Saturday, January 4, 2014

I will not be posting here again

In the year 2014 I want more time, better results and frankly more joy. Blogging and reading each item before I share has helped me greatly. I truly love to learn and feel me continuing to blog is not productive for my business so thanks for the 125k page views and the comments I appreciate your attention and focus.
Thanks and have a great 2014!


The benefits of being alone

Find out why and how you should spend time alone on this week's podcast episode.
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Andy Andrews
In the Loop
Episode 114 - The Surprising Benefits of Spending Time Alone
Specifically spending time alone is one of the most beneficial activities for you, creatively and spiritually.
In this podcast episode, I discuss how and where I find time to spend alone. Click here or below to listen!


Click to listen to this episode
Episode Notes:
Why is it important to spend time alone?
  • Spending time alone is the best way to concentrate my thoughts.
  • It’s a good way to stimulate creativity.
  • If I can wake up before my family and refrain from checking email, my phone, or turning on the news, I can have amazing results.
This isn’t so much about being alone as it is about spending time with my boys, but while driving the boys to school, I reach my hand back and say, “Hands!” and we pray for…
  • Teachers
  • Friends
  • Mom
  • Our day
Sometimes, it’s necessary to leave the house in order to be alone. Here are some of the places I go:
  • The woods are a great place for me to get away.
  • I’ll go alone to a cabin sometimes and spend several days by myself.
  • Most of my novels are not written while I’m at home.
  • The water is not a particularly good place for me, as I’m always wondering what is in the water.
I wouldn’t say that I am alone a lot.
  • Your don't have to spend long periods of time alone every single day.
  • It’s important to make a habit of finding at least small portions of the day during which you can be alone.
We also had an interesting question come in: would I rather spend a year alone in a box, or 15 years alone in a hotel room? Tune in for my answer!
What topics would you like me to discuss on the podcast? Let us know!
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The Gamification of weight loss

TED Blog

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 09:55 AM PST
Mick Cornett is the mayor of Oklahoma City. In this talk from TEDMed, he explains why he challenged his city to lose a million pounds.
Mick Cornett is the mayor of Oklahoma City. In this talk from TEDMED, he explains why he challenged his city to lose a million pounds.
In 2007, Mayor Mick Cornett put Oklahoma City on a diet, after the city made a less-than-flattering appearance on a list of the most obese cities in the United States. In today’s talk, Cornett shares the aha moments that led him to create This City Is Going on a Diet, a somewhat unusual mayoral initiative.
Mick Cornett: How an obese town lost a million poundsMick Cornett: How an obese town lost a million pounds“On New Year’s Eve of 2007, I went to the zoo,” Cornett recalls in today’s talk. “I stood in front of the elephants, and I said, ‘This city is going on a diet, and we’re going to lose a million pounds.’ That’s when all hell broke loose.” Watch this talk to find out what happened next.
This week, we’re in the midst of New Year’s resolution mania. And if you’re thinking that a community weight loss challenge sounds like a smart way to help people stick to fitness and nutrition goals, you’re in good company. Over the past few years, plenty of games, challenges and competitions have popped up to promote weight loss and exercise. Going beyond diet gimmicks, what sets them apart is the tendency to be public, and communal.
Once considered a private — even secret — matter, weight loss began to take on a public face with competition shows like The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club. Now, workplace fitness competitions are even getting built into some insurance policies. Major US insurers like UnitedHealth and Aetna are exploring apps, social media and Xbox Kinect games to gather data on fitness habits (the idea being, of course, that fitter, healthier people are cheaper to insure). Cash incentives are also driving competitive dieting in the workplace. In a program patented in late 2011 by IBM, co-workers could submit their eating and exercise data through an app and get monetary rewards for good habits.
Apps in this space have exploded. DietBet invites people to lay odds on their weight loss, winning money from friends and strangers when they meet goals. HealthyWage is similar, boosting motivation by asking people to place bets on how much weight they’ll lose. Skinnyo creates friend groups to set up fitness challenges. Similarly, GymPact lets friends give a digital pinky swear and commit to workout sessions or eating more vegetables. While some of these apps are controversial, they all turn a personal journey into something communal and game-based.
An initiative even more closely resembling This City Is Going on a Diet: Shape Up Rhode Island, a statewide team-based competition founded by a Brown University medical student in 2005. Over the past seven years, an estimated 70,000 state residents have signed up for the program; participants track the number of steps they take daily and enroll in three eight-week exercise and diet challenges a year. Like insurance companies, state and local governments stand to gain significantly from a fitter, healthier population.
So does this work? Do communal weight loss efforts really trump a more private approach? There have certainly been promising results. In a study tracking Shape Up Rhode Island, clustered weight loss among team members suggested that group influence affected success. In this program it was recognition, rather than rewards, that seemed to matter. Other studies have looked at the efficacy of cash rewards. One published in 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine split dieters into three groups — one that got a financial reward for losing weight solo, one that split a pot of money for reaching collective goals, and one that did weigh-ins without financial incentive. While the third group lost about 1 pound, those who’d been given a solo financial reward lost about 4 pounds, and those who’d been part of the team lost about 10 pounds — and were better at maintaining their weight loss.
Peer influence, it seems, is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for ways to stick to weight loss goals this year. While other research shows that digitized and gamified approaches to fitness can be more hype than help, it’s notable that many entries on Healthline’s list of the best weight loss apps include social functions.
As anyone who’s tried to lose weight (or quit smoking, or start flossing, or …) knows, the most difficult part is sustaining will-power momentum after the initial excitement. In Oklahoma City, Cornett focused on infrastructure changes to make a city that “had built an incredible quality of life if you happen to be a car” more walkable and fitness-oriented. To him, the key was cultural change — shaping a city where residents talked about and cared about maintaining healthy weight.



How to get motivated when you are out of motivation

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to stay positive and motivated?

Perhaps you’re not getting the results you expected for your goals.

Or maybe you’re getting results, just not the celebratory kind or magnitude you expected.

Perhaps you’ve been trying to achieve a certain goal for a while now and everything is simply taking longer than you thought it would.

Under these common circumstances it’s perfectly understandable that your patience might be beginning to wear a bit thin

And surely you won’t give up on your goals (after all, quitters never win). But, again, it’s definitely understandable if the roaring enthusiasm you once had for them is slowly dwindling.

Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Because the truth is that almost ALL worthy goals and dreams take longer to bring into fruition than we initially expect (which means everyone experiences dwindling motivation after sustained work, at some point or another).

But, as long as you stick with your plans and goals - and remain true to yourself – your dreams WILL come into fruition.

That’s why it’s so important that you don’t give up. But to actually stick with it you’re going to need to keep yourself motivated.

So, the question becomes: How on earth do you stay motivated after you’ve been working toward your goals for a while, yet still haven’t actually achieved them?

Here are 3 surefire ways to keep your motivation high, even during those dreadful slump periods where you’re ready to call it quits:

1. Be honest with yourself

Now’s the time to take stock of your efforts so far.

Ask yourself:

What has actually worked up until now? 

What’s giving good results? 

What’s giving no results?

What’s giving results that you’re not really happy with because you think these results are too small? 

What can be done to improve or increase currently working results?

What are some new methods or approaches for achieving your desired goals that you haven’t tried yet? 

Write down the answers to these questions. Doing so will give you some much-needed clarity (and some surprising, newly invigorated motivation).

More importantly, taking stock of your efforts so far will show you what you should do more of, what you should stop doing for now (or do less of), and what new, unchartered approaches are available to you moving forward.

2. Switch it up

If motivation’s dwindling, one thing you can do is step back and
take some time away from what you’ve been doing for a while.

Often, the clarity we need is obscured by constant action…meaning that sometimes, the only way to get the clarity you need to move forward is by doing the counterintuitive thing: Taking a break.

And while you’re at it, during your break do something you know you’re really good at and always successful at. This will give you the confidence boost (and motivation boost) you crave when it comes time to revisit your long-term goals.

3. Remember, everything happens for your benefit

Often, when things aren’t going exactly as we planned (meaning our way) we feel frustrated, angry, sad, or hurt and motivation decreases accordingly. That’s why it’s key to remember during these times that everything that happens in our lives usually serves an ultimately positive purpose.

The world is not out to get you…if anything the world is fully supportive of your desire to succeed. And the fact that you have that desire to succeed means something (because a lot of people don’t have it at all).

So, take it easy.

Just because things are panning out differently than we might expect doesn’t mean they’re worse (often they’re actually better).

Keeping this in mind will give you the strength, courage, and creativity you need as you go for your goals and dreams…whatever they may be.

Now it’s your turn: What often deflates your motivation and what do you do to regain it when that happens?

Share in the comments below!
Written on 2/6/2013 Cece Suwal & Mark Brener, coauthors of the national bestseller, A Guide To Your Supreme Power, and cofounders of The One World Initiative, where you can discover your path to money, love, power, success, life purpose, and meaning. Get your free course on how to be happy and subscribe to their blog to learn how to become rich.
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Local events from Tania Cheater

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protecting your compuer while traveling

Dumb Little Man: Ways to Protect Your Computer from Hackers While Traveling

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 09:46 AM PST
Traveling is an occasion for excitement that's second to none. It's a time where we escape the day-to-day grind and plan for the future. For the various reasons we travel, business or pleasure, one constant remains with us -- our laptops and mobile devices.

While we use our devices for different purposes and with varying frequency, we must all be aware of the dangers that exposed to our devices. Hackers understand our computers are vulnerable while traveling. These Internet ninjas are armed with several strategies to disrupt your travel and damage your device.

This should serve as a short guide of hacker's tactics and what you need to do to protect your computer.
Read more »



California families striggle- Francis Rolland on real estate

Francis' Silicon Valley Real Estate corner...

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 03:39 PM PST
To keep things in perspective, which is always nice when you live in the Bay Area of San Francisco, I thought this article was worth reading.

According to the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan research group, many California families are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and expensive housing, high childcare costs and rising healthcare expenses are the main factors.

Nearly one-third of households in the state spent at least half their income on rent.
Full article from the LA times, which also includes links to the richest and poorest cities in the US.  Source: LA Times - by Shan Li.

Happy New Year! and thank you for reading,
Silicon Valley real estate specialist
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates
Francis C. ROLLAND - Since 1985 Realtor. HEC 76. MBA - CRS Coldwell Banker dir: 650-947-2259