelope system  - This is a low-tech yet effective  way to keep a budget - it is also suggested by Dave Ramsey. You set an envelope for every expense you have during the month that you would normally pay cash for gas, food, eating out etc. Once an envelope begins to get low you know it's time to slow down your spending.

3) Coupon clipping  - Clipping coupons is an excellent way to save money and if you're not doing that now you should start today. There are plenty of websites, flyers, heck - they even put coupons on your receipt tape depending on where you shop - so you have few excuses to use this way to save.

Some of the best Coupon Websites right now include:

4) Kill your TV (or at least your cable) -  I know, the boob-tube has become just part of the family and routine right? Well I hope not, but if you're like the majority of Americans be just a little different and give up cable. They suck you in with a low rate and then before you know it they have you glued to the couch paying as much as $1200 each year - according to to watch other people live their lives to the fullest while you get fatter, older and poorer - stop the madness!

Cancel your cable bill today.

5) Get a budget and stick to it - It was nearly a decade ago when I was reading Details or Maxim or some other quality magazine for 20-year old males who may lack responsibility (I did at the time) when I came across an article that was uniquely responsible - in disguise. It talked about the first step to making a good budget is determining you income versus expenses. I found from that article that when your expenses exceed your income - you're more or less screwed. Silly 20-year old that I was at the time completely fit this description. unfortunately for me it wasn't until a few years after that that I decided to do something about it. Don't be like 20-year old D.

To have an accurate budget you should track all of your expenses from the gas bill to the candy bar you picked up at the gas station and set aside a part of your income for these items. If after a few months of keeping track you realize your check has run out before the month runs out you need to either look for new or better sources of income or areas where you can cut back (eating out, drinking, 3-D movies every week are some hints) 

6) Get on linkedin - One of the most popular social network right now is This is a place where professionals basically come to network, investigate companies, get job and sell themselves. If you'd like to be in a better position in 2013 linked-in is definitely a network you should join. For those unfamiliar with the network, keep in mind that this is professional network, no political opining or spamming or chain mail messages to your connections here. Keep it professional. 

7) Become a Virtual Assistant - As the economy becomes more global it has led more and more people to become more entrepreneurial with their skill-sets  Just about anything you can do with your computer and, do well - can be auctioned off to both low and high bidders on the internet in exchange for cash.

Sites like Elance and O-Desk allow people to give their best work for a fee. You can also use sites like to earn money in $5 increments - but if the service is easy enough for you to do and hard enough for others to duplicate this site could become very valuable as well.

8) Sell everything but the kitchen sink -  Ebay, Craigslist  or your own garage sale can earn you great part-time cash and reduce the clutter in your closet simultaneously.

If you'd like to check out an article devoted to making money on ebay -
check this one out:  savvysugar

If you'd like to see a blog devoted to making money on craigslist -
check out this one: recraigslist

9) find something your passionate AND people would pay you to do and put it on kickstarter-
Ever since I learned about this site midway through last year I've been amazed at what the power of the internet can create, I've seen a Ipod become a watch, a computer that will likely run your house in the future ("Hello Dave" ..."Hello HAL") and my favorite video game characters from the 1990's turned into high end Japanese style art.

If you've got a crazy idea, little funding but lots of chutzpah to promote said idea - I would highly recommend kickstarter. I personally love the site and always amazed when I browse what awesome and also infantile ideas can go from idea to reality in 60 days or less.  

10) find a need and fill it - I'll be honest, this is what I struggle with. If we use broad strokes we are all where we are today because there is (or was) a need and we filled it. Will that be the case a year from now , 5 years from now 50 years from now? Only time will tell but, if you believe in your ability to control your fate more than the theory destiny ia dragging you around - you have to constantly be searching to fill that need. I am where I am today because I feel a need somewhere - I will be where I am tomorrow because the need for what I bring to the table has either subsided or increased. The more that need increases the more valuable and powerful we become so I'm constantly looking to fill that gap - with varying amounts of focus.

Now it's your turn to give me feedback, did these strategies help or not? Do you have some better strategies? Tell me by sharing a comment in the comments section. If you liked what you read be sure to subscribe. If not, feel free to comment on how I could do better. Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

25 ways to actually achieve the top 5 new year's resolutions

#I) Get in shape  

Photo By EJMC

1. Go running daily - the late Zig Ziglar often joked about how he used to weigh over 200 lbs until he decided to start running one day. On that day he ran to the end of the block and back. The next day he ran about a block and a half an then came back, and so on... until he was running miles upon miles each day.

It only takes a small start and a commitment to continue to succeed.

2. Make a commitment to go to the gym

Q:  how do gyms stay in business? 

A: They bank on the majority of "members" showing up on Jan 2nd, 3rd and 4th and then giving up right around the 5th, 6th or 7th.

However,  most would go bankrupt by year end - not to mention have no room - if EVERYBODY they were charging month after month showed up EVERYDAY! Be that type of person who is still going to the gym daily, who knows the staff by name and most importantly show up.

3.Get a workout buddy - I personally don't have a workout partner because of my schedule. That being said, I would love to have one. A workout partner can keep you accountable, give you a reason to go to the gym and give you a spot if you're doing heavy lifting.

4. Set mini fitness goals - If you have a goal - setting mini-goals is a great way to help you measure your progress and encourage you to continue. For example one of my wife's recent goals was to lose several lbs by a certain date. We figured out if we broke this down to weekly goals it would be a little bit over a pound a week to hit her goal. If we broke that down to days it comes to a matter of ounces. Focus on the small to achieve the big.

5. Join a competition  - I've participated in the Body-for-Life competition a few times. It's a competition for people across the country to see how they can change their body over a 12 week period.  Although I've never won the competition it's always a great feeling to simply finish - you get a little certificate showing that you finished and you get the satisfaction of seeing how you looked on day one and how you look on day 90.

The biggest loser TV show is also doing a work from home competition this year - to find out more about that program click here

#II) Eat Right 

Photo By the Recipe Drawer

6. Paleo Diet - This is based on Dr. Loren Cordain's research on what the diet of our healthier more active hunter-gatherer ancestor's would've eaten. 

7. Atkins Diet - This is a protein-heavy, low carb diet invented by Dr. Robert Atkins a medical doctor who at first promoted a diet heavy in meat and cheeses but his company Atkins international has backed away from this a little. It may be helpful to know that Dr. Atkins suffered a heart-attack about a year before he passed away in 2003.

8. Blood type diet - A diet inspired by Dr. Peter DÁdamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type - is a just what it sounds like - a diet based on your blood type.

9. Vegetarian/Vegan - Vegetarians eat no flesh - with the exception of eggs in some cases. Vegans eat nothing that originates from an animal.

10. Flexitarian  - I sometimes test out this type of diet from time to time, it's basically being a part-time vegetarian. It's a great way to test out the vegetarian lifestyle a couple times a week and revert back to the omnivore meal plan later int he week.

#III) Save Money - Ask - learn from the experts.

This might not be the best way...
11. Dave Ramsey - This is one of my personal financial hero's. The author of Total Money Makeover. He helped me get out of debt and he hates owing other people money - like I do now. 

12. Lynette Khalfani - Ms. Khalfani also preaches having a sensible debt load - if not no debt at all.

13. Suze Orman - This would be my other personal financial hero. Her experience as a financial adviser is well known and respected. She hosts a eponymous weekly show on CNBC where she discusses personal finance. She's also written several books on personal finance.

14. Read PF Blogs: There are a wealth of personal finance blogs on the Internet. Some of the best are Get Rich Slowly, The Simple Dollar and Man vs Debt . These are all blogs I've read and enjoy.  

15. Write your own PF blog  - A few years ago, I found myself deeply in debt and only after I started my own PF  blog about my experience did I become quickly  educated and focused on my finances. My blog was anonymous and I would say if you find yourself deep in debt - this might be advisable so you can be open and honest without letting the world know your business. At the end of my blog I was out of debt and on to a new career, in finance.

#IV) Quit Smoking 

Photo by matteo.maretto

Drawbacks: If you're a smoker, you've likely heard these all before but humor me: 

  • Increases the risk for cancer
  • Increases likelihood of impotence
  • Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure
  • Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies
Here's a couple ways to stop if you're ready to: 

16. Buy Nicorette gum

17. Gradually reduce the number of cigarettes (or packs if you smoke multiple packs a day) and keep track of your progress.

18. Try the Nicoderm Patch 

19. Make a list of other things to do instead of smoking and start doing them when you get the urge for a smoke - replace your habit with something else that feels good but is also good for you.

20. Set a quit date and promise yourself to quit cold turkey on that day.

For more details and a strategy - check out this article on Reader's Digest: 

#V) Volunteer

Photo by US Army Alaska

21. Soup Kitchen - in just about every town big or small there is typically a "soup kitchen" or community lunch program somewhere in town that could use your help either serving, cooking or even soliciting donations from local businesses and organizations. I've had the pleasure of serving in this way for the last several years in one capacity or another. 

I'm currently on hiatus still adjusting to my <1yr old son. That being said, the intrinsic benefits are immeasurable. Sometimes clients will go out of their way to heartily thank you for the meal. 

22. United Way - United Way has somewhat cornered the market on volunteering here in the United States with over 1,800 organization in 45 different countries they're hard to beat. If you have United Way office in your area - e-mail, call or stop by and you'll likely be inundated with opportunities to give back.

23. Senior Centers - checking with Volunteers of America or Meals on Wheels are both great ways to reach out to the elderly population.

24. Big Brother/Big Sister - According to Big Brother/Big Sister website a study found that: 

after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in our program, were:
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school
  • 37% less likely to skip a class
  • 33% less likely to hit someone  
You may be the right type of person to volunteer being a role model. 
25. Craigslist - There are endless opportunities to volunteer on craigslist from things ranging from festivals to the elderly to soup kitchens - etc.If you happen to be in the central Ohio area like me you can click here to volunteer.