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May 16, 2013, 6:00 am

Do You Get More Done in The Summer?

by: MD    Category: Uncategorized

I don’t how anyone can live where it’s warm out all year round. I’m totally jealous. I live in Ontario, Canada, where it’s cold for a good 6-8 months of the year. I have no idea why my parents chose to migrate here from Europe. But hey, you can’t control Mother Nature.

Today I wanted to have some fun and discuss the idea of getting work done in the summer when it’s warm out.

Do you get more or less work done in the summer?

You feel better in the summer. There’s so much to do. Everyone is out. You can spend an evening at the park. Most of you reading this have kids and believe me I know how bad kids can be in the summer. When I was a kid I just wanted to be at the park all evening playing soccer or hanging out with friends. I couldn’t stay in.

How are you supposed to stay productive or stick to your laptop when you just want to be outside? It’s pretty tough at times.

The winter can be a killer on your moods. I’ve seen many friends experience season affective disorder. You don’t feel like doing anything. You just want to sit around. Your mood sucks too.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”

That sucks. I personally can get pretty damn lazy in the winter months. There are days where I don’t feel like doing anything. It can be difficult to snap out of.

With that being said, we all want to get the most out of the summer because it’s only here for such a short period of time.

How can you stay on top of your goals in the summer?

The following tips have worked best for me when I know that I have to be glued to my laptop when it’s gorgeous out.

Avoid the temptation to drink early.

When it’s warm out, it’s tempting to start hanging out on the patio earlier in the day. This usually leads to booze. This could lead to a few beers. You’re feeling social. You don’t want to go home. Next thing you know, you’re 6 beers in and feeling wasted by 5pm. While there’s nothing wrong with that if you planned for it, it sucks if you have things to do that day.

As tempting as it can be, you got to hold off on the early drinking.

Get your work done first.

My goal is to get as much done as possible in the morning. This frees up the rest of the day. You also don’t have to stress during the afternoon about that email that you forgot to reply to or that project that isn’t complete yet.

I say that we try to get as much done as possible in the morning or before we go out. The rest of the day is ours.

Wake up early.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

It’s tough to wake up earlier than you need to in the winter because it’s freezing out and your bed is so nice and warm. Now that it’s warm out, you have less excuses. What are some of the benefits of waking up earlier?

  • A calm morning.
  • Time to exercise.
  • Start the day off right.
  • The world is peaceful.
  • More focus.
There are many more benefits. I’m trying to get into the habit of waking up earlier myself. Have you thought about it?

[Quick note: Leo wrote about the beenfits of waking up early at Zen Habits.]

As for me, I have windows open with a nice breeze coming in as I type this article. This is the warmest day of the year. As soon as I finish my work I’m heading outside to enjoy the sun. We have a nice little park in our backyard and there’s always someone around to hang out.

Do you struggle with getting work done in the summer?

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April 11, 2013, 6:00 am

Should You Pay For a Gym Membership?

by: MD    Category: Uncategorized

“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Should you pay for a gym membership? Is this actually worth the money?

Last week we talked about squeezing fitness into your life. I shared my tips and you guys joined in with some great insights.

“I started doing 10 push-ups every time I walked out my front door. I would do them inside obviously. But the rule was, If I planned on walking through that door frame, I had to drop and do 10 first. After a while I raised it to 15. Before I knew it my strength had increased significantly.” — Sean

“Very true. If you want to do something bad enough you will MAKE the time to do it or else you find any excuse to skip it Staying healthy is necessary for vitality and living a long life not to mention saving money on medical bills and sickness which are inevitable without it. However, fitness is only one part of it you also have to eat healthy most of the time.” — Kelly

Now we need to discuss gym memberships…

What are the pros of a gym membership?

Forces you to go. You know this by now. When you pay for something, there’s a barrier to entry and you take it more seriously. Paying for something often makes you appreciate it more. I can’t miss a workout for the same reason I never missed class. It’s my money on the line!

You make friends. I’ve made tons of friends at the gym. This could be the person that spots you or a new friend that you meet in one of the classes. Once you make friends, you’re more accountable for hitting the gym. You know that if you miss a class or a workout, that somebody is going to call you out on this.

Oh and you have more friends to go out with on the weekend!

Excuse to leave the house. Who doesn’t want to leave the house once in a while just to get away from it all? I never drink when I’m mad. I hit the gym. The gym is an excellent excuse to get out of your place and be social.

What are the negatives of paying for a membership?

The cost. The cost sucks if you don’t use it. Imagine buying a meal and then walking away before taking a bite? That’s what you’re doing with a gym membership if you don’t attend.

Gyms don’t make money from those that go. They make money from those that don’t go. My buddy Vince came to my gym one day. He wanted to start training. He paid for one year upfront. Awesome! Well, no. He never came again. That gym just made the easiest couple of hundred bucks ever.

You don’t need a gym to workout. As we mentioned last week, you don’t need a formal gym membership just to train and move. You can workout in your basement, at the park, or anywhere else. Don’t worry about joining a gym. If you’re committed enough, you can reach your fitness goals without paying for a membership.

What’s my process for figuring out if a gym membership is worth it?

In 2008, I cut my gym membership at the end of the year. I didn’t feel that it was worth the money at that point.

I joined a new gym in mid-2009 because I really wanted to switch up my training. It was an MMA-style gym with unlimited classes. I became hooked instantly. I got into everything from kickboxing to kettlebell swings. The classes were a great way to stay in shape and meet people. I still go when I can, but the gym has significantly cut back on classes. I guess they had too many folks like me taking advantage of every class.

My process is simple for deciding if a gym membership is worth it:

  1. Try working out at first home. Before you pay for anything, you should try to get into the habit of training in general. Start off at home or in the park.
  2. Work on your eating. How’s your diet? Do you still eat too much junk? Before you can see any results or gains, you need to slowly improve your eating. This won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. And if you can’t improve your eating, maybe you’re really not that serious about working out.
  3. Take one month where you pay-as-you-go. Yes, pay as you go. Trust me. Pay every single time you go.
  4. Evaluate. How did everything turn out? How many times did you attend? Would it be cheaper to pay for a membership compared to paying as you go? You tell me.

I’m actually debating cutting my main gym membership. The main boxing trainer left and the replacements don’t cut it. The only thing holding me to this gym is my younger brother. We usually go together. Lately we only train one day a week together because he has a gym class in school for his first period (he’s in grade 11). With the summer around the corner, we might switch over to park workouts.

Are you currently paying for a gym membership?

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April 4, 2013, 6:00 am

How You Can Squeeze Fitness Into Your Life (no matter how busy you are)

by: MD    Category: Uncategorized

“I wish I could get in shape. I just have no time.” — most people reading this.

What’s your excuse for not working out?

  • Irregular hours.
  • Family with kids.
  • Full-time job.
  • No time.

When you want something bad enough, you’ll do it. If you don’t want it bad enough, you’ll think of an excuse.

The good news is that we’re all guilty of making excuses. You’re not alone. Excuses are common. The even better news is that you can easily squeeze fitness into your life without any radical changes. You don’t have to track calories or weigh your food. That’s lame.

I’m guessing that as a parent, entrepreneur, or just overall busy person, you want to lose a few pounds or have more energy. That’s cool and easily attainable.

I’ve been doing a TON of writing, research, and well application on fitness lately. I wanted to share my results with you to help you squeeze a little fitness into your life.

The world is your gym.

That’s right. You don’t have to worry about spending $50 on a gym membership or on some new fancy shoes that are supposed to make you run faster. The world is your gym. You can train in your living room or at the park. You don’t have to wait until you find a gym membership. You don’t have to drive anywhere to train.

You can try to do as many pushups as possible during commercials. You can walk more often instead of driving to the corner store. You get the point. It’s not rocket science. I’m just suggesting that you treat this world as your gym.

Keep it simple.

Keep it simple in terms of training. Instead of debating technique and different workouts at the beginning, just go for a run or bust out as many pushups as you can. If you drop down and do as many pushups as you can right now, you’ll be ahead of your friends that are still shopping around for a gym membership.

As a rookie, you don’t have to worry about meal timing or sets and reps. Just get out there and do anything. Any physical activity beats doing nothing and complaining about being out of shape.

Focus on eating right.

Eating right is key. You already know this. We all know this. We all know that we should be eating better. So how do you eat better? I’m going to share tricks that I’ve shared with my friends that are super busy but want to get in shape:

  • Keep good food on you. The best way to eat good food is to have good food on you. If you’re always on the go, you’re much better off carrying a pack of almonds in your car than you are stopping at McDonalds. The same logic applies to your home. If your home is filled with crap, you’re going to eat crap.
  • Start your day off with protein. Instead of being obsessed with diet, you can start your day off with a high protein meal. This will fill you up nicely for the rest of the day.
  • Never shop hungry. This is a common mistake. I used to do this all of the time. I go into the grocery store or mall starving. I leave with bags of chips and all sorts of crap. When you’re hungry you don’t think properly. We all know that feeling.

Save the junk for one day.

I love my pizza, poutine, beer, and vodka. I could never cut these all out. Why would I even want to try? I used to think that dieting was about eating well 100% of the time. Then I read The 4-Hour Body and Tim Ferriss stressed the idea of picking one day a week where you pig out. This works wonders for your soul. Instead of having a slice here and there, you can try to save it all up for one day. On this day, you snap. You eat whatever you want. You make yourself sick. One day only. The rest of the week you go back to eating normally. Simple enough.

Have you been struggling to squeeze fitness into your life? Please leave a question behind if you have one…

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January 18, 2013, 6:00 am

Epic Roundup

by: MD    Category: Uncategorized

What’s happening? It’s getting too cold for me. But I guess that should be expected when living in Canada.

My favorite piece of the week was:

Do Less: A Short Guide @ Zen Habits.

This is a must-read if you find yourself too busy to even read the article (does that make sense?). Leo uses his simple theme to explain to us why we should be doing less instead of more.

I also wanted to shamelessly promote an article.

How to Stay Fit When Traveling @ Muscle Mag (my first fitness-related piece).

The carnivals…

Carnival of Money Pros.

Carnival of Personal Finance #396 hosted by Financial Coach Adam Hagerman.

If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. Then, you will get my daily post to your email and can read it at any time. To subscribe CLICK HERE

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September 30, 2011, 6:00 am

Financial Ramblings

by: MD    Category: Uncategorized

Another slow weekend around here. I can’t think of anything to do really do this weekend… Well there’s that one little called the Financial Blogger Conference that I think every single person is attending!

Let’s jump into the links as most personal finance bloggers descent upon Chicago.

1. PT Money. Check out every article on this blog and show your support for Phil!

2. I’m In No Hurry To Pay Down My Mortgage @ Canadian Finance Blog.

3. 5 Lessons I Learned From My First Job @ Christian PF.

4. Why You Will Never Get Rich Cutting Your Budget @ Budgets Are Sexy.

5. 5 Tips for Networking on a Budget @ Experiglot.

6. 10 Ways To Stay Calm In These Crazy Markets @ IS.

7. Dividend Growth Index @ TDGB.

8. The Big List of Little Savings That Go a Long Way @ GPT.

9. How to Set Up an Online Store  @ PIN.

10. How To Buy Stock With or Without a Broker @ Good Financial Cents.

11. Do I Need a Credit Card? @ Studenomics.

12. A Practical Way To Estimate And Budget For Home Maintenance Costs @ Money Smarts Blog.

13. Financial Strategy #5: Maintain Your Own Personal Bailout Fund @ FMF.

14. Inheritance? Forget it. 5 Reasons why Gen X & Y won’t Get Inheritances @ 20-Something Finance.

15. When Was the Last Time You Unplugged? @ Corbett Barr.

If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. Then, you will get my daily post to your email and can read it at any time. To subscribe CLICK HERE

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