Category Archives: Insight Writer

Goals For 2012

Hard to believe we have another year behind us. While 2011 turned out pretty dull and average, 2012 is setting up to be anything but.

If anything, the 2012 U.S. election will prove to make this year exciting, as well as all the talk of the end of the Mayan Calendar. Most people I talk to believe something big is going to happen this year, but as always, we shall see.

Most years my goals revolve around learning….

Last year for instance my main goal revolved around compiling everything I have learned about personal finance, personal health, and personal development into a book. This was my main project for Insight Writer and I have to say I fell pretty short of the goal.

I ended up compiling most of the ways I have thought about personal finance into 52 posts over the past 5 months. The hard work of making it into a book is still before me.

I planned on making one book, but decided during the course of things to create three books about each topic, then eventually make a 4th book that incorporates everything I have ever written over at Insight Writer.

At the pace I am going, I’ll be lucky to produce two books next year, the personal finance and personal health ones. But that’s ok because Insight Writer has always been a legacy project for me.

I also started another blog called Lokolee.com to focus on local businesses, but after a month or two of serious effort put into my passion for it ran out. Currently, I am deciding on whether or not I want to renew the domain come May, which is when I originally started it. My passion just isn’t there.

This year I stumbled upon the permaculture movement and it has greatly intrigued me. This has rekindled my interest in renewable energy, farming, and simple living. I hope to continue learning a lot more in this area and apply the lessons learned in my life.

Related to this topic is the concept of how we engineer and design our lives. I probably shouldn’t start another blog project, but I think I am going to start an engineering related blog. Studying engineering has greatly interested me for awhile and I think it is time for me to delve a little more into the field.

While some of the above goals came up a little short this year, I pretty much had a grand slam of health and fitness related goals.

I completed the Tough Mudder event in June with three of my good friends. It was an absolute blast training for, and ultimately accomplishing the event! Every weekend we trained in some tough conditions. Running up sheer mountains and jumping into the iciest of rivers. It might just be a guy thing, but it is hard to explain the pride that comes with attaining a certain physical ability.

I also ran two 10k’s this year, shaving 7 minutes off my previous Bolder Boulder 10k run, dropping my time down to 52 minutes. I hope to destroy my best time again and drop it down into the 45 minute range.

I also ran a marathon this year with minimal training (3 weeks to be exact). I had an excellent 13.1 mile time of 2:03 in training, but then failed to get a 4:30 marathon time. This was my 2nd marathon and I doubt I will ever do one again. They are just too tough on the body.

And I have come a long way as a cook this year, mostly inspired by the Paleo Diet movement. I’ve learned the magic of vinegar in cooking meat among other things. I’ve started to master a lot of recipes like Pad Thai and Fish Tacos as well. Nothing like being able to cook better food than the restaurants can.

I also started weight training in September because I lost a lot of weight and probably some muscle mass doing all the endurance training. I planned to add 10 pounds of muscle and added 5.3 pounds of muscle along with 7 pounds of fat (yeah, ate just too many calories). I bought a year membership at Better Bodies which is only 10 dollars a month and is a pretty large gym so I will spend the rest of the year trying to add as much muscle mass as I can.

Since I plan on writing the health book this coming year, I figured I better really fine tune all the things it takes to be in good health. Exercise routines, eating habits, etc.

This year I plan to pay off my school loan, finish the last few projects on my house, and make more money than I have ever made before. And probably save more money than I ever have before. Basically make more money, and spend the same or less than I have been spending.

One thing I plan on doing is only drinking tea or water this year as an experiment. To save money and be in good health. No coffee, no soda, or any other caffeinated products. No alcohol. No fruit juice. No drink with any calories whatsoever. While each of the things listed above may have some benefits, I think the cons slightly edge them out.

I really want to dial in my diet. Basically by eating the least expensive whole foods I can. Save my money and my health. For instance, I plan on staying away from processed meats. More on that later…

Basically this seems to be a year where I plan on increasing my money and my health, both topics I plan on writing books on this year.

So as usual, this year will be a lot about learning, and a lot of growing.

And perhaps always in practice, but seldom mentioned up front. I want to learn more how to love and respect people for who they are. Sometimes it is hard to remember that there are more good people than bad in this world, but I truly believe it. I want to practice the remembrance of this idea daily. Perhaps my hardest goal, and perhaps my most worthy goal in the new year.

Happy New Year To ALL and To ALL a Wonderful, AMAZING, Great Night!!!

On Fasting, Volume Workouts, & Alkaline/Acidic Diets

Just wanted to let you know that The Personal Finance Challenge is humming along quite nicely on Insight Writer. I have already published 12 articles with about 4 more already in the works. The goal is to get to 52 by Thanksgiving. And then work on editing and layout in December for a book release in January. In January I will start strong with 52 articles on health, diet, and exercise and have another book released by June. I will repeat the process again over the summer and fall to have a final personal development book released by Thanksgiving in time for the Christmas season.

My plan is to release an ebook for $2.99 and a paperback book for something like $7.95 up to $9.95.

My question to you is should I release the ebook for free, or should I charge the $2.99 as planned. When releasing something for free you have the potential to reach a wider audience. On the flip side, although I am passionate about these subjects, I would like to see some financial reward for the effort involved in putting together, marketing, and releasing an ebook.

What are your thoughts?

Onto my current research….

I am currently digging through the archives at Leangains.com and absolutely loving everything Martin has to say about nutrition and exercise.

The main subject I am digging into now is how intermittent fasting can help keep bodyfat low. Martin’s writing might cater a little more to bodybuilders and athletes, but what he has to say can be applied to anyone’s life. As you can guess by now, a lot of my current research will be published on Insight Writer in the New Year.

So I just had a personal trainer convince me it was a good idea to do a volume workout. While the verdict is still out about how much mass this will help me build, I am pretty sure it is going to help me increase my strength and endurance a lot. I have to do more research on it, but I think volume workouts could be helpful in building mass if you allow A LOT of recovery time after them. My current belief is that they are simply too destructive to do on a regular basis and still add muscle. I think if I do them once or twice a month at most though they will help me break through any plateaus I reach in the future.

Reading forums like this one on ironmagazineforums.com show the real debate among everyone on how volume workouts fit into your exercise routine.

This article makes the case for Low Volume Workouts, and cites numerous studies and examples to back it up.

For now I am sticking to the low volume, high intensity workout advocated by Tim Ferriss in his book the 4 Hour Body. It is alternatively called Geek to Freak, or Occam’s Protocol, named after the Occam’s Razor principal.

Finally I am starting to also research Alkaline vs. Acidic foods and how they should fit into your diet. The general idea is to gradually increase the amount of Alkaline foods you eat. The average American diet has about 60-70% acid forming foods in it. The idea is to switch your diet so you eat about 60-70% alkaline forming foods. This is mostly accomplished by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.

And, by food combining! Yep, it all ties in. A steak (which is acid forming) should be eaten with a hearty helping of vegetables (which are alkaline forming), such as broccoli or a salad, so they balance each other out.

There are a ton of myths about eating and exercise out there and I hope to help debunk as many as I can by showing you research that proves them otherwise.

One thing is for sure, of all diet plans out there, NONE of them have anything bad to say about adding more vegetables to your diet. So don’t forget to eat your veggies! 😉

Become Better At Sales By Making Powerful Connections

This isn’t an article about networking with powerful people…

This is an article about connecting with people… powerfully… on the human level…

It’s an article called How To Make Powerful Connections With People written by me on my other personal development blog called Insight Writer.

In it I talk about how I have learned how to improve my sales over the years by learning how to connect with people in a number of different ways.

The real secret, if there is one to learn, is by learning what body language is all about…

All the best intentions in the world sometimes are trumped by bad body language. Don’t let this happen to you. Go read my article, and start thinking about how you can start communicating better by becoming fluent in body language…

Staying Healthy is a Great Return on Investment

The question you always have to ask yourself when you are pursuing anything is…

What good is it if I don’t have my health?

If something is getting in the way of you staying healthy, whether its working long hours, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, or a combination of things, you have to seriously question it.

Stress really does kill us, and good health is the foundation everything else can be built on.

Good health gives us more energy, helps us be more productive, and allows us to enjoy people more. All things that we want more out of life, and that make us happy.

I wrote an article at Insight Writer that was a big hit called 11 Little Steps to Better Health.

It is a nice short enjoyable read with a bunch of links to additional resources, and implementing just one of those ideas can have a large effect on improving your health.

So be sure to factor in health when you are making any business or life decision…

It really is a great return on your investment!

9 Easy Ways to Get a Life

Editor’s Note: This is from a top post series at Insight Writer.

To launch my new blog I figured one of the best ways I could do that was to start a series where I linked to and talked about some of my old blogs.

I learned a lot in my past two years of blogging at Insight Writer.

One thing I learned was that titles matter for blog posts. Or anything for that matter.

It is what attracts the attention of readers in a world where everyone and everything is vying for your attention.

9 Easy Ways to Get a Life is a catchy title. Even better, it is in list format. Internet readers love a great list. Quick and easy to read, and full of great information.

The old one two punch helped launch this post into my top 5 of all time. Enjoy…

9 Easy Ways to Get a Life…