Grant and Theresa's Life Prep

Making Plans and Achieving Goals

Time For The Rich To Pay Their Fair Share

You hear it a lot in politics that “we are finally going to make the rich pay their fair share!”  The thing is I have never heard what that really means.  Are we going to tax them more?  Make them pay some “rich” fee?  Who are the “rich”?  Is rich based on income or net worth?  Who decides what the dollar value is that makes one “rich”?  These questions are never answered.  Most of us aren’t rich so when a politician says we are going to make the rich pay more and give it to the less fortunate it sounds reasonable.  Certainly, the greedy rich millionaire won’t miss it and certainly doesn’t need it.  So yeah let’s make them pay their fair share.  I’m am actually 100% in favor of them paying their fair share.  In fact, everyone should.

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Happiness Comes From Progress. So Stop Comparing!

One of the main keys to happiness is making progress in the most important areas of your life.  There is no end point that will make you permanently happy.  In order to stay happy we have to keep climbing the staircase and never go stagnant.  This means we need to spend a lot less time on social media following all these people with these “perfect” lives and instead start focusing on improving ours.

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Ultimate Home Gym Buying Guide

I guess the previous owners had a home gym too.  I see you treadmill.

Turning our garage into a home gym has been an absolutely fantastic decision, even though basically everyone told me, “you will never use it” and “don’t waste your money.”  Since college, I have always wanted a real gym in my home, so when it came time to look at houses, my only requirement was that it needed to have an enclosed garage or a basement.  We have had the gym now for just over two years and have each worked out in there 3 to 5 times per week, ever since.  I see no way I could ever go back to working out in a commercial gym, but I do acknowledge that it might not be for everyone.

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Embrace Pain For a Better Life

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons”  – Jim Rohn

Freaking love that quote.   One of my absolute favorites.  It covers so much of personal development and creating a better life for yourself.  You can either do the small daily disciplines which are super easy and quick or pay the big consequences.  For example, you either endure the near painless discipline of brushing your teeth and getting regular check-ups or you endure the massive financial and physical pain of cavities, root canals, implants, and dentures.  When you are laying on the operating table you will have wished so bad that you would have just taken those few near painless minutes to brush your teeth but there is nothing you can do at that moment.

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Saving For College Can Seem Hopeless

Gifting your child, a paid for, debt free, college education is one of the greatest gifts you could give.  Being able to start at zero in the bank account instead of negative $30,000 is amazing.  However, providing that gift just simply isn’t an option for most people.  College is already extremely expensive and the cost just keeps skyrocketing upwards.  Even those with huge yearly incomes will be shaken by the projected costs of college in 18 years.

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New Year, New You! 2017 Resolutions

Ah the new year is upon us and it is that time to start creating our wish lists, I mean our New Year’s resolutions.  Personally I get excited about this time of year.  I always enjoy reflecting on the past and planning for the future.  Where did I succeed and where did I fall short but more importantly what am I going to achieve next year.  A lot of self help type experts don’t really like the idea of New Year’s resolutions because people shouldn’t be only trying to achieve goals one time per year.  While that is totally true I still like creating some one year targets while enjoying the increased motivation and energy that comes from setting big goals and dreaming about the future.  So lets see how we did and where we are going. Continue reading

Thoughts From The First Two Months of Being a Dad

Well that little lady above is now two months old and pretty much runs the house and everyone inside of it.  It has been quite the experience so far and I realize this is just the beginning.  A lot of the cliches are true some of them not so much.   Continue reading

4 Week “Fat” Loss Update – Self Accountability

I debated on not giving this update but I didn’t think that was the right thing to do so here it is.  I have basically made no significant progress at over the last two weeks.  Spreadsheet here.  It is a little frustrating but I know that I have not been giving anything close to 100% effort so I should be happy I have not gained weight.  It is really easy to get frustrated on diets and start looking for excuses.  Well this diet just isn’t right for me.  It is just impossible to lose weight around the holidays.  I can’t workout because I have kids.  My metabolism is just slow.  I think I have hit a plateau and body is in starvation mode. Continue reading

Student Loan Debt And The Always Rising Cost of College

education

This nation has a huge problem on its hands in the form of student loan debt.  The debt total currently sits at a staggering 1.4 Trillion Dollars.  That is $1,400,000,000,000.00!  Student loan debt now makes up the second highest consumer debt.  People only have more debt in their mortgage.  That is absolutely absurd and the scary part is that number is growing at increasingly faster rate everyday.  Universities are graduating more kids than ever as tuition continues to outpace the rate of inflation at more than twice the rate.  1.6% vs 3.7% over the last ten years.  Kids are graduating now with an average debt total of just under $30,000.  Using current rates and the current average cost of in state tuition our 2 month old will be looking at a bill of about $215,000 to attend of public, in state, 4 year university by the time she is 18.  Clearly something has to give.
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2 Week Fat Loss Update – Tips on Tracking Progress

I am now 2 weeks into my fat loss journey that I spoke about here and so far so good.  You can see everything in this spreadsheet with how I am tracking my progress.  Short story is I’m down 3 pounds with no measurable muscle loss so all is good.  Now everyone has there on ideas on tracking progress but I like to weigh everyday and then take a lot of detailed measurements and pictures every two weeks.

My theory on weighing everyday is that it helps me to more accurately track my fat loss.  A lot of coaches recommend weekly weigh ins because they say your weight can fluctuate up and down day to day.  That is true and that is exactly why I think you should weigh everyday and get yourself an average for the week.  You might come in for your weekly weigh in and be weighing heavy or light that day.  You then might start making changes to your program to account for that when you really didn’t need to.  For example if you look at my spreadsheet I was trending down for a week and a half and on 11/18 my weight jumped up to 190 for one weigh in and then back down to 187.8 the next day.  Clearly the 190 day was an outlier but if that would have been my weight on my weekly weigh in day I might have incorrectly assumed no weight had been lost and I should consider dropping calories.

I also like the daily weigh in as just another part of my routine that reminds me every morning that we have some fat loss goals and we better stick to the plan.  Now some people have a bad relationship with the scale and weighing everyday would cause them anxiety.  If you can’t handle watching your weight ping pong up and down a little bit everyday you should stay off of it.  Those people should stick to the weekly weigh in and only get stressed every week instead of every day.

Now every two weeks I like to take the shotgun approach to body fat measurements.  I take some skin fold measurements using some calipers designed to be used at home, I take a waist circumference measurement, a bicep circumference, I record my body fat from my scale and I take a picture.  Now is all that really necessary?  No it isn’t but it is more data and it takes about 3 minutes to do everything.  The main thing I would recommend you do is get good with the calipers.  There are a ton of good youtube videos out there showing you how to use them.  When doing this don’t get to caught up on what the percentage is.  You are just using it to track progress not find out your exact body fat.  The calipers have something like a 3% margin of error even if you are an expert with them.  What you need to do is get really consistent with them.  When you first get them practice over and over.  Pinching and getting the same number.

Now when you do your two week check in you want to see about 0.5 to 1.5 mm drop.  If you lost weight but saw no change in that number then you might have lost muscle which is no good and you might need to up your calories and protein a touch.  If you lost weight and did see a decrease in your caliper measurement you can feel pretty confident that you have lost mostly fat and no changes need to be made.

This is just how I do my own personal tracking.  I love numbers and data.  If you are someone who hates even the thought of my approach you can certainly take a more organic approach and just kind of see how clothes are fitting and how you are looking in the mirror.  Just remember the scale and measuring tape won’t lie but your mind could.

-Grant

 

 

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